This lesson will provide examples and templates of student behavior contracts. Student behavior contracts provide an excellent way of creating student accountability and encourage positive behavior.

What Is a Student Behavior Contract?

Sam continues to yell out in class instead of raising his hand. This is disruptive and distracts other students. You have talked to him over and over about raising his hand, but he continues to yell out. What do you do? A great way to address disruptive or unwanted behavior in a classroom setting is a behavior contract. A student behavior contract is a written agreement between a teacher, student and parent to address and improve behavior concerns in the classroom.

Benefits of a Behavior Contract

A contract is a fabulous way to create accountability and build relationships with your students. Contracts also helps you, as a teacher, support your students with positive behavior. It also provides a visual reminder for struggling students, creates a goal to work for and tracks success.

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It is very easy to make a statement like ‘remember our contract?’ or ‘You are almost there!’ to turn a student around. The chances of success are greater when there is frequent encouragement as the student moves towards reaching the goal. The combination of discussion, writing and thinking about the desired behavior has a huge impact on student motivation to make the right choices!

To get the most benefit from a behavior contract, it is very important that you allow your student to have input and that you review the contract with your student. This guarantees buy-in and that your student clearly understands the expectations. When your student is encouraged to think about their behavior and what they need to do to change it and why, they learn important lessons about community, accountability and the keys to success. These are important life skills needed in the future.

Another benefit to using a behavior contract is parent involvement. Once the contract is agreed upon by the student and the teacher, the parent also signs and reviews. This is helpful because the parent becomes aware of school concerns, can also provide suggestions for support and can assist with tracking and monitoring goals. This way your student receives encouragement during school and while at home. This is always a win-win!

Format and Example of a Behavior Contract

An effective contract should include the following:

  • Date
  • Student name
  • 1 -3 Goals
  • A list of incentives when your student is successful
  • A list of consequences if the behavior continue
  • Any Specializations such as school mascot, cartoon character or special pictures if needed
  • A signature line for the parent, student and teacher

This is what Sam’s contract would look like:

Behavior Contract Sample

Lesson Summary

The best part about a behavior contract is that the process teaches your student that good behavior not only benefits their classroom environment but also that good behavior is key to being a productive student. Another important aspect is it involves the parent which is always a plus. Student behavior contracts is a great way to get everyone involved in working towards the common goal of student success. Always remember when your students learn how to be successful, you as a teacher will be successful.