Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools, Practical Solutions, Positive Results!

Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools – Practical Solutions, Positive Results!

Be Consistent

By Randy Sprick

By now, most schools have finished testing and thoughts are turning toward summertime activities. Students (and teachers) are counting the days! In order to maintain an effective classroom, it is important to maintain consistency in your behavioral expectations.

With all of the enticements of freedom looming just ahead, you can be sure there will be a tendency for students to misbehave—and for teachers to relax their enforcement of the rules. This means you may have to rein things in a bit. Staying consistent is key to managing student behavior.

Implement corrective consequences consistently. At this point in the school year, you’ve already established corrective consequences and your students are familiar with your consistent responses. Don't let up now.

When you implement a corrective consequence only some of the time, the consequence (no matter how severe) is not likely to change the behavior. In fact, it may even make things worse. When a student engages in a misbehavior for which she does not receive the designated consequence, she is likely to feel a great sense of satisfaction. Getting away with it can be so reinforcing that it can undo many corrections.

Remember that we tend to implement corrective consequences when we get fed up with the misbehavior. This leads to grossly inconsistent responses. To change student misbehavior, it is imperative that you implement your predefined corrective consequences every time, regardless of how you feel about the behavior when it occurs.

Correcting misbehavior consistently allows students to predict what will happen next and increases their ability to positively modify their behavior. Keep supporting your students' success by staying consistent right up to the last day of school.

Continue to implement proactive and positive procedures consistently as well. Keep practicing the effective classroom management strategies and procedures that you’ve been using up to this point. Just because you can see the end of the school year coming up is no reason to relax your routines.

Keep your opening and closing routines consistent. Continue your routines for homework, maintain your daily schedule, and teach expectations when you feel students need a reminder. And don't relax your observing and monitoring—continue to physically circulate whenever possible and visually scan all parts of your classroom frequently.

And finally, continue to give your students a variety of positive feedback on their progress and success in meeting behavioral and academic goals. Because we are so close to the end of the school year, consider adding positive feedback on your students' maturity and readiness for the challenges next year may bring. Be sure that your feedback is accurate, descriptive, contingent, age appropriate, immediate, and fitting to your style.

By staying consistent with your classroom management procedures, you can help your students—and yourself—stay calm and focused through to the last day of school.

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