Promoting Effective Teaching Methods by New Teachers: Good Behavior Game + My Teaching Partner

This randomized control study applies two proven behavior management approaches as a combination for training of new teachers to help them undertake their work with skills that can enable better classroom management, less intrusion on instructional goals, and is expected to help support their motivation and their students’ behavior and academic performance. Data collection is complete and opportunities for secondary analyses are available.

What is the Good Behavior Game (GBG)® + My Teaching Partner™ (MTP) Project?
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia are working with school districts as part of a study to examine how to best support new teachers in Kindergarten through grade 3. Prior research indicates that being a new teacher can be challenging, especially regarding issues of classroom management and engaging students with different learning styles. Consistent with the district’s commitment to positive behavior supports and evidence-based programs, the PAX GBG + MTP Project provides training and coaching to new teachers to help address these issues using programs which have previously been shown to reduce student discipline problems, promote positive teacher-student relationships, and improve teacher well-being.

What Is Involved in the GBG+MTP Project?
This voluntary, two-year project is for newly-hired teachers, approximately half of whom will be randomly assigned to receive the PAX GBG + MTP training and coaching over this school year, while the other half will be in a comparison condition. Having two conditions will help us to determine the impacts of this project. Specifically, teachers in the Training and Coaching Condition will receive training in a classroom management strategy, called the PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG), and receive coaching through a model called My Teaching Partner (MTP). Teachers in the Comparison Condition will work as usual in their daily routine; these teachers will receive access to the PAX GBG + MTP training at the end of the project. We ask that all teachers in both conditions in the project complete brief questionnaires and permit observations in their classroom across the next two school years to determine the effects of the program.

What Do I Get for Participating in the GBG+MTP Project?
We ask all participating teachers to provide information about themselves and to rate students twice each year and to provide us some video recording of their teaching.  All participating teachers receive a gift card of $25 for each measure completed and a bonus card for completing all measures, for a total of $200 across both years. Teachers in the GBG+MTP training condition receive stipends to cover the two days of initial training and the subsequent two half-day workshops ($180/day for total of $540); these teachers also receive one-on-one support from a GBG+MTP coach who provides assistance with classroom management and student engagement over the first school year. Teachers in the comparison condition gain access to an online version of the training at the end of the two-year project.

How Do I Learn More about Participating in the GBG+MTP Project?
If you have questions about the project or interest in hearing more about the project please email the PAX GBG+MTP team at if you are interested in hearing more about this project. You can also contact Principal Investigator, Patrick Tolan, at You can learn more about PAX GBG at and MTP at

Associated Faculty

  • Project Team
    Headshot of Robert C. Pianta
    Robert C. Pianta Dean , Novartis Professor of Education, Founding Director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning
    Headshot of Jason T. Downer
    Jason T. Downer Professor of Education, Program Area Director, Clinical and School Psychology, Director, CASTL
    Headshot of Patrick H. Tolan
    Patrick H. Tolan Charles S. Robb Professor of Education, Director Emeritus, Youth-Nex | The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development