Today, I saw yet another mass distribution from one of our national organizations touting techniques and training available to cure classroom management and student behavior issues. It is a downright breach of professionalism to segregate the issues of classroom management and behavior management from other techniques of effective teaching. We see this segregation far too often. The research we all have easy access to, provides clear guidance–the best management of student behavior is good teaching–pure and simple!
Instead of force-feeding more classroom management training and development and frankly wasting the time of too many of our Nations’ teachers, we should consider the following when working on improved student behavior.
1. If we hold ourselves as adults accountable first for behavior and then kids for their behavior we can yield better and longer lasting positive results.
2. School and classroom culture mean everything to student behavior. Compliance and expectations of compliance alone will never cut it. Consistency and authentic engagement always provide positive results.
3. Disengaged, bored or frustrated students yield acting-out, sooner with boys and eventually with girls.
4. Consequences must always be clear, consistent, and fair. Consequences must fit the infractions and fit the student’s maturity, emotional and cognitive readiness.
I hope we can stop yielding to commercialism and engage in what our professional research indicates when it comes to improving teachers’ management of their students and student behavior.
Bill Slotnik, executive director of the Community Training and Assistance Center and I learned from a high schooler in Delaware something quite profound when he said, “If the teaching improves, the student behavior will improve.”
What did I miss?