Promoting good behavior is something both teachers and parents want for the children in their lives. And it’s always easier to do when the teachers and parents work together.
Following is an email I received from a teacher about students, parents, and good behavior.
“I am interested in implementing your ideas in my classroom. They make such sense to me, and I am very excited! What do you recommend for communicating about student behavior with the parents? In previous years I used a behavior classroom chart and a six-weeks calendar where daily behavior is recorded and sent home each day. I do not want to use that system any longer. However, I will have parents who will want to know how their child behaved each day.”
Let the parents know that the best way for them to have their children become more responsible and display good behavior is for the parents to assume that their children will be responsible and behave well. Therefore, save some work for you and anxiety for parents by establishing this positive mindset. That is, let the parents know that their children are responsible and that if they are not then you will inform the parents.
If a parent insists, ask the person for the reason—and then point out that the person is having little confidence in the child. Then ask, “Do you want your child to feel that you have no confidence in your child?”
Stay in control by continually asking questions until the parent reflects to the point of no longer feeling a need to receive behavior reports.
The e-mail continued:
“Also, the student report card includes a section for work habits, listening attentively, cooperating with others, completing work, etc. I have used the behavior calendar as documentation to support the grades given on the report card. I would appreciate any ideas you have. Thank you very much.”
Have the students grade themselves, especially when it comes to assessing good behavior. I used to pass out small cards to have my students grade themselves. In the vast majority of cases, we agreed. In those cases where we did not, I explained my grade.
This approach saved me much time and prompted the students to reflect and improve.
Tip: Empower youth to be responsible for their actions. Good behavior is a by-product of responsibility.
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