What is Behavioral Support Teacher?

A behavioral support teacher plays a critical role in a school setting. He is responsible for ensuring that students adopt the right behaviors and grow mentally, physically and academically. This post will shed more light on what behavioral support teachers can do, their work environment, career outlook, salary and qualification requirements.

Key Responsibilities of Behavioral Support Teachers

The key responsibilities of behavioral support teachers include the following;

  • Train other teachers on how to define and measure student behavior and understand the principles of reinforcement.
  • Conduct meetings with students, teachers and parents in a bid to come up with a functional behavioral assessment.
  • Work with teachers and parents to design behavioral intervention programs.
  • Work with teachers and the entire school staff to brainstorm factors that can affect the development and implementation of behavioral intervention programs.
  • Create an assessment model that guide students in measuring their own work and behavior.
  • Engage parents in behavior intervention programs and teach them how to monitor and support the development of positive behavior among their children.
  • Facilitate conflict resolution and mediation meetings.
  • Work closely with the school counselor and social worker to promote positive behavior.

How to Become a Behavioral Support Teacher

Those who want to work as behavioral support teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or any other related field. These fields may include human services, learning and behavior analysis, education or social work. You may also need to enroll for a master’s degree in behavioral science to increase your job prospects and earning potential. Master’s degree programs cover topics such as research methods, child development, ethics and professionalism, intervention and methodology. They take between two and three years to complete.

In addition to obtaining good academic credentials, you will need a teaching certification from a recognized professional body to work as a behavioral support teacher. Teaching certification requirements differ with state, so check with your state’s education department to see what is required of you.

Before you are considered fit to work on your own, your employer will take you through an on-the-job training program for a period not less than one month. Training will vary depending on the school you work in, but it will most likely touch on areas such as ethics, behavioral assessments, crisis intervention methods and strategies for working with students.

Work Environment

Behavioral support teachers spend most of their time in the office, where they occasionally meet students, teachers and parents. Sometimes they may travel to meet students’ parents at their homes or attend seminars and conferences. Most behavioral support teachers work between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Some may work overtime, depending on how many students they handle and the nature of crises they deal with.

Salary and Career Outlook

According to PayScale, behavioral support teachers earn an average salary of $40,321 per year, with a range between $26,718 and $59,056. The employment rate is expected to increase by six percent over the next 10 years. This growth rate is considered as fast as the national average rate. The main employment drivers will be an increase in demand for behavior specialists in learning institutions right from elementary schools all the way up to colleges and universities.

Related Resource: What are the Requirements to Teach Abroad?

Choosing a career in behavioral support is a prudent decision that will give you a chance to make a positive impact on the lives of students. In order to succeed as a behavioral support teacher, you need to have a deep understanding of the roles you will play at your workstation, obtain at least a bachelor’s degree and acquire the right set of skills.