“People think motivation comes from the mouth. Motivation comes from helping someone get the job done.”
– Chuck Noll
The three-pronged approach to effective classroom management is inspired from author Dr. Linda Albert’s Cooperative Discipline classroom management concept of being corrective, supportive and preventive. Corrective answers the question of- ‘What do I do when students misbehave?’ I have started to explain to my professional colleagues who take the Cooperative Discipline classroom management workshop that we must ‘plan for misconduct’ like we plan for our lesson of instruction. Have I fell into the trap of repeating the refrain, ‘This is my last time saying be quiet,’ when it was actually the 3rd time I said that and the students continue to disregard my authority. Corrective strategies are interventions I use to execute consequences for misconduct.
Don’t just think of executing a punishment, because the desired goal should be for the child to embrace student efficacy that minimizes or alleviates the misbehavior. Punishments do not work with every child in that way. Punitive consequences are necessary, but not for every offense. Think of Correction as re-teaching, or reinforcing, the expectations for desired behaviors within the classroom community. Punishments only address the misbehavior, so what do I want the individual student, or class, to learn from the consequence?
Supportive interventions ask the question- ‘What do I do so the students do not misbehave?’ Think of Supportive interventions as the means by which I express my consistent sincere embrace of the students, individually and collectively, who are within our classroom community. Students who ‘feel’ valued and have a ‘sense of competence’ in being successful within the classroom community would have less motivation to ‘misbehave,’ because they have experienced positive ways to contribute to the classroom. You can never completely remove misbehavior from a classroom, but an effective classroom management system can minimize the frequency and intensity of student misconduct. Teachers will have more time for quality instruction throughout the duration of the school year and the students will demonstrate consistency in self-efficacy.
Supportive interventions involve the deliberate intention to make connections with my students that promote positive, productive behavior to make the atmosphere a positive, productive environment consistently. This even means when a student misbehaves, they would consistently demonstrate behaviors that accepts consequences for their misconduct.
This past year 2 students commended me for being different from their other classroom teachers, because I did not ‘yell at them constantly and when I did speak it consistently with a clam voice.’ The 2 students expressed a genuine enthusiasm for my class. I have had adults who step into my room and will express how calming, or soothing, it feels to be in my room. Can’t explain that, but it is the desired effect I want people to have as students within my classroom. One essential truth I have learned about being an educator, “I cannot expect from my students what is not within me to project to them.” One thing I have been consistent with in being an educator is the high standard of excellence for character as one would desire for their students academically. All of my students may not be artists, or have passion for art as some students will, but all of my students can achieve in consistently demonstrating self-efficacy. The greater question is- “What am I doing to support my students in achieving the desired goals/expectations we have for creating a positive, productive classroom community?’
May God bless you and help you to apply principles of supportive strategies effectively to enable you to manage your classroom effectively and inspire consistency in student self-efficacy.