Typically, teachers are comfortable academically assessing students, however, behavior assessments are supported by research as effective at addressing behavior in the classroom (Young et al, 2018). Functional behavior assessments (FBA), are aimed at assessing behavior to determine causes and design effective interventions. Research shows that positive behavior management practices enhance equitable interactions with students and set high expectations for the classroom (Fallon et al, 2017). Ideally, teachers can effectively use FBA to address and redirect behavior in their classrooms.
Teachers are trained to delivery a variety of assessment techniques in response to students who struggle with content. However, teachers often struggle when attempting to address challenging behavior (Young et al, 2018). Academic assessments can easily identify areas of weakness in comprehension and teachers are then tasked with designing instruction to fill the gaps in knowledge. Behavior assessments rely on the supposition that all behavior serves a purpose or function that is related to reinforcement (Fallon et al, 2017). However, due to the nature of behaviors and the numerous indirect and direct approaches to intervene, this can often seem like an overwhelming task. Teachers need training and support in order to understand behaviors and appropriate accommodations to implement with fidelity.
Fallon, L.M., Cathcart, S.C., DeFouw, E.R., O'Keeffe, B.V., Sugai, G. (2017). Promoting teachers' implementation of culturally and contextually relevant class-wide behavior plans. Psychol Schs, 55, 278-294.
Young, A., Andrews, C., Hayes, C., Valdez, C. (2018) Should teachers learn how to formally assess behavior? Three educators' perspectives. International Journal of Special Education, 33(2), 416-426.