Professor believes in no forms of teacher imposed consequences

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  1. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I'm taking a course in classroom management, and my professor is a school psychologist.

    She has dealt with kids of all sorts of behavior problems, but has never been a teacher before. We've studied about 8 different models of classroom management through the course as well as PBIS and are creating a classroom management notebook for our semester project.

    One idea that she has pressed on throughout the semester are about everything she doesn't think is ever necessary. We've gathered that she doesn't believe in silent lunch, office referrals, calls home to parents, detention, loss of recess, and she even went as far as saying no punishment should ever be needed.

    She believes in a 100% collaborative approach that involves teachers reminding students of the class rules, having an informal discussion about why their behavior is not appropriate, reinforcing positive behavior, etc.

    She was asked about whether consequences are necessary for too much talking in class since she doesn't ever believe in sending kids out of the room. She said that means that the teacher needs to do more discussion activities because the students are telling the teacher that their class isn't engaging enough.

    The concept of positive discipline is very familiar to me as it should be with all of us, but this whole idea of never have any consequences is tough to understand since I've never actually seen a K-12 teacher who has used such a system, and given she has never been a teacher it is tough because she doesn't have any first hand stories about how this has worked for her.

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Has anyone implemented this kind of classroom management environment before?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think your professor needs to spend a week in almost any classroom in this country and then see what her views are.
     
  4. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Pie in the sky ivory tower clap trap. The prof. must think you can engage youngsters from the same stand point as adults who can reason and have much more prior knowledge. You take young people that would much rather be engaged by internet entertainment or social media. Make them sit in a classroom the major part of a day and then require them to listen and regurgitate what they were supposed to hear. It is a recipe for disaster. ALL IS LOST, tgtif
     
  5. GTB4GT

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    A person is teaching in the education field without having been a teacher? Ironic.and sad. I think you are well served by seeking input from those with experience as you are doing here.

    Gotta run...I need an eye exam and going to see my mechanic. He is cheaper than the regular eye doctor on these kinds of things. Especially with the coupon he puts on groupon.;)
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I have NEVER seen a classroom management program that has no consequences for incorrect behavior. Positive reinforcement can only go so far. Blaming behavior on the teacher is insulting. My suggestion in this case is to smile, nod, pass the class, and pitch that element of it out the window.
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    While I am all for making my class engaging, I am not here for the entertainment of my students. I choose the activities I do for a reason. Sometimes, discussion is not what is most appropriate for what we are learning. Sometimes kids are talking to their neighbor to avoid working. And what about during a test? Yes, some years a group is chattier than others, and we definitely do more collaborative work then, but kids still need to learn that there is a time and a place where certain behaviors are not acceptable.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is the same kind of bunk that confused me as a new teacher and made my first year far harder than it needed to be.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    What works in theory often does not work in the real world. Technically, bumble bees shouldn't be able to fly, and all students should want to learn. We know how that plays out, however.
     
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    As others mentioned, I can see the general idea behind it, but I also agree it's not very practical. Here is a possible alternative:

    Continue all of the co/shared processing, and keep consequences, but contextualize them as classroom consequences, not "teacher imposed" ones. The difference is how they are presented. A teacher-imposed consequence is "Because you did this, I'm telling you that you have to..." A classroom consequence is "Because you did this, unfortunately you've chosen to..." delivered in a neutral way in which the teacher doesn't express anger or otherwise suggest that the teacher wants or is choosing the consequence.

    The goal, of course, is for the student to develop a direction relationship between his/her choices and the natural environment, rather than seeing the teacher as a mediator, arbiter, or decision-maker in the process. By doing this (externalizing the consequence from the teacher into the natural environment), the goal is increased ownership of both positive and negative behavior.

    I've been doing this increasingly over the years, and find that it leads to a bit more undesirable behavior at first, but more ownership and self-control over time. Kids start to call themselves out and become better at solving their own problems. It's hard as an adult to really let kids be in the drivers seat with their behavior, but I've found it helpful in the long run.
     
  11. a2z

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    Since the professor is sharing theory, he probably sees it in a system that functions like this from the start. A student, in theory, would be very different after 10 years of conditioning in a system that helps teach students to take ownership from the beginning than going into a MS or HS and thinking that this theory will just magically work.
     
  12. EdEd

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    Definitely agreed a2z - starting from scratch would indeed be different from working in one point along a long continuum.
     
  13. SF_Giants66

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    I'm afraid I missed the pun on this one.
     
  14. Go Blue!

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    My school recently did a PD on the research from a book called Discipline With Dignity (Curwin and Mendler). From the chapter we read (chapter 8), the authors also believe that collaborative consequences are the most effective - but least used - type of consequences for students.

    The authors mention two types of consequences: choosing (students choose a behavior improvement plan based upon 3 or 4 options given by the teacher) and planning (student plans their own solution to a recurring behavior problem). They claim that these two methods are much more effective than logical, conventional or instructional consequences - which are the kinds of punishments teachers give over 90% of the time.

    While I, personally, don't buy it; I have been at various schools that use traditional consequences and rarely do I see any of these methods work for the chronic/severe behavior problems students.
     
  15. TeacherNY

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    So when a parent complains that they had no idea the student was getting an F in the class (probably due mostly to behavior) what do you tell them? Oh, sorry I didn't tell you but I don't call parents since that's the way I run my class.
    There's no way to implement these strategies unless the whole school is doing it and on the same page. Administration might not be supportive of it.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    I too have worked at a variety of schools, and with a variety of ages. I've never seen ANY (school) methods work for severe behavior problems. The severe behavior kids up the ante but the schools don't really up the consequences. When they do, the parents don't reinforce them, so nothing really comes of it.

    Sometimes when the law is in involved, the kids finally get their mess together. I've seen kids receive all sorts of behavior interventions, consequences, whatever, from the school and not change one little bit. Then they try their crap outside of school and get put on probation. Those kids are pure angels when the get back to the school, generally.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

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    Students don't always take away from a lesson what one thinks one taught in it, nor do they always report what got said in the classroom with fidelity. This observation can be made at all grades and ages.
     
  18. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    No, because that isn't reality.
    You act, there is a consequence. It may be desirable, it may be undesirable, but for every act there comes a consequence.
    I don't believe in calling kids out in front of peers. Praise in public, reprove in private is my policy.
    Furthermore, people who have not taught in the classroom in the past five years should not be advising those who are. So someone telling me that as a teacher, I would laugh at them and then tell them to come teach at my school where kids brought their tribal wars from different areas of the world and those wars re-emerged on our school playground.

    It sounds great in theory, but in reality, it's not practical.
     
  19. kcjo13

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    Oh, how I wish that school psych was here to enlighten us with her version of events. 'Ever' is a mighty long time.
     
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What does this look like in elementary school?
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oh my.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    OP, are you certain that you have correctly interpreted her position? I find what you've described unlikely.
     
  23. 2ndTimeAround

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    The escalated behaviors? I've seen students physically harm other students and staff. I've seen students rip apart bulletin boards, tear pages out of teacher-supplied reading books, destroy computer monitors, run out into the street and even threaten to stab another student with a pair of adult scissors. One kid knocked over a saltwater aquarium, killing most of the animals inside.
     
  24. Pashtun

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    I have had all of these students.

    I am wondering what "the school needs to up the consequences" looks like that would change these behavours in elementary school.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

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    At the schools where I worked the children with severely disruptive behaviors were often removed from the room and sent to one of two places. Either the counselor's office, where they came back with big grins and candy, or the BEH padded room where they could sit and play games for the rest of the day.

    I'm no child psychologist, but I'm pretty sure that a consequence with a little more grit would have a bigger impact on these kids.

    But nooooooo.... can't "engage" a child that might be ODD. Or is ODD. @@
     
  26. Linguist92021

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    I can see this working, but only as one of the strategies. Calling home is still one of the most effective consequences when the parent is supportive. Detentions, referrals, etc are sometimes a must to get the kid's attention, otherwise they think they're allowed to behave that way. That's just how it is.

    As far as choosing... One day on the spur of the moment, I asked one kid who would not stop talking "do you want me to write you up or do you want detention?" His answer: "detention, ma'am". Then he served it, without complaints and his behavior improved.
    Could I use this all the time, exclusively? no. Sometimes the answer might be "I don't give a f... Do what you want you b..ch". What do you do then? Brainstorm some more? so, no OP, your professor seems to live in LALAland.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is my point, no one gives any real examples.

    What does more grit look like at the elementary level?
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Our school psych has a fairly similar viewpoint, and I've had similar struggles with every school psych I've ever worked with. She believes in providing rewards for everything and the only "consequence" might be that the child doesn't get the special reward. However, for our big behavior problem students the bar for getting the reward is set low, so they could have tons of problems throughout the day and still get it. For example, we have a K student who gets a reward every day if he is "safe" (aka doesn't hurt anyone), even if he followed no directions, completed no work, and was otherwise horribly behaved all day. Our psych hates it when teachers take away recess, "fun" activities, field trips, parties, or anything else that other kids get. Part of the problem is definitely that they've never been teachers before. I love our school psych as a person but sometimes she is hard to work with because she just doesn't understand what being a teacher is like.

    I also worked in a school once where literally the only "consequence" we could give was to call parents. This was an inner city school with significant behavior issues. I'm not talking about kids talking during class or being generally disrespectful...I'm talking about kids literally destroying classrooms, screaming at the top of their lungs and throwing things/tipping desks every day for hours on end, being extremely physically violent, etc. IMO, calling parents is very ineffective in that kind of environment because 95% of the time the parents either didn't care/didn't agree that the behavior was unacceptable or weren't able to/weren't willing to enforce a consequence at home. The behavior just continued to escalate as the year went on. Parents of the "good kids" were telling them to hit/fight back because they knew the other child wasn't going to get a consequence for fighting. We had major fights breaking out every single day...to the point where an ambulance was called more than once.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't agree with the college prof, but I do think classroom climate, demographics and school culture influence behavior mgt decisions. I VERY RARELY choose to do much more than a 'chat' with a kiddo. Last year I had two students whose behaviors were managed thru a positive reinforcement 'contract' and so far this year I've had one student lose ten minutes of recess for something I can't even remember any more...but I've got a great class this year and I always do a lot of work on building a climate of cooperation, connectedness and capability.:thumb:

    Also, as someone who has taught a grad class, coached teachers and mentored STs, I'd NEVER pretend to be an expert on something I had never done.:2cents:
     
  30. 2ndTimeAround

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    Some things to try (some of which would never be tried because schools are too mamby-pamby and or too afraid):

    Remove recess while making it extra fun for the others. Maybe bring out special toys/games while the offending child walks laps.

    OSS until a parent comes in for a conference and observation.

    Placement in an alternative setting. Some place where the other children won't be distracted.

    Isolation within the room.

    Community service. Destroy the teacher's bulletin board? Stay after and work HARD while she rebuilds it.

    Restitution. Bill Mom and Dad for the damage done. Mom can find the money to replace the books or she can pay someone to babysit while the kid is kept out of school until it is paid back. Guarantee that if you start impacting Mom's wallet most kids would get into shape.

    Like I said, these wouldn't happen. They wouldn't be considered "fair." A million excuses as to why they wouldn't work because they go against the current trend of never hurting anyone's feelings.

    My bio kids went to a school where some of these practices were used. It was a magnet school place d in the middle of one of the toughest neighborhood s. Kids that lived nearby were given priority for attendance. Almost zero discipline issues.

    If you acted crazy, and many did, you got one more chance for the rest of your elementary years. After that, you got bussed to your assigned school. Not convenient for parents at all. Amazing how so many ODD kids kept themselves under control. Within three years of this option being removed from the principal, the school went to crap. Outrageous behavior at school and very little support from home.
     
  31. Pashtun

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    Every single one of these(except restitution) our school does, they have very little effect on the severe, chronic behavior problems that I have had and the ones you describe.

    I am not critizing them, these are standard procedure where I work. the severe kids I have had have mental issues of some kind and these have never worked...in fact nothing has, thats why I asked for examples.
     
  32. 2ndTimeAround

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    Placing them in an alternative setting will at least work for YOUR classroom and your other students. Makes no sense to subject a classroom to distracting behavior while psychiatrists try to sort out mental problems. Learning how to be a member of society without ending up in jail is far more important than learning state capitals.

    Which is where our BEH Kids end up at the high school level. Out of the 20 our so that I've known, all have spent time in jail.
     
  33. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I get her classroom management program.

    Student misbehaves 1st time:
    Teacher response: nag
    Student misbehaves 2nd time:
    Teacher response: nag
    Student misbehaves 3rd time:
    Teacher response: nag

    At the end of the day, the student thinks the teacher is picking on him/her and the teacher has a chaotic classroom. Not a new system, but not one I would wish on any teacher or student.
     
  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree, I was interested in what consequence could be used to change their behavour.
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

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    Many DO change their behavior. If the consequences can hurt and be consistent. When kids decided to do what they wanted despite consequences, removing them at least helped the other kids.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, I'm sure it does at times.

    In my 10 year career I am yet to see a chronic severe desk thrower, classroom destroyer, I see adults and children as a punching bag, student's behavior changed with those consequences. There was always far more psychologically going on.

    Now, I see what you described work ALL the time with tons of other types of students, but now yet with the severe chronic.
     
  37. SF_Giants66

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    I would find it unlikely based on implication as well, but a classmate stated she didn't really think it was possible to run a classroom with no consequences, and the professor kept questioning her. I'm not lead to believe she believe in any punishment, and she certainly never stated that she does. She specifically stated she doesn't believe in silent lunch or loss of recess at all. I only believe in loss of recess myself as a logical consequence when it is for not behaving at recess specifically, so I am kind of with her one that.

    I'm thinking maybe she is trying to elicit critical thinking and get us to first think about how we can change if possible before we start playing the punishment card.
     
  38. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I, too, am not a fan of silent lunch.

    Case in point: Today was rainy day schedule. The kids got no outdoor recess. The only time they were outside the confines of their classrooms was when they needed to use the restroom (however, about 1/2 of our classrooms have bathrooms inside the classroom).

    We had more office referrals written today than we've gotten all year. The kids were locked up like caged birds all day long and many were acting out.

    I happened to pass by the teachers' lounge during lunch (they still get their 50 minute duty-free lunch) and overhead teachers saying, "Thank goodness we got to escape the classroom."

    Our school day is 7:40-2:10 and there's only so much Sittercise you can do to get the wiggles out! :2cents:
     
  39. GTB4GT

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    I used a bit of hyperbole to be sure but a literal translation = my auto mechanic is a very brilliant guy in his field. But I would not seek his advice on my medical condition as he has no experience in the field. Similarly, one would be very cautious (as you obviously are) about "advice" re: classroom management from someone who has not taught at or near the grade level you wish to teach.

    You are wise to seek the input of those with experience. regards.
     
  40. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In all actuality, teachers in elementary school are unable to apply consequences with "more grit". Severely disruptive students need to be completely removed (permanently) from the school setting, but that isn't allowed in most public schools. So we just have to watch as they destroy the classroom, or are rewarded by the counselor and administrators for sitting for five minutes with them without physically attacking them.
     
  41. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yep. And sometimes other students copy the behavior because they want the same "consequences."
     
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