PART II: SOME IMPORTANT ASPECTS
OF CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE
Irvin L. King
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
I. Classroom Discipline is the business of enforcing classroom standards
and building patterns of cooperation in order to minimize disruptions and
A. Preventive Discipline consists of those things a teacher can do to
prevent discipline problems from occurring.
B. Supportive Discipline consists of those things a teacher can do while
teaching to support the student's ability to behave appropriately.
C. Corrective Discipline consists of the consequences we apply for student
II. Power is the ability to get students to do what you want them to do.
A. Attractive Power is derived from the teacher's relationships with
students. Students do what the teacher wants because they like the teacher.
B. Expert Power is derived from the teacher's superior knowledge. Students
do what the teacher wants because of the teacher's enthusiasm for and
knowledge of the subject.
C. Reward Power is derived from the teacher's ability to dispense rewards,
especially approval and praise. Students do what the teacher wants because
they want to receive a reward from the teacher.
D. Coercive Power is derived from the teacher's ability to punish.
Students do what the teacher wants to avoid punishment.
E. Legitimate Power is derived from the students' belief that the teacher
has the right to decide what to do in the classroom. Students do what the
teacher wants because they think they should follow the directions of the
F. Personal Power is derived from the teacher's ability to use effective
body language while setting limits. Students do what the teacher wants
because they see the teacher as being personally powerful.
ORGANIZATION, PREPARATION AND GETTING A GOOD START
I. Preparing and Organizing Your Classroom.
A. Room Arrangement.
1. Keep high traffic areas free of congestion.
2. Be sure you can see all of the students.
3. Keep frequently used supplies readily accessible.
4. Be certain students can easily see instruction.
5. Use seating arrangement to manage student behavior.
6. Arrange furniture so that you can move easily about the room.
7. Have a strategic location ready for disruptive students.
8. Place your desk away from the door to deter would-be thieves.
B. Walls and Bulletin Boards.
1. Have a clock, calendar, and school schedule posted.
2. Have a specific place for posting student assignments.
3. Have space for decorative displays.
4. Post classroom rules.
5. Post a sample of the format for written work.
C. Storage Space and Supplies.
1. Have a system for handling all supplies and materials - books,
materials, supplies, student belongings, etc.
2. Teach and reteach the procedures for using these materials.
3. Make sure you have enough textbooks and materials.
4. Test all audiovisual material, etc., to make sure it works properly.
II. Preparing and Organizing Your Instruction. (Expert Power)
A. Work on Improving Your Teaching Style.
1. Use the four elements of effective public speaking.
a. Stand so that you are above the students.
b. Move about as you teach.
c. Make eye contact to include students in the lesson.
d. Vary the volume and intensity of your voice.
2. Establish a defining (unique) characteristic for your teaching style.
a. Share your hobbies or interests with the students.
b. Use jokes, cartoons, newsletters, or humor in your teaching.
c. Play your favorite music during the last five minutes of class and
d. Have a saying of the day, or a problem of the week.
e. Challenge students to learn a variety of information - acronyms, names
of athletic teams, the names of classical or popular music, famous
f. Have a student challenge you in shooting free throws once a week.
3. Establish structure in your classroom.
a. Students feel secure when the know what to expect from a teacher.
b. Make a list of all the procedures you use in your classroom.
c. Teach and reteach these procedures meticulously to the students.
d. If properly taught, the class can run by itself once routines are
B. Making Your Curriculum Worthwhile and Meaningful.
1. Plan your lessons carefully.
a. Plan your lessons around the maturity level of your students.
b. Have variety in each lesson. Make frequent changes in activities. No
more than 20 minutes on any one activity for most students.
c. Break the instruction into small, easy-to-follow steps. Check often for
2. Continually strive to motivate students.
a. Have motivational sayings posted on the wall.
b. Admit that learning is not always easy, but stress that the fun comes
when a difficult skill or concept has been mastered. Challenge them to try
c. Praise students when they do a good job.
d. Correct and return work as quickly as possible to provide feedback.
e. Keep current on what interests students - even Beavis and Butthead.
f. Keep students informed of their progress (and current standing).
g. Expect all students to succeed.
C. Components of an effective lesson.
1. Lesson Design and Presentation.
a. Lesson plans and Performance models.
b. Trimodal teaching: Hear, See, Do.
c. Cooperative Learning.
d. Provide incentives for diligence and excellence.
2. Avoid The Universal Helping Interaction.
a. Spending too much time with one student.
b. It creates patterns or helplessness, dependency, failure, and
3. Corrective Feedback during guided practice.
a. Spend less than a minute with a student needing help.
b. Praise something he has done correctly, prompt him on the next step,
D. Prepare Yourself.
1. Dress professionally.
2. Maintain good hygiene (watch for body odor and bad breath).
3. Pump yourself up. Come to school each day with a positive attitude.
4. Accept the training of student character as an important part of your
III. The First Day of School (Wong, H., & Wong, R., 1991).
A. The Seven Things Students Want to Know the First Day of School.
1. Am I in the right room?
2. Where am I supposed to sit?
3. What are the rules in this classroom?
4. Who is the teacher as a person? [e.g., Is she nice? How tough is he?]
5. What will I be doing this year?
6. How will I be graded?
7. Will the teacher treat me as a human being?
B. How to greet the students on the first day.
1. Post your name, room number, section or period, grade level or subject,
and an appropriate welcome next to the door.
2. Stand at the door with a friendly demeanor.
3. Tell them your name, room number, etc.
4. Check to see that each student is in the right place. If not, help
5. Tell them where to sit and to do the assignment at their desks.
6. Have your name, room number, section or period, grade level or subject,
and an appropriate welcome written on the board.
C. How students are to enter the room.
1. Observe how each student enters the room.
2. Ask any student who enters inappropriately to return to the door and
enter appropriately. Do not have them go "out of the room," but merely to
3. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
4. Calmly but firmly do the following:
a. If a student enters inappropriately, ask the student to return to the
b. Tell the student why.
c. Give specific directions.
d. Check for understanding and acknowledge it.
5. Tell students where they are to sit.
a. Have their names on cards on their desks (elementary school).
b. If possible, have their names written on a seating chart transparency
that is projected onto a screen (secondary level).
6. The first assignment to do upon entering the room the first day.
a. "When you find your seat, you will find an assignment at your desk.
Please start to work on it right away."
b. Have a short and easy assignment on each desk or on the board.
c. It could be something fun like a puzzle.
d. It could be an information form for your files.
D. How to introduce yourself to the class.
1. Write your name on the board and pronounce it for them.
2. Express optimism about having them as your students.
3. Tell them a little about your expectations and your commitment to be a
4. Give a very brief overview of the year or course.
5. If you wish, tell them a little about yourself.
E. Teach your discipline plan.
1. Introduce the need for a discipline plan.
2. Rules should be written and posted in the classroom.
3. Students should have a copy in their notebook.
4. Do not involve students in a lengthy formulation of rules. Instead,
spend the time explaining why the rules are needed (to help us learn).
5. Have specific consequences for both good and inappropriate behavior.
6. Have both students and parents sign a copy of your discipline plan.
7. Emphasize, model, and practice good manners, courtesy, and
F. Teach your classroom procedures.
1. Every time a teacher wants something done, there must be a procedure
2. Make a list of all the procedures you will have. Be thorough.
3. Three steps to teaching procedures: Explain, Practice, Reinforce.
4. Introduce the procedures as they are needed. Do not do all on the first
5. Verbally remind students of the procedure each time it is to be used.
G. Be a teacher, be a leader, establish your authority the first day of
1. BE PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE. Know what to do in any situation.
2. Do not ignore minor violations of your rules.
3. Correct misbehavior in a CALM but firm manner.
4. Assign students chores to do to keep the room clean and orderly.
IV. The First Weeks of School.
A. Continue to be calm, poised, and firm when dealing with off-task
B. Repeat your basic classroom rules every day for the first week.
C. Introduce classroom procedures as they are needed. For several weeks,
repeat each procedure orally each time you need to do them. Take time to do
D. Show an interest in your students. Laugh a little.
E. Show enthusiasm for the lessons. Be positive.
F. Set high expectations, praise them at the end of the day or period if
they do a good job.
G. Hang in there.
V. Some Suggestions for Building Relationships with Students (Attractive
A. Call each student by name each day. Learn names quickly.
B. Establish a relationship with the child's parents and family.
C. Take an interest in each child. Does he like football? Art?
D. Have something interesting or unusual about your class that students
E. Be fair. Apply consequences consistently.
F. Watch the bulletin for the names of students involved in activities.
Mention their involvement. Let them know you care.
G. Use humor. Laugh at yourself. Students enjoy a good laugh. Put cartoon
characters on worksheets and test papers.
H. Take photographs of each child. Use on bulletin boards.
I. Use the computer to make a class newsletter each month.
J. Try to make all students feel a part of the class.
K. Assign leadership roles. Rotate these among the students.
SUPPORTIVE DISCIPLINE: PART I
ENFORCING RULES THROUGH LIMITING SETTING - PERSONAL POWER
I. The Emotional and Psychological Aspects of Discipline.
A. Typical disruptions - 80% is talking to neighbors and 15% is out of
B. Cost of disruption - Teacher stress and Time on Task.
C. "Meaning Business". How to deliver an effective message on discipline.
1. You must believe that teaching students to be polite is YOUR JOB.
2. Effective teachers tell students when they are rude, disrespectful, or
3. Effective teachers use body language - eyes, facial expression, arms,
D. The "Fight-Flight" reflex.
1. Our natural reflex is to prepare for confrontation.
2. Neuromuscular (muscles tense) and Biochemical (adrenaline flows).
3. Under pressure, we shift naturally downward in the brain. In the jungle
this was necessary for survival; in social settings this can be disastrous.
Social situations are best managed by the cortex (gray matter), not the
brain stem (Reptilian brain).
4. The "natural" responses in social settings are wrong. We need to learn
to control ourselves and remain in the cortex, not the brain stem.
5. CALM IS STRENGTH and UPSET IS WEAKNESS.
6. In the classroom, when confronted with a serious discipline problem,
the fight reflex tends to be VERBAL and the flight reflex tends to ignore
7. Relaxing helps control the Fight-Flight Reflex.
8. We must learn to do neither and stay calm.
II. Relaxation and Body Language while in the Discipline Mode.
A. Kids read your body language. Therefore, the discipline mode must be
very different from your teaching mode.
B. Breathe slowly and shallowly - about an 8 second cycle.
C. The face should be relaxed, lips together, jaw not tensed.
D. Move head and body very slowly (Go ahead, Make my day!).
E. Relaxation is important in many human endeavors, from athletic
competition to gun fighting.
III. Limit Setting - Part I: The Look and Turn (Personal Power).
A. Respond immediately but move very slowly.
1. You see the disruption.
2. Stop instruction.
3. Excuse yourself.
4. Stay down and breathe in gently.
B. Turn slowly, look, relax and wait.
1. Turn in a regal fashion. Meaning business is always slow. Turn from
head to shoulders to waist to feet.
2. Point your toes squarely in direction of the disrupter.
C. Get a focal point. Do not shift eyes. You do not have to look them
directly in the eyes.
D. Hands down. Behind your back or in your pockets is okay. Do not fold
them across chest or put them on your hips.
E. Facial expression during discipline.
1. Facial expression indicates dominance or submission.
2. A set or tense jaw indicates fear or anger. A relaxed face indicates
confidence and control.
3. A smile is part of the submission behavior of both monkeys and humans.
4. A smile indicates a desire to avoid conflict, a desire to be liked.
5. A student's smile is designed to make you smile. If you respond, your
discipline will be shattered. Stay relaxed. You can smile later when things
are going well.
IV. Limit Setting - Part II: Moving in on the Student (Personal Power).
A. Walk slowly.
1. Look beneath table to check feet and body positions. If their feet are
still facing one another, they intend to keep fooling around.
2. Walk slowly to desk of main disrupter, stand and wait. Take two
3. Stand close to desk and wait. Take several relaxing breaths. They will
usually comply to get rid of you.
4. Don't force them, and don't talk immediately. Let them decide to
B. If this doesn't work, use the PROMPT.
1. Beware of pseudo-compliance, of acting like they are back to work when
they are not.
2. Ease down on one palm and give prompt. Verbal, hand, and eye prompts.
3. Do not touch the student.
4. Wait. Take two more relaxing breaths.
C. If this doesn't work, go to PALMS.
1. Place both palms flat on the desk. Lock elbows. Take two relaxing
2. Avoid weak gestures such as fingertips on the desk. This indicates you
are eager to leave.
3. Flat palms indicates you have the time to wait until you get exactly
what you want - the student to return to work.
V. Limit Setting - Part III: Moving Out (Personal Power).
A. When the student complies, wait several moments, relax.
B. Thank the student quietly.
C. Move to second student (if there is one) and repeat the process.
D. When he complies, thank him and wait.
E. Walk slowly back to your original position.
F. Before resuming, turn fully around and look once more at the disruptive
G. Resume teaching.
VI. Types of Back Talk.
A. Helplessness - "I don't get this!" or "I'm so stupid!"
B. Denial - "I didn't do anything. Why are you picking on me!"
C. Blaming others - "John started it!" or "He asked me how to do it!"
D. Blaming the teacher - "You went too fast!" or "You don't explain
E. Excusing the teacher to leave - "OK, you can leave now!"
G. Compliments - "Geez, that dress really is becoming on you, Miss
H. Change the subject - "When is our term paper due?"
I. Pushing your hand or arm aside.
J. Romantic comments or gestures - The student tells you he loves you.
VII. Nasty Back Talk.
1. Dress. "Where'd you get that dress, the Salvation Army?"
2. Grooming. "Geez, your hair really has gray roots."
3. Hygiene. "Not so close. You have bad breath!"
4. Physical characteristics. "Move back, the reflection off your bald head
is blinding me!"
1. The small stuff: the H*LLS, SH*TS, and D*MNS.
2. The big stuff: the F*CK YOUs, and so on.
C. Sexual (occurs more often than most people think).
VIII. Putting Back Talk in Proper Perspective.
A. The objective of back talk is to get the teacher off the track of
B. Do not respond. Relax, keep quiet.
C. Remember, in our species, TALK is a natural part of the fight-flight
D. The short-term goal is to remain calm. The first five seconds are
E. In the long-term, if this doesn't work, you can do anything you want.
You have a backup system if you need it. So remain calm and wait as long as
F. If the back talk is truly outrageous or persists, use the backup
system. described below.
G. If the student ends the disruptive behavior, continue the class.
H. As the period ends, quietly ask the student to stay. "John, I'd like to
see you for a minute after class." Be in a helping rather than a vindictive
I. Reconciliation. "That wasn't like you today. Is there anything wrong?
Is there any way I can help?" Let the student know you are BIG enough to
take his insults yet strong enough to deal with them. You do both by
J. If the student is still nasty, use the backup system. And follow school
IX. Limit Setting on the Wing: What effective teachers actually do.
A. Never go public (verbally) if you can help it.
B. Move towards student unobtrusively (making eye contact).
C. Break your train of thought to get attention (make eye contact). Be
serious, stop talking.
D. Physical prompt, a nonverbal signal to stop the behavior.
E. Taking an object (with your hand cupped to receive the object). Do not
grab the object.
F. Calling the offending student's name. "John, what is the answer to
G. Calling the student's name with a mild desist. "John, no one should be
talking during a test!"
H. Reminding the student that he is not following a rule or procedure.
X. When Limit Setting Might Fail.
A. When the teacher is angry or upset.
B. When the teacher goes too rapidly through the steps of Limit Setting.
C. When the teacher does not move about the classroom.
D. In open field situations.
E. With repeat disruptions. Use it once, maybe twice. Then use the backup
F. With an explosive or agitated student.
G. When the teacher is afraid of the students.
H. When the teacher does not have good body language.
SUPPORTIVE DISCIPLINE: PART II
I. GROUP DYNAMICS (Redl & Wattenberg, 1951).
A. People in groups behave differently than they do individually.
1. Group expectations influence individual behavior.
2. Individual behavior can influence the group.
B. Teacher awareness of group dynamics is important to effective classroom
C. Group behavior is influenced by how students perceive the teacher.
D. Use diagnostic thinking to deal with classroom conflict.
1. Form a hunch.
2. Gather facts.
3. Apply hidden factors.
4. Take action.
5. Be flexible.
E. Use influence techniques to control group behavior.
1. Help students maintain self-control.
a. Eye contact.
b. Move closer to the student.
c. Give encouragement.
d. Use humor.
e. Ignore the behavior.
2. Provide situational assistance.
a. Help students over a hurdle when they get stuck.
b. Restructure the situation if it is too difficult.
c. Establish routines.
d. Remove a student from a situation if he cannot behave.
e. Remove seductive objects.
f. Use physical restraint if necessary.
3. Help students appraise reality - Tell it like it is.
a. Help them understand the reasons for their misbehavior.
b. Help them see the consequences of their actions.
c. Offer encouragement.
d. Set limits.
4. Apply Pleasure-Pain techniques of rewards and punishment.
II. USING EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES (Kounin, 1970).
A. The teacher can minimize discipline problems with good instructional
B. The ripple effect.
1. When a teacher corrects one student, other students also behave.
2. When a teacher praises one student, other students are reminded of
C. Withitness, the ability to know what is going on in all parts of the
1. If a disturbance occurs, it is vitally important to catch the correct
2. When two or more persons are misbehaving, it is important to select the
D. Overlapping, the ability to attend to two things at one time.
1. Work with a reading group while monitoring the rest of the class.
2. If students know the teacher is aware of them, discipline problems
E. Movement management, the pacing, momentum, and transitions of the
1. Kounin found this to be the most important of all management
2. Jerkiness and slowdowns interrupt the smooth flow of the lesson.
F. Maintaining a group focus.
1. Large group format is easier to control.
2. Hold each student accountable for the content of the lesson.
3. Seek ways to keep everyone's attention.
a. "Let's see who can do this problem."
b. Do not call on students in a predictable order.
c . Vary unison responses with individual responses.
d. Keep your focus moving about the room.
G. Avoid satiation (boredom)
1. Provide students with a feeling of making progress.
2. Issue challenges: "I don't know if anyone can get this one."
3. Use variety. Change activities frequently. Make it interesting.
III. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION (Adapted from B.F. Skinner, 1971, 1984).
A. Behavior is shaped by its consequences, by what happens immediately
after the act.
B. Systematic use of reinforcement (reward) can shape a student's behavior
in the desired direction.
1. Positive reinforcement is giving the student a reward.
2. Negative reinforcement is taking away something the student doesn't
C. Behavior becomes weaker if it is not followed by reinforcement.
1. Ignore the behavior.
2. Punish the behavior.
D. Types of reinforcers:
1. Social reinforcers such as verbal comments, facial expressions, and
2. Graphic reinforcers such as marks or stars or happy faces.
3. Activity reinforcers such as free time or collaborating with a friend.
4. Tangible reinforcers such as prizes or printed awards.
E. Reinforcement schedules.
1. In the early stages of learning, constant reinforcement produces the
2. Intermittent reinforcement can be used once a behavior is learned.
F. Systems of Behavior Modification.
1. Cath 'em being good.
2. Rules - Ignore - Praise.
a. Teach the rules.
b. Ignore those who do not follow rules.
c. Praise those who follow rules.
d. Works for elementary school, but not usually for secondary school.
3. Rules - Reward - Punishment.
a. Teach the rules.
b. Punish those who do not follow rules.
c. Reward those who follow rules.
d. Works for secondary school.
4. Token economies or contingency management.
a. Tokens are given for desired behavior.
b. Tokens may be exchanged for tangible items, desired activities, free
5. Written Contracts.
a. Specific work to be done or behavior to be established and a time line.
b. Rewards are listed for completion of the contract.
IV. SOCIAL DISCIPLINE (Dreikurs & Cassel, 1972).
A. Establishing discipline involves teaching the following concepts.
1. Students are responsible for their own actions.
2. Students must respect themselves and others.
3. Students have the responsibility to influence others to behave
4. Students are responsible for knowing the rules and consequences.
B. The three types of teachers.
C. Why students misbehave.
1. All students want to belong.
2. Students choose to behave or to misbehave.
3. Students misbehave to get the recognition they seek.
D. Mistaken Goals.
1. To get attention.
2. To win in a power struggle with the teacher.
3. To seek revenge.
4. To display their own inadequacy.
E. Actions which teachers can take (Always remain calm and understanding).
1. The attention seeker: Ignore him or her.
2. Power struggles: Refuse to fight. Admit you cannot make the student do
anything. Later, try to find ways to help the student feel a sense of
responsibility in the class.
3. Revenge seekers: Don't retaliate. Acknowledge students feelings. Show
you care. But apply consequences if necessary.
4. Displays of inadequacy: Avoid criticism. Look for small success, build
F. Use consequences and not punishment.
1. Natural consequences. If a child has body odor, others may not like
2. Logical consequences. If a child has body odor, make him see a
3. Contrived consequences. If a child has body odor, make him weed the
G. Use encouragement often and use praise sparingly.
1. Not all students deserve praise, but all students need encouragement to
2. Praise is a reward for achievement, encouragement is an acknowledgment
3. Praise is patronizing, encouragement is a message between equals.
4. Praise can be withheld as punishment, encouragement can be freely given
5. Praise connects achievement with personal worth, encouragement builds
V. MEETING STUDENT NEEDS WITHOUT COERCION (Glasser, 1969, 1985, 1990).
A. Reality Therapy.
1. Focus on the present, not the past.
2. The steps in solving behavioral problems using Reality Therapy.
a. Display warmth and caring to all students.
b. Identify the problem behavior.
c. Help the student make a value judgment (not a moral judgment) about the
d. Plan a new behavior.
e. Get a commitment from the student. Put it in writing.
f. Accept no excuses for not keeping the commitment.
g. Don't punish, but use natural or logical consequences agreed upon in
h. Never give up on a student.
B. Control Theory.
1. Basic beliefs of Control Theory.
a. In contrast to Stimulus/Response theory, our behavior is internally,
not externally, motivated.
b. We have control over our actions, we choose to act as we do.
c. All behavior is our best attempt to satisfy one or more of five basic
2. Glasser's hierarchy of needs.
a. The need to play and have fun.
b. The need to be free and make choices.
c. The need for power and influence.
d. The need to belong and love others.
e. The need to survive.
3. The Quality School.
a. Good schools help students satisfy all their basic needs.
b. Good teachers are leaders, not bosses.
c. Bosses are coercive, leaders are non-coercive.
d. When students rebel, a boss punishes, a leader facilitates a solution.
VI. TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS TRAINING (Gordon, 1974).
A. Determine who owns the problem.
1. The student owns the problem if the behavior does not interfere with
2. The teacher owns the e problem if the behavior interferes with the
3. You both own the problem if your needs are conflicting.
B. Teachers should avoid the roadblocks to communication.
1. Ordering, directing.
2. Admonishing, threatening.
3. Moralizing, preaching.
4. Advising, giving solutions.
5. Lecturing, giving logical arguments.
6. Judging, criticizing.
7. Praising, agreeing.
8. Ridiculing, shaming.
9. Analyzing, diagnosing.
10. Sympathizing, consoling.
11. Probing, questioning, interrogating.
12. Withdrawing, humoring.
C. Alternatives to roadblocks when the student owns the problem.
1. Attentive silence. Show you care by paying attention, but remain
2. Noncommittal responses. "No kidding!" or "Oh my gosh!"
3. Door openers. Comments such as "Do you want to talk about it?"
4. Active listening. Reflect the student's message back to him. Comments
such as "It sounds as if you are angry because . . ."
D. Alternatives to roadblocks when the teacher owns the problem - Use
1. The three parts of an I-Message.
a. A non-blameful description of the other person's inappropriate
b. A tangible effect that the behavior is having on you.
c. A feeling that tangible effect is having upon you.
2. Example of an I-Message: "John, when you talk to Harry when I'm
teaching (part 1), I'm not sure if Harry understands the lesson (part 2). As
a result, I feel that I may not be teaching everyone in the class as well as
I might (part 3)."
E. Alternatives to roadblocks when you both own the problem - Conflict
1. Conflict Resolution tries to find a win-win solution.
2. The six steps in Conflict Resolution.
a. Define the problem.
b. Generate possible solutions.
c. Evaluate solutions.
d. Choose a solution.
e. Implement the solution.
f. Evaluate the solution.
VII. ASSERTIVE DISCIPLINE (Canter, L., & Canter, M., 1976, 1992).
A. Remove roadblocks to Assertive Discipline.
1. Have positive expectations of students.
2. Believe you can influence the behavior of all your students.
3. If needed, seek support from other teachers, parents, administrators.
B. Use Assertive response styles.
1. Assertive teachers get their needs met without violating the rights of
2. Hostile teachers get their needs met, but do not act in the best
interests of their students.
3. Nonassertive teachers do not get their needs met and do not act in the
best interests of their students.
C. Learn to set limits.
1. Identify general rules.
a. No one may interfere with my teaching for any reason.
b. No one may interfere with any students' efforts to learn for any
c. No one may cause physical or psychological harm to herself or himself
or to other students.
d. Good behavior will be rewarded.
2. Identify specific rules.
3. Steps in setting limits.
a. Request appropriate behavior. "Everyone should be reading silently."
b. Use body language and firm voice to deliver a verbal limit. "John, stop
c. If student objects, use the Broken Record Technique, repeat your
4. Follow through.
a. Make promises, not threats.
b. Select consequences in advance.
c. Set up a system of negative consequences you can easily enforce.
i. First offense: name on the board.
ii. Second offense: one check after name (15 minutes after school).
iii. Third offense: two checks after name (30 minutes after school).
iv. Fourth offense: three checks after name (call parents).
v. Fifth offense: four checks (remove from room, send to office).
5. Have a system of positive consequences.
a. Give students personal attention.
b. Send positive notes to parents.
c. Give special awards for significant improvement, etc.
d. Give special privileges for good behavior.
e. Give material rewards.
f. Arrange with parents for rewards at home for being good at school.
g. Give group rewards.
SUPPORTIVE DISCIPLINE: PART III
OTHER USEFUL THINGS TO CONSIDER
I. A SERIES OF ESCALATING RESPONSES.
A. Make eye contact with offending student.
B. Move towards the student as you continue to teach.
C. Give a nonverbal signal to stop the off-task behavior.
D. Give a reminder to the entire class about the class rule being
E. Praise students who are following the rule.
F. Call the student by name and give a short verbal instruction.
G. Quietly assign a punishment or consequence to the offending student.
II. "My Action Plan" (Wong, H., & Wong, R. (1991).
A. Make the student write a plan to solve the problem.
B. What's the problem? What's causing the problem? How will you solve the
C. The student completes the plan with your help.
D. If the plan is not followed, call the parent to discuss it.
E. This teaches Problem Solving, Responsibility, and Self-Discipline.
III. The Letter to Mom and Dad (Jones, 1987).
A. Write a letter to the parent, place it in an envelop addressed to the
B. Tell the student he can tear the letter up at the end of the week if he
is good in class.
C. If he is not good, send the letter home; if he is good, he gets to tear
IV. Obtain Administrative Support.
A. Ask the administrator for support in a non confrontational and friendly
B. Present your plan in writing to the administrator. Discuss it.
C. Check that the plan is consistent with school, district, and state
V. Obtain Support of the Parents.
A. Send copy of your discipline plan home for both student and parent
B. If an elementary teacher, call each parent before or during the first
week of school. Tell them you like their child, and ask their support in
teaching their child.
C. If is becomes necessary to call home for a problem, tell the student in
advance that you are calling not to make trouble but to discuss the
VI. Use Rewards to Motivate Desired Behavior (Reward Power).
A. Social reinforcers are often the most powerful and most enduring.
1. Verbal praise for the class as a group. Try to build a sense of unity
in the class.
2. Non-verbal praise (smiles, wink of an eye, thumbs up, etc.).
3. Appeals to the student's sense of pride or accomplishment.
C. Individual Recognition.
1. Display of student work.
2. Certificates or stickers.
3. Verbal comments or praise by the teacher.
4. School awards.
D. Group Activities.
1. Free time.
2. Go to the library.
3. Decorate the room.
4. Have a party or field trip.
E. Material incentives.
1. Food or candy or money.
4. Gift certificates.
VII. Responsibility Training (RT) (Jones, 1987).
A. Limit Setting is designed to STOP disruptions, RT is designed to START
B. You must have cooperation or you cannot teach.
C. In many classrooms, there are rewards for NON-COOPERATION (e.g., by
being defiant, student can gain status with peers).
D. In RT the teacher gives the students time each day or week. You give to
E. The time must be spent on learning related activities.
F. The activity must be something for which the students will work.
G. Give extra time for cooperation.
1. Hurry-up bonuses to teach students to hustle!
2. Automatic bonuses for everyday procedures such as being in seat when
the bell rings.
H. Take away time for violations of class rules. ["It took you 1 minute to
be quiet, so ...].
I. Everyone must be in compliance or bonuses are not won.
VIII. Omission Training, An adjustment to Responsibility Training (Jones,
A. If a student continually sabotages the group, his conduct does not
count. However, he can win extra time for the group if he can behave for a
specific amount of time.
B. Student can win time for the group, making him more acceptable to the
CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE: THE BACKUP SYSTEM (Coercive Power)
I. The Backup System or Punishment (Jones, 1987).
A. This is the LAST option, not the FIRST.
B. Ideally, the punishment should be something the student wants to avoid.
II. Small backup responses are private.
A. Avoid going public if at all possible.
B. The teacher looks sternly at the student.
C. The teacher tells the student privately, "We are in the backup system
now and if you continue, you will pay the price."
III. Medium backup responses are within the classroom, but public.
A. Give the student a verbal reprimand.
B. Have the student fill out a Behavior Improvement Form stating the
misbehavior and the consequence if it happens again.
C. Time out (isolation in the classroom or send to another teacher).
D. Loss of privilege (such as recess).
E. Detention after school.
F. Loss of points on grade.
G. Call the parents. You might try the letter or the action plan approach.
IV. Large Backup responses involves someone outside the classroom.
A. Send to principal or vice-principal or counselor.
B. Send to an in-school suspension center.
V. Extra large backup responses involve the law.
SCHOOL WIDE DISCIPLINE:
INVOLVEMENT OF THE ENTIRE FACULTY
I. The Key Players.
A. The Principal.
1. The principal is the key leader in school and classroom discipline.
2. Should be visible and walk the hallways from time to time.
3. Should help create a positive school environment which welcomes
students and parents.
4. Should communicate policies effectively to parents.
5. Should realize how difficult it is for teachers to discipline students
6. Must respect and be willing to back up teachers when the heat is on.
7. Should periodically thank each teacher for doing a good job.
B. The Teachers.
1. All teachers should agree on the rules and standards to be enforced.
2. All teachers must enforce the rules each time they see the rule being
3. Teachers must be involved. Discipline cannot be left to campus security
4. Every student belongs to every teacher all the time.
5. An affront or assault on any teacher is an affront to or assault on all
6. Teachers should help one another with discipline problems. Do yard duty
C. The Students.
1. Should be encouraged to take pride in the physical and social climate
of the school.
2. Should know the expectations of the school.
3. Should help the faculty enforce school standards.
4. Should be rewarded when significant or admirable things have been
5. Should be told that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Bad
behavior should be labeled "Bad behavior."
D. The Staff.
1. Should be included in discussions on student behavior and school
2. Should know and enforce school expectations.
E. The Parents.
1. Should be informed about the need for a school discipline plan.
2. Should be given an opportunity to contribute to or react to provisions
of the plan.
3. Should be invited to help with school activities when needed.
II. The Rules Should Cover all Aspects of the School.
B. The cafeteria.
C. The hallways, including going from one location to another as a group.
D. The school grounds and play areas.
F. The rest rooms.
G. The school bus and on field trips.
H. The Library and computer rooms, etc.
I. Before, during, and after school.
III. School Wide Discipline Begins in the Classroom.
A. Every teacher should receive the same training for dealing with
B. The tone for school wide discipline is set by having firm classroom
C. Teachers should teach the School Rules at the same time they teach
their classroom rules.
D. Teachers must all be willing to help enforce rules anywhere on campus.
E. Teachers who are strong disciplinarians should be willing to help those
who need help.
F. Teachers who need help must ask for it.
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