Online and in the classroom, "prevention is better than cure"

When it comes to behavior management in the classroom or online, Julie April and Jérôme Lessard, advisers at the RÉCIT national service, personal development domain (RÉCIT DP), present some resources to help teachers.

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The old adage "prevention is better than cure" applies to all kinds of contexts. Even when it comes to behavior management in the classroom. Julie April and Jérôme Lessard, advisers at the RÉCIT national service, personal development field (RÉCIT DP), present some resources to help teachers.

The context of distance education has highlighted the importance for the teacher to establish a positive relationship with his students, in order to be able to prevent annoying situations and to better cope with them when they arise. It is in this sense that the RÉCIT DP team has developed the Before Things Fart microsite, which offers a three-step approach to teachers.


“Don't wait for negative behavior to happen to bring it up with your students, whether in class or remotely. If everything starts from a relationship of trust between the teacher and his students, we must not hesitate to explicitly name the expected behaviors, ”says Jérôme Lessard.

Thus, it can be useful to discuss the code of conduct of the school in class, as well as prohibited crimes and behaviors online (on this subject, (re) read this article already published on the École branchée). The expected role of parents in distance education can also be addressed as much with the students as with the parents themselves. Attention, in all cases, the discussion must be constructive and not be used only to make a list of prohibitions.

To go further and make the students feel more involved, the RÉCIT DP team also offers a 5-step process to co-construct a code of ethics with the students. We will present it to you in a future article.


Despite preventive interventions, it can happen that unwanted situations arise. The testimonies of teachers are numerous and the level of seriousness of the behaviors is variable. “You have to learn to distinguish between what is inappropriate, unacceptable and illegal. Then, professional judgment and the level of tolerance help to measure the intervention. Then there are several ways to react and there is no right answer, ”says Julie April.

Some examples from elementary school.

In fact, it is up to everyone to find their style of intervention. Interventions may be non-verbal (intentional ignorance, uneasy silence, direct signs, etc.), by direct call (oral or in a chat message to all or private), or consist of a withdrawal of the student ( mute, camera deactivation, waiting room, etc.).

Some examples from high school.

In all cases, do not hesitate to keep records of online courses (registration, chat history, lists of participants, etc.), insofar as this may be useful and justifiable later. In addition, be prepared to do the necessary follow-ups after an intervention. “It is important to apply the intended consequences at the risk of not being taken seriously later. You have to be consistent, ”says Jérôme Lessard.


It is possible to use a disruptive behavior or event (especially if it is recurring) as an opportunity to review the rules contained in the class code of ethics. It can also become an opportunity to be seized to develop citizenship in the digital age among students (ethical reflection, critical thinking, etc.). The RÉCIT DP website offers many resources to go further.

Find the full webinar Before it breaks out as well as other video clips on the RÉCIT DP website.

Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
1- Act as an ethical citizen in the digital age

To see the Framework.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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