Advanced Concepts for Using the Raise Responsibility System

Here are some advanced concepts for using the Raise Responsibility System (RRSystem) for discipline, for encouragement, and for promoting learning and academic achievement.

RRSystem for Discipline:
After teachers are well into the mode of ASKING students (instead of telling them) to identify a level of chosen behavior, asking for a response may seem coercive. At this point, teachers can then shift to SUGGESTING that students SIMPLY REFLECT on their chosen level.

Remember that the hierarchy is NOT an assessment tool for someone on the outside looking in. Also understand that no one can know the motivation of another person with complete accuracy, and since rewards can change motivation, rewarding Level D behavior can be counterproductive. The reward-giver will never know in the future whether the person will be acting on Level D because it is the right thing to do OR to get the reward.

RRSystem to Nourish and Encourage:
In addition to referring to the lower, unacceptable levels, acknowledge higher-level behaviors. This will nourish and encourage students to choose behaviors on higher levels, especially Level D.

RRSystem to Promote Learning and Academic Achievement:
BEFORE starting an activity, have students visualize what behaviors on the various levels would look like. (Level A need not be included.) Here are the guidelines regarding each of the levels:

Level D – In general, these people know what’s going on in the classroom. They listen for directions and take the initiative to look after themselves. As a result, they feel capable and informed. They experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from taking the initiative of doing what is best for themselves as well as what is best for others.

Level C – Although these people do what is required, they aren’t really in charge of themselves because they depend on others. These people don’t exercise effort to do their best and so are deprived of the satisfaction that comes with Level D behavior.

Level B – These people are often “out of it.” They often have a hard time keeping up because they don’t choose to put in the effort needed to keep on top of what needs to be done. This can lead to uncomfortable feelings of discouragement or even panic when they realize that they have missed directions, don’t know what to do, are behind in assignments, or do less than their best.

AFTER the activity, ASK STUDENTS TO REFLECT on the level they chose to act on during the activity. Because of the very nature of a hierarchy (the top levels being more desirable than lower levels), VISUALIZATION AND REFLECTION (both before and after an activity) prompt students to WANT to improve.

Take the time to talk about long-range results for operating consistently on each of the levels. Use classroom experiences as they arise to teach terms such as SELF-RELIANCE and SELF-DISCIPLINE so students learn what these traits look like in real-life situations.

Additionally, the techniques of VISUALIZING and REFLECTING on chosen levels can be used effectively with ANY ACADEMIC or SKILL ACTIVITY. Here are two examples:

Level D – Motivation to become a good speller is INTERNAL Tries different spelling patterns in an attempt to find the one that looks correct.

Level C – Does the above but the motivation is EXTERNAL People at this level wait until a teacher tells them that a word is incorrect before trying to fix it, or they wait to be reminded before trying a variety of strategies.

Level B – Doesn’t make any attempt to be careful with spelling.

Level D – Reads carefully without reminders.
Level C – Reads carefully when reminded by the teacher.
Level B – Doesn’t read carefully under any circumstances.

For more detailed information on any of these concepts, see the book Discipline Without Stress.