Discipline, Rules, Procedures...

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by FutureFLTeacher, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Aug 4, 2007

    I finally gave in and purchased "The First Days of School" by the Wongs. I can see why some people love the book and why others have said don't waste your time.

    The Wong's provide a discipline plan that consists of discipline, procedures and routines.

    I was very intrigued by their section on how to have your students follow classroom "procedures". The book states that a rule is a dare to be broken, whereas a procedure is not. A procedure is a do, a step to be learned and is part of everyday life.

    However, there is also an entire section on rules as well...:mellow:
    One of the downsides of this book, many sections seem to contradict one another. Certain rules must be presented and enforced and there are rewards (i.e. positive and negative consequences) for each of them.

    Now, I'm truly confused...you've got your discipline plan, your rules and your procedures.

    What have your experiences been with discipline plans, rules, procedures and the like? Because after reading this section of the book, I'm feeling a little....:huh:

    Thanks so much!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 4, 2007

    I agree that some parts of the book seemed contradictory. I liked some of the ideas and felt that other ideas were more suited to an elementary classroom or one with fewer students. I ended up just picking out the good ideas and tossing out the rest.

    Here's my take on things. I think you need all three components: rules, procedures, and discipline. I'm sure most people agree with me here.

    Rules. Rules are the basic guiding principals which will help your students achieve success in your class. You should set up a few general rules which will cover most or all infractions. I've seen teachers here use the "Be Ready, Be Responsible, Be Respectful" and I think that's what I'm going to use next year. By setting guidelines like those, you are clearly stating your expectations for student behavior. Obviously you're going to have to explain what you mean by "respectful" or "responsible" but once you do, things should run smoothly.

    I think that teachers get hung up on nitpicky rules which are meant to address one specific behavior. If you have a rule like "No hitting" it opens the door for kids to throw things or kick--and technically they aren't violating that rule.

    Violations of rules must result in specific consequences. More on that later.

    Procedures. These are the specific and practical methods by which your class will run. You should set up procedures for turning in work ("Pass your papers to the front of the row and I'll collect them from there"), retrieving absent work ("Look in the missing work folder on the table"), lining up, sharpening pencils, throwing away trash, etc.

    Procedures will help your class become autonomous, which will make things easier for both you and your students. Students will appreciate and thrive on the routine, and subs will have a better experience when they are in your classroom.

    Discipline: This is where you help students identify and improve inappropriate behavior. I personally feel that the best discipline plans are the progressive variety where each subsequent offense results in a more severe penalty. My progressive discipline plan consists of a warning and student/teacher conference for the first offense, communication with parents on the second offense, and a referral to the deans' office on the third and subsequent offenses (this is our school policy). The plan works for me because students can anticipate consequences to their actions. Most of the time the knowledge that I will call home is enough to deter them from engaging in inappropriate behavior beyond the initial "test" to see whether I'll follow through--and I always do.

    Whatever discipline plan you choose should work in conjunction with your classroom rules, but not necessarily your procedures. Obviously if a kid forgets a particular procedure, the discipline plan shouldn't be initiated. On the other hand, if the kid refuses to comply with a particular procedure, it then becomes a matter of insubordination and disrespect, which is a rules violation and will initiate the discipline plan.

    I also think it's a good idea to utilize good classroom management techniques like redirection and proximity in order to maintain the right classroom environment. I'm not suggesting here that you should avoid redirecting and jump straight to initiating the progressive discipline plan or any other plan--rather, you should find a reasonable and practical balance.



    I hope some of this makes sense and that you've found it useful. :cool:
     
  4. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Aug 4, 2007

    Cassie,
    Thank you SO MUCH! Your response has really helped clarify things...because when I started reading this section of the Wong's book, my mind went :huh: ?

    It seems to me that five rules or less is the way to go in middle school. I think I will either use the "Be ready, be responsible, be respectful" or the five rules I came up with that I felt were applicable to this age range and grade level

    1. Be respectful and polite
    2. Be on time and prepared
    3. Be responsible and ready
    4. Particpate and encourage others
    5. Have fun learning!

    Thanks for clarifying the procedures section of the Wong's book too..honestly, while reading it, I was thinking how contradictory it was to the rules section because to me it read as if they suggested you utilize procedures in place of rules. (Maybe I've been reading way too much lately as well...LOL)

    I figure my discipline plan will be very simple and forward...the students will know, as they do with yours, what to expect if they chose to break or ignore a class rule.

    THANK YOU AGAIN CASSIE!!! :D :thanks: I feel much better after reading your response. I felt like a moron after reading that section in the Wong's book....LOL
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 4, 2007

    Yay! I'm glad I could help!

    Your 5 rules are great, and I think they are of the "catch-all" variety. They will work fine if you decide to use them.

    Sometimes when I look at Wong's book it seems like each section was written separately and then they were just stuck together for the book. I wish it would get revised and made a little bit clearer in some parts, and I wish that he would edit/write one just for secondary teachers. We face issues unseen in the elementary classroom (just as they face unique issues not present in a secondary setting).
     
  6. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Cassie,
    Thanks so much! I wasn't sure if my rules were a little too much or just right where they needed to be at...so thanks!

    That was my thought with Wong's book, it's as if they took each section, wrote it independently and then stuffed it altogether for a so called "complete" book. And I agree, it'd be nice to have one edited for secondary teachers as we face different issues than elementary and vice versa.

    I've come to the conclusion that all these books (like Wong's and so many others) are great for insight, but when it comes down to it, we are each going to have to pretty much learn on our own what works best with our particular students. Sometimes I think we put too much emphasis on how these books portray certain classroom issues and then, like me, you find yourself thinking you are even more clueless than you thought!

    Thanks again, I truly appreciate your help more than you'll know! You don't mind if you bug you throughout the school year do you?! ;)
     
  7. jl2teach

    jl2teach Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2007

    I lead my 2nd graders to always include: Follow directions the first time, when we make up our classroom rules. I tell them that procedures are directions for doing things in our classroom and by not following the procedures, they are breaking the follow directions rule. Hope that helps.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't mind at all! I love talking about school stuff, and my poor hoosband must be so sick of it!

    I agree about the books. I think they are definitely worth the read for a brand new teacher because they do provide a lot of insight about the many and varied duties which teachers must perform. Sure, a new teacher might have lesson planning down to a science after his or her teacher education program, but has he or she really considered the logistics of taking attendance, dealing with irate parents, responding to a kid who says "F you!'...? The books often give at least a starting point for dealing with those issues, and I appreciated that when I read them.

    One huge problem with those books is that they often describe students who share the same ethno-cultural backgrounds in some suburban, middle class town. Those classes, even the ones with the most severe discipline and behavioral problems, don't even compare to a diverse inner-city class. Students at my school display some serious behavioral issues which go waaaay beyond not raising their hands or chewing gum. I need to find a good book which will help address those sorts of issues as well.
     
  9. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Aug 4, 2007

    When you find that book, please let me know because I will be needing it as well! :)

    And thank you jl2teach for your insight as well, that helped and I truly appreciate it!!! :thanks: :D
     
  10. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Aug 5, 2007

    books

    I have taught in various K to 8 classrooms and have taken ideas from several books. "Special Kids Problem Solver" by Kenneth Shore deals with academic, behavioral, and physical. "Teacher SMart" by George Watson has classroom management and control ideas. "Classroom Discipline Problem Solver" by George Watson deals with managing all types of behavior so you can teach. :)
     

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