“If you don’t feed the teachers, they will eat the children.”
Author Dr. Linda Albert provides a handout booklet with her textbook Cooperative Discipline that we provide to teachers who takes the course. Both the textbook and handout booklet is a tremendous resource and provides a wealth of information in how to effectively manage student misconduct, but more importantly, influence students to manage their own behavior and consistently choose appropriate behaviors that allow them to meet the greater need to feel capable, connected and contributing when they’re in the classroom. To effectively manage and address the attention seeking behavior, the following strategies are listed. You may find you do these already. Continue them and add one or two more to your arsenal to help you through June!
Strategy 1: Minimize the attention
- Refuse to respond (ignore behavior of student)
- Give “The Eye” (long glaring stare that means stop!)
- Stand close by (proximity without addressing student/misbehavior)
- Use name dropping (while teaching repeat student’s name)
- Send a general signal (for entire class, i.e. turning off lights)
- Send a secret signal (individual student, i.e., rubbing ear to redirect)
- Give written notice (use post it notes to send friendly message or positive recognition; redirect message)
- Use an I-message (I feel annoyed when I hear whistling while I’m teaching and I would like it to stop)
Strategy 2: Clarify desired behavior.
- State “Grandma’s Law” (when we finish work, then we’ll do something fun or receive a treat/reward)
- Use target-stop-do” (Derrick(target) stop talking (stop) and refocus back on doing the assignment (do))
Strategy 3: Legitimize the behavior.
- Create a lesson from the behavior
- Go the distance (have them continue until they’re worn out from it)
- Have the class join in (momentarily so it takes away the power of the behavior)
- Use a diminishing quota (allow so many times the student can perform behavior in a decreasing manner over time until it ceases)
Strategy 7: Move the student.
- Change the student’s seat
- Use the thinking chair (time out)
I’ll post strategies 4-6 later and I pray these will help you and encourage you to not give up in continuing to manage your classroom and maintain order.
May God continue to provide you insight, wisdom and patience to be successful and prosperous in your endeavor to teach, influence and inspire learning.