Classroom Constitution RightsResponsibilitiesRules 1.Children list the rules they believe should exist in the classroom 2.Rules are clustered based on broad responsibilities 3.For each responsibility is translated into a right Alignment Arizona Social Studies Strand 3: Civics/Government Concept 1: Foundations of Government Concept 4: Rights, Responsibilities, and Roles of Citizenship
Setting Expectations We ask teachers to consider both the conditions that cause them to feel a need to exert control and the kinds of control to use when they feel it is needed. Teachers vary in the range of behaviors they feel they must control, and different teachers may react differently to the same student actions (Solomon and Kendall 1975). Often the amount of effort a teacher has to spend exerting control can be lessened by a careful analysis of what behaviors are important to a well-functioning classroom and developmentally appropriate for the particular group of children. We ask teachers to analyze their classroom procedures and expectations with the goals of eliminating unnecessary regulation and adjusting expectations to the developmental levels of the children in the class. Is it necessary that the children complete a learning activity exactly as prescribed? Is it reasonable to expect first-graders to sit quietly for over an hour? For third- graders to keep a class meeting interesting and well-paced? For fifth- graders to handle problems on peer rejection on their own? When control is needed, we recommend that teachers use approaches that will not undermine children’s sense that they are competent, cared for, and autonomous.
SPIRiTSPIRiT Setting Expectations Physical Environment Indirect Control
Control can be exercised in several ways. Indirectly, the teacher may organize the environment to encourage positive behaviors and discourage negative ones. Common examples of this type of teacher control are separating the children engaged in noisy tasks form those doing tasks requiring quiet contemplation, eliminating unnecessary distractions, and using a calming activity to help children make the transition from an exciting, energetic activity to a contemplative one. Indirect control is commonly used by effective teachers and is indispensable to maintaining a productive and enjoyable learning environment.
Indirect Control Balance of Active and Quiet Activities Balance of Adult Led and Student Initiated Activities Effective Use of Transitions Identifying unproductive groupings and separating them Group Refocusing Routines
Power Assertion While most children can be helped to behave better by the use of these non-power-assertive techniques, some children, for one reason or another, will not respond to them, and it will be necessary to resort to the use of power assertion. Indeed, because time is frequently short in classrooms, and the need for immediate control is sometimes pressing, most teachers occasionally will find it necessary to use power-assertive techniques even with generally well-behaved children. When power assertion is used, we suggest ways to lessen the sense of coercion without lessening the effectiveness of the control. Coercion is frequently less painful if the child has room for some choice or if the authority figure express sympathy for the child’s situation (Koestner et al. 1984). For example, a teacher can send a disruptive child from the room but allow the child to determine when to return. A teacher may tell a disruptive group that he or she knows it is hard to work quietly, while still insisting on quiet. A child’s sense of self can be preserved even in the face of serious misbehavior if the teacher attributes the best possible motive to the child consistent with the facts, while simultaneously stopping or even punishing the action. The following incident is an example. Some sixth-grade boys while trying to play a practical joke, accidentally broke a girl’s wrist. When the principal had finished explaining to them the pain they had caused the girl, the boys were in tears. The principal told them that he know that they were sorry and that they had not realized the harm they could cause. He then explained that he would have to suspend them from school for a day as a message to them and the community that what they had done was serious. The boys, on their own initiative, brought flowers to the girl. This example illustrates what we regard as constructive approach to the use of power. We do not have a specific formula for its use, but simply advise teachers that when they find it necessary to assert power, they should try to be fair and nonpunitive, and to focus on solving the problem at hand.
SPIRiTSPIRiT Setting Expectations Preparation Indirect Control Reminders
A second type of control involves the teacher more directly, but the "force" behind the control is the child’s recognition and acceptance of the teacher as a legitimate authority. This form of control often serves more as a reminder than as a threat. For example, a teacher’s glance or frown can be seen by both teacher and child as a quiet way of reminding the child that he or she is not attending to the task at hand. The exercise of such control implies that the teacher believes that the child shares the underlying understanding and will willingly comply. This type of control implies mutual trust, and when such trust exists in a classroom it can take the place of more coercive forms of control.
Teaching Social-Emotional Conflict Resolution Steps Who Was Involved What Happened How it Made You Feel Why It Happened Bring the Parties Together Just the Facts Use Feeling Words Get to the Motivation
Teaching Social Behavior A third type of control involves teaching or guiding children to more acceptable ways of behaving. This is similar to the ways teachers respond when children make mistakes in academic areas. For example, a teacher might intervene in an argument by demonstrating more tactful ways of stating opinions, or by suggesting a fairer way to reach an agreement. Such forms of control are often seen by children as helpful rather than coercive. For example, three first-grade children were pushing one another and arguing about who had the right to be first in the lunchroom line. A CDP staff member who was standing by suggested that the children guess a number and whoever was closest would be first. The children agreed, made their guesses, and the argument was settled. The next day, upon seeing the staff member again, one of the children exclaimed, "Hey, I remember you. You’re the lady who helped us solve our problem." This type of control can be an important means of helping children understand and live up to prosocial values, but it can be time consuming and difficult to exercise. It requires that the teacher understand the problem from the children’s perspectives and understand children well enough to know what solutions to suggest or how to help them discover a fair or kind solution. We believe that three forms of control are key to managing a classroom without an undue reliance or manipulative and power-assertive techniques. We encourage teachers to think of most children misbehavior as they would think of academic errors: as opportunities to teach. What is taught will depend on what skill or knowledge the child appears to be lacking: verbal self-instruction for children lacking in self-control; specific social skills such as being able to explain feelings or resolve conflicts for children lacking in skills; and provision of the moral or practical reason for a rule or expectation for children who do not see its importance.