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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Creativity and Procedures

Although procedures are the foundational step to efficient instruction and reducing discipline problems, sometimes we forget to be creative in their establishment.

In some cases, the teacher might create a new classroom procedure to proactively deal with misbehavior from certain students. In other words, rather than reacting to the same type of misbehavior day after day, the teacher might restructure the environment more carefully in a way that would allow immature students to be more successful.

For example, in an elementary classroom, there may be a few students who find it difficult to maintain appropriate behavior in the cramped quarters of the cloakroom at dismissal time. To deal with this, the teacher can change the procedure for the cloakroom.

Rather than having the whole class go into the cloakroom at the same time (which may have worked in previous years,) the teacher can divide the students into three groups (with the three most immature students each in a separate group.) Now each group has a turn in the cloakroom while the other students sit at their desks and chat with the teacher. As each group finishes up in the cloakroom, they return to their desks and a different group of children go and get their belongings.

Without all the students who typically cause discipline issues going to the cloakroom together, the problem is solved—not by trying to change the children, but by creatively changing the routine.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
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