Best tips for a respectful classroom environment?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by perplexed, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2013

    We are having issues with students being disrespectful to teachers when given directives at my school. A lot of teachers are sending students right to the office each day, but not really being proactive to help the situations. . I was approached to make a video for teachers to help them get a better understanding on how to handle these situations and what they could possibly do to prevent blow ups and outbursts from happening. What would you say are the biggest tips to tell teachers? This would be to tell what measures they can take before in order to eliminate issues. We have a lot of new teachers right out of college.

    Here is my list...

    1) Teach and model classroom rules, expectations, and procedures
    2) Be consistent and deliver appropriate consequences--(I want to say something about staying calm??)
    3) Get to know your students
    4) Provide meaningful, engaging personalized learning experiences
    5) Communicate with parents--the good and the bad


    What else could I address? What do you think helps with keeping a respectful environment? Thanks!!
     
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  3. ChoiceAdvocate

    ChoiceAdvocate Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2013

    I use a carrot/stick reward system, only for my class. It has lead to a lot of cohesion amongst the students. They use peer pressure to encourage good behavior. They will rat each other out in a heartbeat. Might not be feasible for your situation, but I find that if they have something tangible to gain/lose, they tend to want to do the right thing to earn their reward. I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but it is what I have done so far. Plus it helps to have a mom in education telling me how she has handled troubled kids.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 10, 2013

    I hate to say it perplexed, but I wouldn't get anything meaningful out of your list. Even student teachers hear that exact same advice again and again from teachers, and to experienced teachers, it makes sense because they have clear procedures and systems in place to do all of these things.

    New teachers see that advice, and it is incredibly vague for them. Honestly, I think new teachers should be given a list of required reading for classroom management, building relationships, and other types of procedures. The reading should all be very practical and less theoretical (which is where they tend to go in credential programs). They should then be tested for the understanding of this reading.
     
  5. strepsils

    strepsils Companion

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    Jan 10, 2013

    When it comes to setting up the classroom, it is important for students to develop ownership over the environment and their behaviour. Have students consider what would be their dream classroom - what does it look like, sound like and feel like? Talk about both students AND teachers. Then, establish a class code of conduct to help address this.

    Our school follows the Tribe Agreements of Appreciations/No Put Downs, Mutual Respect, Attentive Listening, Personal Best/Personal Responsibility. It is great to have that shared language to go back to with all teaching staff. Y charts (look like/feel like/sound like) are fantastic aids to assist students in developing deep understandings of these agreements.

    If there isn't a whole school policy regarding behaviour in the classroom, work with the kids to develop one. Ie - Warning, move to another desk in the room, move to a buddy class to work (and parent is called), THEN the office. Admin have more important things to worry about -- especially when lots of these instances can be dealt with in the classroom.

    Low Key Responses help to prevent bumps - don't sit at your desk but be around the room and pick up low level behaviour before they escalate - a small touch on the shoulder, a tap on the desk to redirect a student or saying their name can prevent small things growing. You can also praise students who are doing the right thing - this enables others to see what behaviour is expected.

    Communicate with parents - certificates home, phone calls for good behaviour, notes in student diaries help reeniforce that you are looking for good behaviour - not bad. But also, calling parents early and address your concerns "I have noticed X has started to be a bit chatty/has difficulty solving conflict/etc at school. Do you notice this behaviour at home? What do you find works? At school we will be doing xxx and would appreciate your assistance" etc.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 10, 2013



    As the saying goes 'respect is earned', it is true. I think the disrespect from the students' part has a lot to do with the teachers' personality and approach. I have gotten to know a handful of teachers real well, but I also know how the students look at them and how they treat them. I see it, and i hear it from the students, because I like to have heart to heart conversation with them.

    There is one teacher that is being treated horribly, they cuss her out, talk to her in the worst way, destroy her classroom, they do anything you can imagine. It's not right, but that teacher also treats her student in a bad way, talks down to them, says horrible things to them and in general seems like she really dislikes them.

    Then there is a teacher whom all the students love, and treat with with respect. He treats them like men, not like little kids or locked up criminals.

    There are teachers who they don't like a whole lot, but will still respect them, because of that teachers' conduct. They don't mess with them, they listen, and follow directions for the most part. When they don't, it's because they're having issues nothing to do with that teacher, but they're still not disrespectful.

    There's also the teacher whom they don't like, but won't treat disrespectfully, because she's very strict, and won't put up with any nonsense.

    So all in all, I think it's about how the teacher treats the students, and what they will allow. It's not really about procedures, engaging lessons plans, etc. It's about whether the students feel the teacher cares about them, and respects them, or not.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jan 10, 2013

    Agree. Exactly how does one teach and model classroom rules and procedures? What is the set, purpose, input, modeling, guided practice, checking for understanding, teach your partner, independent practice and closure for, say, moving from rows into groups? How about entering the room? Getting help? Taking turns and raising hand? All of these demand diagnostic-prescriptive planning and teaching step-by-step with a lot of practice.

    Consider: Instead of telling teachers what they should be doing how about having teachers suggest what should or could be done? Posing a management problem each week sent via email or note and asking teachers to share specifically (like in this forum) their strategies could be a valuable resource. If 15 teachers share that's 15 strategies for a procedure like out-of-seat.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 10, 2013

    Respect your students!

    I love the idea of posing a problem (you could even have teachers send in problems) and looking for the teachers to offer strategies.

    I learn really quickly how to pick my battles (some things really are not worth fighting about) and not to engage in a power struggle with my students.
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jan 10, 2013

    I love the idea of posing a problem! I would add that this should include not only a discussion of strategies, but should also include physical modeling of "good" and "bad behaviors on the part of both the student and teacher. I think one thing that I love about being a teacher is that I am a perpetual student. I never turn down an opportunity to learn something new, and neither should your school's teachers. By involving them in the solution, you could really "nip the problem in the bud."

    Another solution would be to have some students (perhaps create a committee?) involved in the solution process as well.
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 10, 2013

    I always cringe when I see this "advice", because it places the blame for the student's behavior on the teacher instead of the student. The message it sends is "If your lessons were more exciting, the students wouldn't be misbehaving."

    While it is important to have engaging lessons, the students still need to accept responsibility for how they behave. Different students like different subjects, so it is going to be hard for every teacher to keep every student excited and engaged in every subject.

    I worked in an alternative school last year. I was talking with the Language Arts teacher one day, a veteran teacher with more than 20 years experience, when we got on this very subject. He said "I used to bust my a$$ working for hours to make my lessons more engaging and exciting and, you know what? It still didn't make a bit of difference. The kids couldn't care less. I still had the same behavior problems I had before."

    As Linguist says above, respect and good behavior have much more to do with how the teacher treats the students, interacts with them, establishes classroom rules and enforces them. The teachers with the fewest behavior problems are the ones that treat the kids with respect, but also establish clear expectations and boundaries for their behavior, then enforces those expectations and boundaries. Kids really want structure and some boundaries in the classroom, even though they may not like them all. As long as they know the rules apply to everyone equally, they will respect the boundaries established by the teacher.
     
  11. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Jan 11, 2013

    Funny this came up because I just came across a video that will scare the pants off any teacher - veteran or newbie. It upset my wife so much (she's a teacher, too) she made me turn it off half-way through.

    If you dare to watch, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04cCYYLAJ7k

    Now how would you have handled yourself in a similar situation???
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2013

    Here's an example to back what I was saying above. Not to toot my own horn, but whatever :)
    Today I subbed (as always) There are 2 huge classes, 23 students. In the lock up this is very large, so large that the P is concerned. Take each of your worst kids and put 23 in one class, it's unsafe. The standard is 15 or less. (it's kind of like as if you take your problem class, and have it a size of 50). Anyways, the teacher I talked about above, the one that the students treat horribly (but she is as well) has both of these huge classes. When I sub spec.ed. I'm in there as a second teacher, so I see exactly what's going on.
    Well, these kids were silent!! They sat there, participated in discussions by raising their hands, contributed great ides, did all their work, not one problem! And I'm just a sub, and we know kids think subs are an 'anything goes today'.

    This is because I like these kids, they can see it; I treat them with respect, I'm reasonable and fair. I have high expectations, I give warnings where they have a chance to make better choices, but will handle any issues. I do that without becoming emotional.

    I think it's all on the teacher. I had 5 class periods, one was very chatty. This class doesn't know me as well. I still handled my business, they still did all the work, still had no problems, the biggest issue was that a few of them wanted to talk without raising their hand, or have side conversations.

    Overall the students were respectful to each other, to me, because I also respect them and they know it. I think most of this is on the teacher. The teacher is in charge, students shouldn't run the classroom.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2013

    I've seen this. In the lock up, the students always try to gang up on the teacher when they want to mess with them. The worst thing is having someone make noises that you can't tell where it's coming from, keep laughing, etc.
    Honestly, when it starts, the best thing to do is not make a big deal out of it, ask them to stop and not get upset! IF you show any signs of emotions, they will keep it up, because it's fun for them.

    Again, the teacher I talked about above deals with this kid of stuff, and she actually reacts much worse.

    For example: the students start saying 'apple', but in a way where she can't tell who says it. I'm sure it's annoying, because they do it when she talks, or they say it, everyone's laughing, she's not sure what happening, if it's code for something, etc. The whole lesson stops, she gets upset, it's a big scene, from the students point of view it's fun, more fun than listening to her talking. I don't know how they came up with it, it's just a word, no special meaning, but became fun for them.

    They actually told me this today. One of them said 'apple' in my class, I asked what's up with that? They explained :)
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 11, 2013

    My kids in third period are a bit rowdy and they randomly say the word "seven". I don't think it means anything either. They try to do it so I don't know who said it, but I've got all their voices memorized so I'll be like "Ricky, that's one." Or in some cases, when we're doing classwork, I'll put extra emphasis on the "seven" when I say something and then they'll break out the sevens until I tell them to pipe down. It's funny and I'm now a part of their "inside joke". :lol:
     

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