Goal 8 – Rethink Student Behavior and Classroom Management

I’m beginning to think these 30goals challenges are from one of those fantasy films where as soon as someone says the WORDS the reality immediately reflects them. After “Invite Them In” a new entrance to the classroom became available through the broken window. And today…

Before I get to that, kidding aside, I feel that these challenges are so well crafted that as soon as you begin thinking of that particular element you are bound to see it!

Today was my counseling day and I was visiting another school. While I was there I  had a chance to observe them dealing with exactly the same behavioral issue that I’m having trouble with at the moment – pretty amazing, right?!

During the lesson I was observing a pupil opened the door and wanted to say something to another pupil (with users of sign language all you need is a sight-line). The teacher calmly told the pupil that she was interrupting and that she would get a YELLOW CARD. And that was it. The teacher didn’t get angry. The student was shown that actions lead to consequences. If a pupil at that school gets 3 yellow cards in one week that becomes a red card which means a disciplinary team is involved and that’s trouble.

We don’t have such a system at our school. If a pupil is disruptive during the lesson I write a notation in my diary which must then be typed into the computer database. That gets noticed and the kids don’t want that (of course some pupils care more than others…). But I can’t make the notation for pupils who aren’t IN my lesson who are bothering me. I end up getting angry at them. Which may have been a “behavior encouraging” reaction for one or two of them. But how else am I supposed to react when a pupil enters, totally stops the lesson and is in no hurry to leave?!! I’ve turned to the homeroom teachers of the pupils who repeatedly interrupt and that has helped (also one pupil got into so much trouble for other reasons he’s laying low at the moment) but if there was a school accepted way to react to that perhaps I could remain as calm as the teacher I  observed?

Anyway, the moral here is that when thinking of a way to modify pupil’s behavior first think which options are entirely up to you, the classroom teacher, and which require the staff to follow in order to work!

4 thoughts on “Goal 8 – Rethink Student Behavior and Classroom Management”

  1. The card system sounds brilliant!
    When a student from another class opens the door, tosses a threatening glance at one of my students, all hell can break loose very quickly. Any student can silently talk – and they do.

    A card system would be ideal – quick and irrefutable.
    Thanks for passing on the idea, Naomi

    – Judih

  2. This note system sounds like a brilliant idea! You bring up a very good point in that the reason why teachers get so frustrated with classroom management is because the school policy’s and systems often don’t help prevent the root behavior. That is another reason why I choose not to deal with them much and implement my own system. If I deal with it positively once and the student really reflects and learns the lesson then it means I won’t have to deal with the same behavior again from that student. If it is repeat behavior that is when it gets frustrating and makes a teacher especially mad at the student. So if I can, I stop the class and “nip in the the butt” as we say in the US.

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