High School Classroom Management: Behavior Action Plan
One of the most difficult skills to master as a teacher is classroom management. Unfortunately, if you cannot master this skill, you are not going to survive as a teacher, especially as a high school teacher.
However, when the school year begins, many high school freshmen teachers are pleasantly surprised. Throughout their teacher training, they were told how difficult classroom management can be at the high school level and how important effective classroom management skills are to be a successful teacher.
However, during the first days of school there doesn’t seem to be much of a problem … the students seem quite attentive, no one is speaking or passing notes, certainly there has been no one answering or fighting during the course. first days … but then things start to change.
You see, those first few days are the honeymoon period … the students are nervous and many are a little scared so they sit back and wait. However, by the end of the first week of school, or certainly towards the second week of school, high school students begin to feel more comfortable, begin to test the limits of the teacher, and classroom management becomes increasingly hard.
It is at this point that many teachers start to panic and immediately turn to various reward / punishment systems, or as Alfie Kohn refers to them … “carrot and stick” systems.
Unfortunately, these elaborate systems are in error. They provide only temporary solutions to an ongoing problem. Students who respond to rewards begin to do their job and behave ONLY if there is a reward involved, while at the same time many students who thrive on negative attention actually begin to seek punishment.
The best plan is the “proactive approach” to classroom management. The proactive approach is based on the premise that the best classroom management plan is a solid instructional plan … that the key to high school classroom management is to keep all of your students actively involved in all of your lessons. .
Unfortunately, there are times when teachers are still forced to REACT. There are times when the teacher has used all the proactive tricks in the book and yet a student does something that requires the teacher to react.
HOWEVER, just because a teacher must react to a situation means that the teacher must punish the student. The teacher should save the punishment only as a last resort!
So what is a teacher to do?
Well, here’s an idea … create a “behavior action plan.” Better yet, have the student create the “behavior action plan.”
The key to changing inappropriate student behavior is for the * student * to take responsibility for their actions. First, the student must identify the inappropriate behavior and then determine why it is inappropriate and, finally, how they plan to stop the inappropriate behavior.
All the teacher needs to do is have the student complete a “behavior action plan.” The plan requires the student to complete the following three statements:
1. I am writing this plan because I …
2. This behavior was not appropriate because …
3. To prevent this from happening again, I plan …
Then, at the bottom of the brochure, make sure the student signs their name. By signing their name, the student agrees to comply with their plan.
In the end, this classroom management approach is significantly better than simply punishing the student for misbehavior. This approach to classroom management has long-term results.