Instead of handling disruptions after they’ve happened, it is more effective to set up conditions in which they are less likely to occur. The previous lessons in this module are proactive ways in which substitute teachers can build a positive classroom culture to avoid misbehavior. However, substitutes will also need to be knowledgeable about just and fair ways to handle misbehaviors if they do arise.
Public discipline systems are common in schools. These systems are visual ways of giving students feedback (examples include: point systems like class dojo, stoplights, writing names on the board). These systems can work for the short term, however, they quickly lose their novelty and cease working, Students who continuously lose points or have their names written on the board are publicly humiliated and for many that experience increases the negative behavior. (Responsive Classroom: Public Discipline Systems). The Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching based on the belief that integrating academic and social-emotional skills creates and environment where the students can do their best learning. The 3R’s of teacher language (reinforce, reminding, and redirecting) is a powerful strategy to redirect misbehavior. The Center for Responsive Schools helps us to better understand this behavior management approach. (Responsive Schools, 2017)
In some cases students may need more than a nonverbal cue or redirection to correct their behavior. Logical Consequences are a responsive classroom approach to managing misbehavior. Logical consequences help children to connect their behavior to its effects and repair any damage that behavior may have caused. Logical consequences provide reasonable solutions to address the problem and action and to not attack the child, the respect for the child must always remain intact. Other schools use Restorative Practices as a way to build community while also managing conflicts and tensions by repairing harm and building relationships. (International Institute for Restorative Practices). Both approaches recognize the importance of addressing conflict in a way that is proactive and healing for the community.
*Please note: In some cases the substitute teacher will need to seek additional support. Support may be from a colleague and/or administrator. Please review the district student code of conduct to get a better understanding of what types of behavior warrant additional interventions and supports.
Apply your learning by completing the following activities.
Watch the De-Escalating Meltdowns video, how might you apply your understanding of the 3 R’s to handle this situation?
Your Turn sections are an opportunity to apply your learning! While you are not required to submit your work on these activities, you may choose to collect your responses in your Strategy Backpack for future reference.