Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Chuck


During the time as a federal setting III EBD teacher in a self-contained elementary-aged program, there have been two critical elements in this field that have provided the passion to tackle this topic of effective classroom management strategies for problem behaviors and the environmental factors that may drive those problem behaviors. The topic was chosen this to provide students hope for a successful future, even if the world outside of school is setting them up for failure. As a federal setting III EBD teacher, this researcher saw students struggling in school because environmental factors, such as lack of sleep or homelessness. As this researcher tried to support them in the best ways possible, it was realized that this needed to be a team effort. This led to the second element special education that drove the motivation for the topic, which was the lack of effective strategies that kept students from being successful in general education. As a federal setting III EBD teacher, a question came to mind, “Are students served only in this program because they are homeless, tired, and/or hungry?” Because of these factors, the students struggled to control their emotions and exhibit expected classroom behaviors. It was difficult for them to sit down in their seats, problem solve, or resolve conflicts. The students were always in fight, flight, or freeze mode due to neglect, abuse, or lack of resources obtainable to them outside of school. Then this researcher continued to ask, “Why is there a need to constantly be called to de-escalate situations and provide them with breaks? Is this something that could be addressed by the general education teacher to maximize their time to learn?” These are the questions asked on a daily basis. It probably is that other teachers can relate and find these strategies and understanding of environmental factors helpful to create a higher success rate for our students.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis