Behavior Management Plan
As a teacher, my goals are to help each student achieve success in school, guide students toward independence in life-long learning, build self-confidence and responsibility in every child, and help each one learn to become a productive member of society. To do this, I must establish a positive learning climate. I believe that building a sense of community and implementing proactive classroom management strategies are key factors for increasing student learning and decreasing behavioral issues. However, when discipline issues arise, I must maintain the effectiveness of our learning environment by having a classroom discipline policy.
MISSION STATEMENT & GROUP NORMS
The first part of my policy involves a student-created mission statement and group norms. At the start of each new year, I facilitate the students as they work together to establish a class mission statement and group norms for our classroom. The norms align with four general guiding principles:
- Do nothing to keep the teacher from teaching or others from learning
- Show respect for each other, the teacher, and the property of others
- Be prepared and give your best effort
- Conduct yourself in a manner that ensures your safety and the safety of others
A copy of our mission statement and group norms will be displayed in our classroom. Each student and I will sign these documents to signify our individual commitments to each other. Students will rate themselves on each group norm every week as part of their electronic data binder.
RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
In addition to developing a code of conduct, we will also use the Raise Responsibility System developed by Dr. Marvin Marshall (www.marvinmarshall.com). This program uses four levels of social development to help us teach our students how to succeed at school and in life. As its title implies, the focus is on developing a greater sense of responsibility within the student.
In the Raise Responsibility System, the first two levels are not acceptable at school:
Anarchy (A) is the absence of order and characterized by chaos.
Bullying, bossing, or bothering (B) is characterized by bothering or bossing others and breaks our standards at school.
The top two levels are both acceptable at school:
- Cooperation (C) is when a person is considerate and complies with requests, but the motivation is external--either from peers or adults.
- Democracy (D) is our goal for all students. This level is characterized by self-discipline, initiative, and displaying responsibility because it is the right thing to do. A person's motivation is internal, and this is the highest level on the social development continuum.
As a classroom community we will learn more about and discuss these four social levels on a weekly basis. I will also involve students in brainstorming solutions to classroom problems. I encourage you to read more about Dr. Marshall's Raise Responsibility System, which can easily be applied in the home environment as well as at school.
Like many other classes at Hillcrest, I use a card system to track behavior. Before describing the card system, I want to briefly explain my philosophy on this topic. It is not my style to make a big issue out of the cards or other forms of classroom discipline. I have found that most disruptions are easily handled in nonverbal ways without distraction. Therefore, it is often not necessary to stop teaching during a behavioral disruption. Early in the school year, I will explain my non-verbal cues and we will practice the appropriate response to them during various staged scenarios. In general, I believe that engaging lessons and proactive classroom management strategies are key factors in minimizing behavioral issues and maximizing instructional time.
Each child in my class has four cards. In the event that a student chooses not to meet the school standards of behavior, I will first give the student a verbal warning, reminding him or her of the expected behavior. If the inappropriate behavior continues, I will defer to the card system containing the following discipline actions:
- Green card – Every day starts on green. This means that the student is demonstrating school standards of behavior.
- Yellow card – This is a first warning. The student is asked to fill out a short form describing their actions, developing a plan, and making a commitment to change his or her behavior. This written plan is usually handled between the student and the teacher and is usually discarded at the end of the week. Pulling a yellow card may also involve missing some recess time. Occasionally, a student may be asked to pull a yellow card for not turning in homework or other assignments on time. This serves as a reminder to make a plan to hand in future assignments on or before the due date.
- Red card - This card is used when students continue to make poor choices and demonstrate irresponsible behavior. The student is asked to fill out a Self-Diagnostic Referral form, which continues to focus on future responsible behavior. This form is handled between the student and the teacher and is kept on file for the entire school year. Pulling a red card may also result in missing a recess or serving a lunch detention.
- Blue card – If a second Self-Diagnostic Referral form were to be used, a copy of the first as well as the second would be mailed home along with a brief note explaining the recurring problem. This is the first stage in parental notification and involvement. Pulling a blue card will also very likely include a lunch detention and/or a visit to the principal’s office.
Of course, the goal in my class is to keep all cards on green every day. However, the students have been reminded that any staff member throughout the school can require a student to pull a card if he or she is witnessed demonstrating irresponsible behavior. This may occur in a special class (music, P.E., PLTW, etc.) or in common areas of the school (hallways, cafeteria, playground, etc.).
Students who behave in a responsible manner will be positively rewarded with praise and increased time for preferred educational activities.
I look forward to helping your child become more responsible at school as well as at home.