Classroom Management

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by eek!, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. eek!

    eek! New Member

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Hi everyone!

    I've been subbing for the past 2.5 years while completing my Masters in Teaching and Certification program in Washington. This will be my first year having my own classroom!

    I'm trying to nail down some details on my classroom management plan and I would appreciate your input.

    Here are my five classroom rules:
    1. Exhibit the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control
    2. No personal grooming during class time
    3. Come to class prepared and ready to learn
    4. No food or drink in the classroom may be consumed in the classroom
    5. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions (I go into more detail about each with the students, but I'll leave that out here)

    The Rewards:
    Rule #1: A safe, caring, and effective learning environment for everyone.
    Rule #2: Continued adult bathroom privileges for everyone.
    Rule #3: An efficient learning environment for everyone.
    Rule #4: Water bottles with lids will be allowed.
    Rule #5: Self empowerment and better interpersonal relationships.

    The penalties are where I am having some difficulty.
    Here is what I have now...

    First offense: Reminder
    Second offense: Detention (15-20 minutes to be served the day of the offense after school in order to discuss the behavior with me)
    Third offense: Detention, personal plan, call home (30 minutes detention to come up with an action plan for the behavior, a call home to discuss the action plan with the parents)
    Fourth offense: Parent-Student-Teacher Conference (Obviously at this point the action plan is not working and we need to come up with something else
    Fifth offense: Referred to administration

    My questions:
    Does this sound reasonable?
    What would you change/keep the same?
    How often should the slate be wiped clean? Every day? Every week?
    Should one warning be given per rule broken before moving on to the next level, or one warning overall?
    I.e. Warning for Rule #3 broken and later in that day/week the student breaks Rule #4 and therefore gets a detention because there was already a warning given.

    Thanks for your input!
     
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  3. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2010

    I would give one warning overall. Whether Suzie is doing her makeup or eating a sandwich, both are disruptive behaviours and against the rules. Giving one warning per rule allows the student 5 or 6 "tries" before any real consequence is recieved.

    Wiping the slate clean is a little more complicated. If a student receives a warning and stops the behaviour at that, I would wipe the slate clean on a daily basis.

    Once you get into detentions, I would hold on longer. I think I would do it on a marking period basis. Prove to me that you can behave through the rest of the marking period and we can start over after that.
     
  4. wcormode

    wcormode Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Wong says that you shouldn't have "Rules" as they are just dares for the students to break. The preferred word is Procedure.

    Is personal grooming really that big of a problem? I am not sure what level you are at but after 7 years as a para-educator, a year of subbing, and student teaching in high schools I never once remember any personal grooming going on. If there was it obviously wasn't disrupting. In my experience your "rules" should be bare minimum or you are just planting the seed in their head. But if it is a problem in the district then I understand.

    "No food or drink in the classroom may be consumed in the classroom"

    This is just me but I would simply say "No food or drink". If I worded it like you kids would try to hang out the window or door while eating so that the food wasn't technically in the room or being consumed in the room. My school does not allow food outside the lunch room in anticipation for the new wellness policy. I do not know if it is only in Kansas or if it is Federal but starting at the beginning next year no schools are allowed pop machines or any machines that carry snacks that are not nutritious. Teachers are not allowed to have and cups that students could identify as possibly being pop either (no gas station cups, or anything see through, no cans in the presence of children).

    Finally, I think they find the Rewards confusing. Maybe move them to a bullet point right below the rule that it applies to. Also I am not sure that the students will see those as rewards. If you say reward the kids will expect something tangible.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Welcome to A to Z!!

    I don't think you need to be quite so specific with high school kids. By now they KNOW how to behave. The only question is whether or not you're going to be one of the teachers who enforces the rules.

    Find out the school policies; they should probably cover most of the contingencies you've mentioned, along with a host of others.

    I find that if you're too specific, then kids will find ways to be annoying, almost as a game, but within the very tight parameters you've laid out. ( I once had a friend who told a kid she didn't want to "hear another word" from him. So he clucked like a chicken!)

    As to the consequences, it depends on the violation. I'll remind kids to get rid of gum, or occasionally have a 15 second amnesty period-- anyone who gets caught with gum after those 15 seconds will see me after school. But if I have to ask you every day, then we have a problem and you'll be seeing me after school.

    But some behaviors get no warning at all. So, no, I won't remind you politely not to punch another student.

    I think you may be overthinking this. In high school, correct behavior should be second nature. Remind them that they KNOW the rules, and start teaching. My basic first day spiel on the rules is this: " You KNOW the rules. I KNOW the rules. I'm going to enforce every school policy every day. Any questions??? OK please take out a notebook..."

    Then enforce those rules every single time. Consistency, not an elaborate set of rules, is the key.
     
  6. eek!

    eek! New Member

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Actually, it's middle school. Seventh and Eighth grade.
    I agree, it is too much for high school, but I thought they might need some more structure since they are younger.
    I agree that some behaviors should not get a warning; how do you suggest I be specific with my plan in this case?
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2010

    I teach in a middle school and I keep my rules very simple. The students need to be able to remember them and they also need to practice them. It's silly, but it's true.

    My rules are simply: Do your best!, Respect everyone and their property, Listen to each other, Be prepared and on time, Food and drink only with permission of the teacher (this way you can still have a party or celebration...)

    Respect covers most everything, but I still go over what is entailed with the students that way they know. I include listening as a separate rule because the students often talk over each other or myself if I don't remind them.

    I like your consequences, but I would not specify same day after school. You might get parent grief because of baseball, football, cheerleading (whatever else is going on). I would just put a 15 minute detention (could be served after school, during lunch, or in the morning--whatever works best for you and the parents). Middle school students cannot drive, so unless all your students live within walking distance, you will need to work with the parents.

    Also remind the students that some behaviors will lead to immediate administration involvement.
     
  8. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Like Alice, I don't go into much detail as they are high school students. All I really stress is mutual respect and this is mostly with my 9th graders. My older students understand that people are different; however, 9th graders sometimes need to be reminded of that.

    We have agenda books with the code of conduct in them. I simply tell them to exercise good judgment and common sense. I would NEVER take the time to develop a first offense, second offense, etc. system with high schoolers. If you do something wrong, you pay the price. End of story.

    My biggest complaint is with copying, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2010

    I've taught 7th grade the same way.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2010

    I do as well. Keep it simple, consistent and predictable.
     
  11. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2010

    Does your school have you go over the handbook with the students on the first day? Ours does, and all of the offenses that get you sent straight to the office are in there - weapons, drugs, fighting, etc. The handbook probably also covers grooming in class and eating in class, so I just have one of my class rules be "All school rules will be followed." Are you supposed to give your students a handout/syllabus on the first day? If so, ask the other teachers if you can see theirs so you know what's normal for your school. I do tell the students that I expect them to be productive in class, and if something is affecting their productivity, I take it away and will maybe give it back after class. I've taken away make-up, cell phones, yo-yos, Yugio (sp?) cards, notes from friends, song lyrics, homework for other classes, toy cars, bouncy balls... Nothing yet this year, but it was amazing what the students would find to distract themselves last year!
     

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