Over the past several weeks we have been examining classroom practices, classroom teacher practices, and individual student responsibility as it relates to classroom management. While the teacher and his/her classroom plays a big part in the day-to-day management of student behavior matters, the school as a whole also plays an integral part.
Robert Marzano and his team have undertaken meta-analysis related to effective classroom management techniques and have reported the findings in the book Classroom Management That Works. Marzano et al did not provide a meta-analysis of studies related to school-wide management systems, but did provide several solid research sources related to the impact the school practices can have on student behavior on the individual and classroom level. Marzano shares the following action steps for schools (pp. 106-115):
- Establish rules and procedures to address issues arising from the physical characteristics of the schools and the daily routines. Think about daily transitions, movement of students in hallways, school entry and exit, and other times when students may be out of the classroom. Identify areas where behaviors are most likely to occur, and develop procedures for those areas. Expressly state the expectations for students and practice, practice, practice!
- Establish school-wide rules for specific types of misbehavior. Some behaviors are common outside of the classroom and in the hallways: pushing, verbal insults, physical altercations, obscenity, etc. Identify the big issues in your building and develop rules for how those things are to be addressed.
- Establish and enforce consequences for misbehavior. A clear and logical sequence of consequences should be developed to address student behavior issues. Common consequences include verbal reprimands, notes to parents, detentions, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion.
- Establish a system for early identification of and intervention with students who have a high potential for extreme behavior. Students and teachers alike need the ability to notify someone when they have concerns specific to the behavior of individuals within the building. Some schools use an empty locker as a place to drop anonymous concerns. Others use a specific email address or webpage form. The key to success with early identification is having someone who regularly receives these alerts and refers them forward to counseling, law enforcement, or other entities for intervention.
- Adopt a school-wide management system. PBIS and similar systems are packaged for adoption into a school. Examine these systems and implement all or parts of the system that would have the most impact on improving student behavior in the schools.
As you prepare for next week, think about your school-wide system for identifying and addressing behavior. Collaborate with your professional colleagues to assess it and enhance it. You and your students will be glad you did!