Behavior is Communication

Gina Yonts, Associate Director, AWSP
Feb 21, 2022



I have had the opportunity to work with challenging behaviors from children to adults over the course of my educational career. This was not always a welcome opportunity. However, I know in retrospect I got better at it over time. 

Working with challenging adult behaviors has similarities to working with behaviors we see in our students. Digging in, getting better at navigating the function of behavior, and hypothesizing what is behind the behaviors can help you support students and staff more calmly and insightfully. I ran across this “All Behavior is Communication” blog post from Lauren Pace (host of the Rising Lava Parenting Podcast) as I was looking for resources to help a new school leader navigate some tricky adult behaviors in her school. Although this blog refers to parenting strategies and young children, I think reading, listening, and pondering the basics about behavior as communication has some transferable skills and strategies pertinent to school leadership! 

Sometimes, we see little kid behaviors coming from some of the adults we interact with! If you’re short on time, start the podcast around the 8-minute mark or scroll down to Understanding Behavior section of the blog post. Give it a read…I’d love to know if this is a useful resource for you or others who might be struggling to understand behaviors in and outside of the classroom! Tell me what you think!

  • behavior
  • Communication
  • Resource
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