“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”
- Proverbs 17:27 NIV
Cooperative Discipline (Dr. Linda Albert, author) acknowledges a three-legged stool approach to managing the classroom. Effective teachers make use of 3 styles of discipline that help them in managing the classroom and maintaining order. Corrective, Supportive and Preventive are the 3 acknowledged styles effective teachers use in managing the classroom that aid them in influencing student choices that consistently empower students to contribute, connect and feel capable when they’re in the classroom environment. Dr. Linda Albert suggests that it is part of the daily internal dialogue effective teachers have that empowers them in promoting a greater demonstration of student self-efficacy and enables the teacher to ‘love more and do less.’ A strategy of classroom management that motivates the teacher to look at how they can enlist the support and assistance of the students to help with classroom related tasks that allows the students to feel connected and contributing in non-academic ways that may help stimulate academic progress.
The internal dialogue of, ‘What do I do when kids misbehave, or act up?’ leads teachers to act in one of three ways, which I believe we do one more than the other two and if we did more of all 3 consistently we would see a stark contrast in how the students perform on a daily basis. Corrective has to do with consequences applied for students who misbehave. Supportive is encouraging everyone to cooperate and preventive involves focusing on the ‘good kids’ to keep them motivated from wanting to misbehave. All 3 are essential in managing a classroom effectively (i.e., what would happen in a classroom when there is no correction?). Further, consider the mental/emotional impact of the students where there is no support (acknowledgement from teacher about their progress, effort, or initiative). If we are honest, we could assess we operate in one of three consistently without thought, but we could do more of the other two. An effective learns to incorporate all three in how they manage the students and maintain order within the classroom environment.
In doing this we will discover we will talk less in trying to enforce consequences for misbehavior and be more calm consistently while we are in the classroom, because the students will begin to take more responsibility for managing their own behavior allowing more time for quality instruction and opportunity for learning. We will become more of a facilitator, conductor, within the classroom and the students will respond more as an orchestra in harmony with the manner in which we operate within the classroom environment. identify which of the 3 components (Corrective, Supportive & Preventive) you could add to what you do and challenge yourself to apply it more as the school year progresses and watch the results!
May God bless you and help you to apply His wisdom and the principles of effective classroom management to empower you to manage your classroom more effectively and efficiently and maintain order.