Monday, February 14, 2011

Goal #8 - Rethink Student Behavior and Classroom Management

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”
by Dr. Haim Ginott


    Option A
During at least one class period have your students discuss how they deal with stress and have them reflect on positive ways to react to the stresses that surround them. During this time, listen as the students tell you the stress they deal with at home, from their peers, and just in general.
    Option B
Reflect on your classroom rules and the punishments outlined for breaking them. Do these consequences really correct the behavior? If not, think of ways to change the consequences so that the student understands how to correct the behavior. Have students help you come up with consequences. Listen to what they think.
    Option C
When the student that usually breaks a rule does, handle the situation differently. Talk to the student and figure out why this student reacts negatively to the situation. Try helping this student deal with the root of the problem.

Long-term- Make it a goal to get students to reflect on the rules, come up with the class rules, and think about appropriate consequences. Also, get students to develop ways to handle situations they know will arise. For example, have students think about when they are tempted to cheat, pick on another student, or participate in other negative behavior. What are ways they can reflect on the action in order to make better choices about their behavior. What are ways they can try to relieve their own stress before making decisions based on emotions or hormones?


Maximize student potential with daily positive attitude!
We just had a teacher workshop with a fantastic speaker - Charlie Applestein talked to us about "No Such Thing as a Bad Kid" and how to manage number one (the teacher).  Some of my notes:
  • Make sure to RESPOND rather than REACT
  • Leave your baggage at the door
  • Body language can make or break communication (are you towering over student?)
  • Remember please and thank you!  Simple but teachers need to use this too!
Charlie advocates a strength-based approach which is all about ATTITUDE and ACTIONS.  In 20 years, your students will not remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel.

My plan is to have some chats with my middle school students about stress.  Specifically, how the online world and stress come together in their lives.  There are online rules both spoken and un-spoken, for example.  Bullying issues can even play into this type of discussion.  How do they feel about their online presence and what rules do they feel are necessary for living life online?  This could get quite interesting!

Perhaps we can come up with a student based AUP for online life!

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