Most teachers know that classroom procedures improve student behavior. Unfortunately, many teachers forget to implement them. Recently a teacher asked me for advice regarding seven students who repeatedly disrupted the class. These students would continuously get up for unnecessary tissues. It was almost like a game to them—to see who could get up the most times to retrieve as many tissues as possible.
For situations like this, there are three basic principles of the Discipline Without Stress methodology to follow.
1) You’ll get better results if you approach everything from a POSITIVE point of view, even when the situation itself might be negative.
2) In this approach, the students are asked to take responsibility. Rather than telling young people what to do, ASK QUESTIONS that prompt students to reflect. Also, ask the students to be accountable for coming up with solutions.
3) Increase CHOICES so as to reduce any feeling of being coerced or punished. (The thinking here is that students these days often resist when they feel a sense of coercion. They often do what you DON’T want them to do if they feel you are trying to overpower them.)
The Best Classroom Procedure for Improving Student Behavior
Here is one additional suggestion to try. Before behavior issues get out of hand, enact the classroom procedure of holding a class meeting.
Put a notice up (Class Meeting Today about Tissues) to start the reflection process going. There would be a smile alongside the notice to keep the tone light rather than angry and upset.
Start the class meeting with a question: “Can anyone explain why we might need a meeting about tissues?” In my experience, some child will immediately come up with a very accurate description of the situation.
Next, ask why they think you’re concerned. I’m sure there will be a number of students who can explain the issue perfectly.
Then, ask for their help. Ask if they have any ideas or new classroom procedures that could solve “the tissue problem” and improve student behavior during class. The students will come up with lots of ideas, many of which might work.
When you ask students to come up with their own suggestions or guidelines, they tend to be more interested in following them.
What classroom procedures have you implemented to improve student behavior and reduce teacher stress? Please share your experiences on the Without Stress Facebook page.