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The Behavior Management Hack Every Teacher Needs to Try

Have you ever had a student who just needs to get up and move around to get out excess energy? This behavior management hack can turn their day around and give them a purpose.

The best part? You and your teaching BFF can be in on it together!

The Behavior Management Hack Every Teacher Needs to Try

Here’s how to give your students the movement they need to refocus their behavior.


Errand Runner Behavior Management Hack

I learned this hack years ago when I was teaching in a Resource room. I had a couple of students who really needed to move around in order to be able to re-focus their attention. The problem? Moving around in the classroom just wasn’t cutting it.

Enter the idea of having an Errand Runner.

An errand runner is a student who goes to another classroom to deliver a very important “message” (read: envelope) to another teacher.

The envelope contains an important note that absolutely must be delivered with care. So, the job of errand runner is a very important one.

Once the note has been delivered, the student waits while the teacher jots down a reply and puts it back in the envelope.

With the reply in hand, the errand runner returns to class and turns over the envelope. Mission accomplished.

Why the Errand Runner Works for Behavior Management

This particular strategy works so well for behavior management because it gets the student up and walking around. It helps them work off some energy, leave the situation (the lesson) that is causing them to get overwhelmed, and gives them time to focus.

Since the job is very important, it also boosts their self-esteem and demonstrates that you trust them to take care of a highly important task.

What the Students Don’t Know About the Errand Runner Task

What students don’t know about this behavior management hack is that it’s purely for show. Nine times out of ten there is really nothing that you need to give to or find out from the teacher to who the child is being sent to.

It’s just a way to help the runner get in some movement.

How to Set Up the Errand Runner Behavior Management Hack in Your Classroom

First, you must recruit your teacher BFF to be in on the hack. It only works if you have someone to whom you can send your student and who will understand why the student is there.

Once you have established who you will be partners with – or the group of teachers who will all be doing the hack together – you can move forward. Everyone will need a large manila envelope that can be closed. The front cover should have your name and “Errand Runner” on the front. This will help you all immediately recognize the purpose of the student’s visit.

The note itself can be anything. It could be a note asking to borrow a book. It could be a note asking what time specials are for the day. It could be a note that simply says, “Hi, Teacher Bestie! How was lunch?”

When the receiving teacher opens the note, they can then jot a reply, tuck it back in the envelope, and send the student on his way.


That’s it! While there may not be much importance to the note itself, the act of having an errand runner perform a very important task while allowing him or her to calm down and re-focus is priceless.

Give it a try this school year and see how much of a difference it makes in your students’ behavior!

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I'm a special education teacher, presenter, curriculum writer, and educational blogger behind Mrs. D's Corner.
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