Preparing Early Elementary Preservice Teachers to Positively Support Students with Challenging Behavior




Proactive Behavior Supports, Classroom Management, early childhood special education, Positive learning environement


This article describes the significance of equipping preservice teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively approach behavioral challenges with early elementary students (i.e., kindergarten to third grade). Early elementary years are crucial for a child’s academic and social development, and students who exhibit challenging behaviors early often face academic struggles and potential long-term negative effects. When educators are prepared to effectively manage challenging behaviors, they provide students with the support needed to succeed. This article also highlights the need for teacher preparation programs to include coursework and practical training emphasizing evidence-based practices in behavior management, effective communication, and behavioral supports. By doing so, teachers can create inclusive and supportive classrooms, reduce disruptive, unexpected behaviors, and improve students’ overall well-being by intervening early and providing a foundation for positive behaviors in school. Early intervention and skill development in K-3 preservice teachers can lead to better academic outcomes, enhanced classroom dynamics, and a brighter future for students with challenging behavior. The authors share recommendations for classroom activities, learning materials, and applications for teacher educators.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Randolph, K. M., Riggleman, S., Taylor, M. S., Oh, J. H., & Lohmann, M. (2024). Preparing Early Elementary Preservice Teachers to Positively Support Students with Challenging Behavior. Journal of Special Education Preparation, 4(1), 58–67.



Special Issue on Early Childhood