Classroom Management Philosophy
and Discipline Plan
My classroom management theory is based on Curwin and Mendler’s responsibility model of discipline which stresses student-regulated self-discipline. This model suggests that students learn to be more responsible when given the power to make the right choices. I further believe that placing an emphasis on the value of right versus wrong is substantially more effective in the long run than focusing solely on rewards and punishments. Students must be able to envision a reasonable probability of success in order to feel that their choices make a difference, therefore they must know that their decisions come with consequences, whether positive or negative. My ultimate goal is to move students away from external, authority-imposed control and toward internal, student-owned responsibility. This way discipline is not perceived by the student as obedience, but rather the opportunity to make the right choice.
Discipline is intended to prevent, suppress, and redirect misbehavior. In a responsibility-based classroom, however, the teacher spends less time struggling with these issues as students become more committed to making the best choices. This inevitably leads to a much healthier learning environment for all. Therefore, in developing a discipline plan, I have focused a great deal on C.M. Charles’ preventative, supportive, and corrective approach which I believe is particularly compatible with the responsibility model.
A good discipline plan must have rules, consequences, praise and rewards. Rules should be clear and openly posted. Consequences should be reasonable, fair, consistent and related to the behavior. Praise should be sincere, straightforward, and specific, and rewards should be contingent upon good behavior. My plan covers all four of these characteristics within the framework of the Charles approach. The following describes my philosophy in further detail.
Classroom Management Techniques:
The ideal method for minimizing student misbehavior is to prevent it before it occurs. This is the premise behind C.M. Charles’ preventative technique.
First and foremost, it is imperative for me as a teacher to develop good personal relationships with my students based on a mutual trust and respect, because these are the essential building blocks of positive behavior. I realize that I must be a good role model and continually emphasize good manners, self respect, and respect for others in order to expect the students to follow suit.
I recognize also the fact that students crave excitement, as well as freedom and dignity. Because of this, I strive to vary my lessons and make them as worthwhile and enjoyable as possible. I choose to actively involve my students in the lesson by asking for their input and allowing them to express themselves in class activities. This serves to empower them and help them to feel a sense of responsibility to the class. The key is to keep the students as engaged as possible.
Below is a list of the classroom expectations which I feel are non-negotiable:
§ Be on time.
§ Stay awake and alert.
§ Bring all materials and assignments to class.
§ Respect others and the property of others.
§ Participate in class activities and discussions.
§ Work hard and do your best at all times.
Routines & Procedures
§ Students will maintain a three-ring binder throughout the school year.
§ Students will begin work on the bell-ringer activity immediately upon arrival.
§ All work will be done in pen and turned in on loose-leaf paper.
§ Students must have a hall pass to leave the classroom for any reason. Passes will not be issued during the first 15 minutes or last 15 minutes of class.
§ Students who are absent will be required to provide an excused note within 5 days of their return. Otherwise, the absence will be considered unexcused.
§ Any student who is absent on the day of an announced test or quiz (and that is the only day of absence) should be prepared to take the assigned test or quiz immediately upon their return to school.
§ It is the responsibility of the student to make up any work missed following an absence.
It is essential for me as a teacher to be highly organized. Being organized helps minimize unnecessary downtime and facilitates greater student time on-task. In turn this helps keep distractions caused by delays to a minimum.
There are several organization tactics which, when used simultaneously, help to prevent a disruptive classroom environment:
§ An organized teacher’s binder, filing cabinet, instruction calendar, and substitute folder ensures that I will not be constantly searching for assignments, lesson plans, or materials during instruction time.
§ Time-filler assignments, such as studying for an upcoming test, doing homework, and reading silently can keep disruption to a minimum during transition times between activities.
§ Seating charts are helpful to quickly and easily keep track of attendance and absences.
§ Setting up the classroom in rows that are easily accessible enable me to get to those students who may need additional help.
§ Modeling activities for students before they begin work on their own prevents an over-abundance of questions and confusion.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to provide incentives if student misbehavior becomes an on-going problem in the classroom. For these situations, I have developed an incentive plan in order to help reinforce appropriate classroom behavior.
I will announce to the class that an activity time reward will be forthcoming should the misbehavior cease. I will offer this reward when I deem that the on-going class behavior problem has sufficiently improved. As a caveat, I may hold periodic activity time “days” such as every other Friday, should I feel it would improve behavior more effectively.
The class will choose the preferred activity from a menu developed by the class and approved by the teacher. These activities will be educationally-related, but desirable enough for the students to want to participate. Some examples are jeopardy, academic baseball, stump the panel, and tic tac dough. I will consult the internet from time to time for new and exciting activities to share with the class.
These are the negative consequences which will be followed consistently throughout the school year:
Step 1. Talk with student in hallway or after class
Step 2. 30 minute detention
Step 3. 1 hour detention
Step 4. A letter is sent home to be signed and returned
Step 5. Referral to office
Step 6. Parent/teacher conference