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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / Курс "Solving disciple problems"
ВНИМАНИЮ ВСЕХ УЧИТЕЛЕЙ: согласно Федеральному закону № 313-ФЗ все педагоги должны пройти обучение навыкам оказания первой помощи.

Дистанционный курс "Оказание первой помощи детям и взрослым" от проекта "Инфоурок" даёт Вам возможность привести свои знания в соответствие с требованиями закона и получить удостоверение о повышении квалификации установленного образца (180 часов). Начало обучения новой группы: 24 мая.

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  • Иностранные языки

Курс "Solving disciple problems"

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16.12 КБ Course Pretest.docx
42.11 КБ Chapter 1.docx
43.5 КБ Chapter 2.docx
28.72 КБ Chapter 3.docx
37.48 КБ Chapter 4.docx
30.77 КБ Chapter 5.docx
15.25 КБ Lesson 1 Quiz.docx
15.81 КБ Assignment.docx
23.79 КБ Chapter 1.docx
14 КБ Chapter 2.docx
14.52 КБ Chapter 3.docx
15.71 КБ Chapter 4.docx
14.34 КБ Chapter 5.docx
12.58 КБ Lesson 10 Quiz.docx
16.44 КБ Chapter 1.docx
29.73 КБ Chapter 2.docx
26.73 КБ Chapter 3.docx
20.3 КБ Chapter 4.docx
27.25 КБ Chapter 5.docx
14.81 КБ Lesson 11 Quiz.docx
17.53 КБ Chapter 1.docx
15.69 КБ Chapter 2.docx
25.46 КБ Chapter 3.docx
24.78 КБ Chapter 4.docx
16.98 КБ Chapter 5.docx
22.28 КБ Final Exam.docx
16.67 КБ Lesson 12 Quiz.docx
26.94 КБ Chapter 1.docx
21.56 КБ Chapter 2.docx
17.62 КБ Chapter 3.docx
23.16 КБ Chapter 4.docx
18.87 КБ Chapter 5.docx
14.82 КБ Lesson 3 Quiz.docx
14.64 КБ Assignments.docx
17.02 КБ Chapter 1.docx
34.83 КБ Chapter 2.docx
20.24 КБ Chapter 3.docx
38.66 КБ Chapter 4.docx
16.95 КБ Chapter 5.docx
17.6 КБ Hi Everyone.docx
15.06 КБ Lesson 4 Quiz.docx
14.74 КБ teaching time-outs.docx
18.66 КБ toddlers.docx
43.81 КБ Chapter 1.docx
16.84 КБ Chapter 2.docx
59.09 КБ Chapter 3.docx
18.89 КБ Chapter 4.docx
19.47 КБ Chapter 5.docx
15.16 КБ Lesson 5 Quiz Results.docx
14.89 КБ Lesson 5 Quiz.docx
19.5 КБ Chapter 1.docx
31.37 КБ Chapter 2.docx
21.81 КБ Chapter 3.docx
19.63 КБ Chapter 4.docx
22.47 КБ Chapter 5.docx
14.95 КБ Lesson 6 Quiz.docx
17.33 КБ Chapter 1.docx
23.73 КБ Chapter 2.docx
20.98 КБ Chapter 3.docx
16.17 КБ Chapter 4.docx
16.23 КБ Chapter 5.docx
14.88 КБ Lesson 7 Quiz.docx
25.66 КБ Chapter 1.docx
20.08 КБ Chapter 2.docx
27.08 КБ Chapter 3.docx
15.05 КБ Chapter 4.docx
15.32 КБ Chapter 5.docx
12.63 КБ Lesson 8 Quiz.docx
16.37 КБ Chapter 1.docx
32.03 КБ Chapter 2.docx
23 КБ Chapter 3.docx
22.28 КБ Chapter 4.docx
14.28 КБ Chapter 5.docx
12.69 КБ Lesson 9 Quiz.docx
16.39 КБ British Council Teacher training.docx
29.74 КБ Chapter 1.docx
18.49 КБ Chapter 2.docx
22.41 КБ Chapter 3.docx
28.16 КБ Chapter 4.docx
23.65 КБ Chapter 5.docx
23.68 КБ Course FAQs.docx
21.68 КБ Course Index.docx
15.8 КБ Course Objectives.docx
14.83 КБ Lesson 2 Quiz Results.docx
16.64 КБ Lesson 2 Quiz.docx
50.47 КБ Recommended Books.docx
75.68 КБ TeachingEnglish_TKT_Essentials.pdf

Выбранный для просмотра документ Course Pretest.docx


Course Pretest

Course Pretest Results

Evaluation of your answers:

  1. What is the secret to solving discipline problems?

You chose: Not being too hard on students.

Incorrect. Being permissive often lets discipline problems continue. The correct answer is: Understanding that you cannot motivate children.

  1. What is effective discipline based on?

You chose: Students taking control of their own behavior.


  1. How do students effectively learn discipline?

You chose: By making choices.


  1. To teach responsibility, what's the most effective way to talk with students?

You chose: Speak with them as though they were adults.


  1. How do boundaries differ from rules and punishment?

You chose: Boundaries focus on positive outcomes.


  1. When is the use of praise appropriate?

You chose: When it is an unconditional form of encouragement.


  1. What is the proper way to deal with a student who is an attention-demander?

You chose: Send her to time-out.

Incorrect. Sending her to time-out will not help. The correct answer is: Spend special time with her.

  1. Which of the following is the proper use of a Teaching Time-out?

You chose: You have 10 minutes time-out.

Incorrect. Specifying an amount of time is not a Teaching Time-out. The correct answer is: Go to the time-out area until you can think of a way to share the paints.

  1. With active listening, which of the following are you attempting to acknowledge?

You chose: Feelings.


  1. What's an effective way to help children who want to rush through their homework so they can go out and play?

You chose: Mandatory homework time.


  1. Which of the following is an accurate statement about procrastination?

You chose: Students choose it to satisfy one need at the expense of another.


  1. Which of the following is a need-fulfilling school activity shown to reduce discipline problems?

You chose: After-school detentions.

Incorrect. After-school detentions are not need-fulfilling. The correct answer is: Class meetings.

Your score: 67% (out of 100%).

Course Pretest
Date submitted: 10/16/2013 08:59:14 AM (PDT) 

Please print this evaluation for your records.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 1.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 1

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Lessons > Lesson 1 > Chapter 1


The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet.

Bill Cosby

What Bill Cosby has to say about parents and discipline most certainly applies to teachers as well. Whether it is justice or discipline or just plain quiet, all teachers are concerned about the behavior of their students. All teachers want to know the secret to helping their students succeed in school and become responsible, productive, and happy members of society.

Over the years, I have created a number of courses about students and discipline for teachers. In researching and writing those courses, I learned a great deal about children and behavior. I have learned what works and what doesn't work. I am writing this course to share what I have learned with you.

When my children were growing up and I had to deal with their misbehavior, I remember asking myself, "Am I doing the right thing?" I didn't have a course that taught me about children and discipline. I had to learn from experience, and learning from experience is tough on both children and adults.

The goal for this course is to give you the information, language, and skills you need to guide your students toward appropriate, responsible behavior. Hopefully, what you learn in this course will make your job less stressful, more rewarding, and, ultimately, more enjoyable.

As you progress through this course, you will learn how to deal effectively with these types of students:

the attention-demander
the apple-polisher
the whiner
the arguer
the bully
the fighter
the defier
the disrupter
the do-nothing
the cheater
the homework-hater
the procrastinator
the rebel
the destroyer

 However, before we can address specific problems, we must first examine student behavior in general to develop a better understanding of why some students choose inappropriate behavior. Once you understand their motivation, you can take steps to help these problem students choose more responsible behavior.

In this first chapter of Lesson 1, you will learn a very important secret about children and discipline. Then, in the next four chapters, you will learn how to use this secret to solve classroom discipline problems.

To begin, read the following scene and see if anything in it sounds familiar. You might call this a typical scene, in a typical classroom, between a typical student and a typical teacher:


(A TEACHER stands before 35 students. One of these students, a tousled-haired boy named JAKE, pokes another boy named MARCUS in the back.)

TEACHER: Jake, didn't I tell you to stop bothering Marcus?

JAKE: Yeah.

TEACHER: How many times do I have to tell you something?

JAKE: I don't know.

TEACHER: What do you mean you don't know?

JAKE: Huh?

TEACHER: You heard me. Now, if you don't keep your hands to yourself and get to work, you are really going to get it.


TEACHER: "So"! You want to go to the principal's office?

JAKE: I don't care.

TEACHER: Don't you talk back to me. (Yelling) Now, get to work!

JAKE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TEACHER: (Yelling again) That's it, go to the office!

JAKE: Okay, big deal.


(JAKE slowly leaves the room, but not before he makes a face at the TEACHER and gets a big laugh from the rest of the students.)

What is the result of this brief exchange? The student has avoided doing his work, has been punished, but has learned nothing about responsibility. The teacher feels upset, frustrated, and probably a little guilty. And, the rest of the class has been taken off task in the process.

If there is one problem that all teachers have in common, it is discipline. Unfortunately, the worddiscipline has come to mean something that teachers do to students. And all too often, punishment is what is done to students. In this course, you will learn that you do not need to punish children to get them to behave.

Have you ever wondered why children can behave like angels for some teachers but are absolutely uncontrollable for others? If you have, there is a simple answer. Some teachers have been trained to manage their students' behavior. In that training, they were taught a very important secret about children and discipline. This secret is that you cannot force children (or anyone, for that matter) to do anything they do not want to do. You may be able to gain compliance with the use of threats, punishment, and rewards, but that compliance will be very short-lived.

You can't force children to do anything they don't want to do. Think about that for a minute. How often have you tried to force your children to do something they absolutely did not want to do? What was the result? An argument? Yelling and screaming? The child in tears? You in tears?

There is a story told by family therapist Carleton Kendrick that describes a typical teenager's attitude and illustrates my point about trying to force children to do anything. An adolescent girl, who had been moody and glum with her parents for several months, was heading out to the movies with her friends. Her mom waved to her as she walked out the door and said, "Have a good time." The daughter turned around and snapped, "How dare you tell me what to do!"

Perhaps that story is a bit of an exaggeration, but it does have a good deal of truth in it. Children of any age do not like being told what to do. They don't like being controlled.

If you can't control your children, does this mean that teachers need to step back and just let students do whatever they want to do? Absolutely not. Being too permissive with children is just as harmful as being too controlling. Neither of these approaches teaches children about responsibility. And neither of these approaches recognizes the true meaning of discipline.

Discipline: to teachThe word discipline is derived from the Latin word meaning teaching. For instance, a disciple is a pupil, a student, someone being taught. Therefore, when we talk about disciplining children, we should be talking about teaching them. That is the objective of this course—to teach you how to teach your students to behave appropriately.

Teachers who are successful in helping students behave responsibly have a plan. They have thought about student behavior and have planned what they are going to do both when a child behaves and when a child misbehaves.

Having a discipline plan has many benefits. Most important, when a discipline problem arises, you don't have to react emotionally. Losing your temper does not solve a problem. It only makes things worse. But if you have a plan, you will know ahead of time what you will do when Johnny won't stay in his seat, Amy will not stop talking, or Josh won't do his desk work.

Teachers not only have a discipline plan, they teach that plan to their students. They teach their students the rules of the classroom, what will happen when they choose to follow the rules, and what will happen if they choose not to follow the rules.

Notice what this use of a discipline plan accomplishes. First, the children know the rules; they know what's expected of them. They know what will happen if they follow or if they break the rules. It's their choice. This is placing the responsibility where it belongs: on the child.

Coercive discipline plans rely on rewards and punishments to control students' behavior. The approach to discipline you will learn in this course is not coercive. If students have trouble following the rules, teachers set up boundaries to better define what type of behavior is acceptable. They also explain to students the advantages of staying within the boundaries and positives that may be earned by following the rules.

With an effective discipline plan, the emphasis is on teaching students that they have control over their own behavior with the choices that they make. Students are also taught that once they make a choice they are responsible for the results of that choice.

This is how children are taught about responsibility. They don't learn about responsibility through punishment or through rewards. They learn it by making choices and learning to accept the consequences of those choices.

This is the secret of effective discipline. It is not finding better ways to control children and force them to behave in a certain way. It is finding ways to help children take control of their own lives and learn to make responsible choices.

At this point, many of you might be thinking, "This is not the way I was brought up. When I was a kid, I obeyed my teacher, or I was in big trouble."

What has happened? Are today's children different? You bet they are, and that is the subject of the next chapter.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 2.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 2

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Lessons > Lesson 1 > Chapter 2

Why Today's Children Are Different

What worked for our teachers not only may not work for us, it may actually work against us. We need a new game plan.

Dr. Jane Bluestein

1950s TelevisionAs I start this chapter, I am reminded of the movie Pleasantville, in which two teenagers are magically inserted into an old television sitcom reminiscent ofOzzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best. The sitcom life reflected the traditional values of the 1950s, featuring perfect parents, obedient children, and a fire department solely devoted to rescuing kittens from trees.

To a great extent, the values of this not-so-bygone era were based on the demands of an industrial society. Factories wanted workers who could follow orders. Uniformity was the goal, not innovation or initiative.

These values were reflected in the families of that time, where authority relationships reigned and the do-as-you're-told mentality was not questioned. Parents' expectations were rigid, and misbehavior was met with swift punishment. This approach to discipline was readily accepted by a society that was focused on churning out factory workers who could follow directions and not make waves.

Those Leave It to Beaver years are now gone. With the vast technological developments of the past few decades, we have moved from an industrial to an information society. This new society with its new economy demands a different set of work skills, such as interaction, innovation, negotiation, and communication.

A successful independent thinkerA child's world today is much larger than it was in the past. There is greater access to information. Children are much more aware of the world around them. Thanks to television, children are bombarded with visions of successful, happy people.

More often than not, the media-portrayed successful people have not earned their success through simply following directions or taking orders. These people have succeeded by meeting the needs of the new information society through initiative,innovation, risk-taking, individual thinking, and taking responsibility for their own lives. Is it any wonder, then, that our children resist authority figures who attempt to control their behavior?

If you grew up with authority-based relationships, as I did, you are apt to try to apply those industrial age techniques to your students. Whether you actually liked being brought up in an authority-oriented, do-it-for-your-own-good world, you probably accepted it and naturally sought to use the same approach in your classroom.

However, when we apply industrial age techniques, we interfere with children's opportunities to develop the skills they will need in an age structured on a different set of needs and values.

What is needed, therefore, is an approach to discipline that is in sync with today's society—an approach that not only prepares children for an information-oriented society but also promotes and encourages their personal development as caring, responsible members of that society.

Why should we be concerned about the type of person our information society requires? What does that have to do with discipline at school? To answer these questions, consider what should be the ultimate goal of education. Is it not to prepare children to be happy and to succeed once they leave school? Of course it is. To accomplish this, to give our children the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed, we must first understand the requirements for success in our society.

To better understand the difference between the industrial and information ages, compare the following sets of characteristics.


Industrial Age

Information Age


Follow orders


Don't make waves

Take initiative

Be innovative

Be independent


Parents make and enforce rules

Goal is obedience

Dependence on parents

Parents make rules, encourage self-enforcement

Goal is responsibility

Independence, self-control


Children make few decisions

Punishment for misbehavior

Critical, focus on unwanted behavior

Children encouraged to make decisions

Consequences for misbehavior

Recognition, focus on wanted behavior

A key difference in discipline for the industrial and information ages has to do with decisions. Children raised with a do-as-you're-told approach don't have many opportunities to make decisions. They may have difficulty solving problems or anticipating the outcome of the choices they make.

Obedient children may have trouble accepting the responsibility for the choices they make. They are more likely to blame someone or something outside of themselves for anything good or bad that happens to them. "It wasn't my fault. He started it."

To become responsible, children have to be taught to make choices and accept the consequences of those choices. To do this, we have to understand more about choices and what motivates 

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 3.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 3

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Lessons > Lesson 1 > Chapter 3

Why Children Do What They Do

We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.

Gary Collins

One of my qualifications for teaching this course is that I am the parent of five children. I have survived five attacks of the terrible two's, five onslaughts of the frightening four's, numerous adolescent aberrations, and five encounters with the ultimate challenge—the teenage years.

Early in my parenting years, I often wondered why my children ignored my sage advice and chose the most irritating, irresponsible behaviors. At one point, I came to the conclusion that they were doing this just to drive me crazy. I soon dismissed this thought as I saw my fellow parents suffering through the same discipline problems and the same frustration. Of course, all children could be part of a worldwide conspiracy to drive all parents to the funny farm, but I doubt that this is the case.

Understanding why children choose certain behaviors is critical to helping them learn to be responsible. Responsibility is all about choice. It's about helping children learn to make appropriate choices.

Here is another important fact. The answer to effective discipline is not motivating children. All children, all human beings, are already internally motivated to make the choices they do.

To understand this internal motivation, I rely on the work of world-acclaimed psychiatrist and educational expert Dr. William Glasser. Dr. Glasser's choice theory explanation of human behavior holds that all human behavior is directed toward fulfilling internal needs that are genetically implanted in everyone.

These five basic needs are: survival (the physical need), and love and belonging, freedom, power, and fun (the psychological needs). For further study, I suggest Dr. Glasser's book, Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom. Basically, Dr. Glasser says that all choices that our children make, and we make, are motivated by our internal desire to fulfill one or more of our basic needs.

Not everyone agrees with Dr. Glasser's theory of internal motivation. Some people believe that all human behavior comes in response to external stimuli. (For further study, see the works of B.F. Skinner.) Choice theory recognizes that we receive information from the outside world, but we then use this information in making choices. Our behavior may be influenced by external forces, but our behavior and our choices are not determined by external stimuli or forces.

To illustrate the difference between internal and external motivation, Dr. Glasser uses the example of a telephone. When the phone rings, you answer it.A telephone

The external control advocate would say that you answered the phone because you were conditioned to do so. The external stimulus of the ringing phone caused you to pick up the receiver and answer it. You were conditioned to pick up the phone when it rang.

Dr. Glasser would say that you chose to answer the phone. You answered it to meet one of your internal needs. For instance, you answered the phone, not because it rang, but because you wanted to find out who was calling you or because you wanted to talk with someone. You wanted to fulfill your need for friendship and connecting with others (the need for love and belonging).

Dr. Glasser states that you are not conditioned to answer the phone, because you might choose not to answer it for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are enjoying watching television or reading a book. In this case, your need to have fun reading or watching television was stronger than your need for friendship.

I believe in Dr. Glasser's internal motivation because it makes more sense to me. I do not believe that my behavior can be controlled by anyone or anything outside of myself. I believe that I choose the actions I take. And, therefore, I feel that I am responsible for those actions.

As far as responsibility is concerned, look what these two theories of behavior are telling you. The internal control theory tells you that you are in control of your own behavior, that you are responsible for your own actions, and, to a great extent, you are the master of your own destiny.

On the other hand, external control theory tells you that your behavior is controlled by people and things around you. External control means that, whether you like it or not, you can be conditioned to behave in a certain way, and, to a great extent, you are at the mercy of your environment.

I firmly believe that Dr. Glasser's theory is the correct one. My personal experience and the research that others and I have done confirm my belief.

Now, let's apply these two views of behavior to discipline.

If you believe that internal motivation directs behavior, then you can see why punishment (an external force) is not effective in influencing children's behavior. Of course, if the rewards are big enough or the punishments are scary enough, behavior can be affected for a short period of time but with no lasting results.

Dr. Glasser states that the only thing that children learn from punishment is that they have paid for their misdeed and are then free to go out and do it again.

If punishment were an effective form of behavior management, we would have stopped having discipline problems in schools centuries ago. If punishment were an effective deterrent, our prisons would not be bulging at the seams.

If you believe in Dr. Glasser's approach, punishment will have no positive, lasting effect on children. However, if you use it long enough, it will certainly have some significant negative effects. Constant punishment will irritate and upset your students, make them afraid of you, and teach them that an important part of life is to avoid being caught and punished. Punishment does nothing to teach children about appropriate, responsible behavior.

Once you understand that all human behavior is motivated by a desire to fulfill one or more basic needs, you can see the fallacy in the statement, "I need to learn how to motivate my students." You don't have to learn how to motivate students. They are already internally motivated. They just may not be motivated to do what you need them to do.

Before we can think about teaching children about responsibility, we must fully understand their basic needs. That is the subject of the next chapter.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 4.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 4

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Lessons > Lesson 1 > Chapter 4

Basic Needs

Too many of us think that we can achieve happiness by earning money, by accumulating things, or by waiting patiently for it to "happen" to us. Happiness, however, is achieved when we are able to satisfy our basic psychological needs in a balanced, varied way.

Robert A. Sullo

All of our behavior in life is linked to our desire to avoid sadness and achieve happiness. We achieve happiness when one or more of our basic needs are being met. We feel sad when our efforts to meet our needs are frustrated.

Therefore, when children choose to misbehave, they are not doing so just to disobey you or drive you crazy. They are choosing their behavior to meet a need.

Let's look at each of the five basic needs in detail so that we will develop an understanding of what they are and what part they play in behavior.


This need is the easiest to describe. All living creatures are genetically programmed to struggle to survive. The need to survive includes the need to satisfy hunger, thirst, and sexual desire. The need for survival also means responding to physical threats and seeking safety and security.

Love and Belonging

This is the strongest of the basic psychological needs. The need to love and be loved, to belong and have friends, is almost as strong as the physical need to survive. When we feel unloved and alone, we are profoundly sad. Parents of teenagers are very familiar with this need. Teenagers often expresses it as, "I want to be with my friends." And, as with all teenagers, his need for belonging and friendship usually takes precedence over chores, homework, or most anything.Love and Belonging

Dr. Glasser illustrates the intensity of this need for belonging in relating a conversation he had with a person who had just attempted suicide. When Dr. Glasser asked him why he had tried to kill himself, the man replied that he was lonely and had felt lonely for so long that being dead seemed a better choice than living in such terrible pain.

Look inside yourself and think what your life would be like without your family or any friends, and you will see the critical importance of fulfilling the need for love and belonging.


This is the most misunderstood of the psychological needs, because we tend to think of power in a negative sense, as power over other people. But the power that Dr. Glasser is talking about is a personal power, a sense of self-worth that comes from accomplishment and recognition.

The need for power is also the need to feel that we are in control of our own lives. When you give students orders or commands, you frustrate their need for power. When you give them choices, you satisfy their need for power and give them a feeling that they are responsible enough to have control over their own behavior. When you praise students for the things they do well, when you recognize their accomplishments, you are satisfying their need for power.

When students feel powerless, they attempt to satisfy this need by exerting power over others by bullying, acting out in class, or disobeying rules (showing they are more powerful than the person that set the rules).

Teachers most often frustrate their students' need for power when they continually criticize or belittle them. "You never can do anything right." "I never had this problem with your sister." "Why can't you behave like Johnny?" "You are a real disappointment to me." These types of statements chip away at children's self-worth, frustrate their need for power, and in the end, cause more problems.

There is one simple thing all teachers can do to help their students meet this need. At least once every day, every single day, pay every student a compliment. You will be surprised at the impact this can have.


This is the need for the freedom to choose how we live our lives, to express ourselves freely, and to be free from the control of others. We are fortunate to live in a society with considerable freedom, and we are free to make countless choices every day.

Helping children satisfy this need does not mean giving them the freedom to do whatever they want to do. When we talk about helping students learn about responsibility, we are talking about giving them the freedom to choose. For instance, consider the following statement by a teacher to a child: "If you do not do your work, you are not going to go to recess." Now, compare that statement to this one: "Of course, you can go to recess if your work is done. It is your choice."

We can accomplish the same thing, making sure work is completed, with either a threat or the offer of a choice. A threat frustrates children's need for power and does nothing to meet their need for freedom. Offering a choice meets both their needs for power and freedom and teaches them about responsibility—it's their choice.


I look at the psychological need for fun as the ultimate, positive diversion. When you are having fun, you are very happy. You are so happy that whatever cares or concerns you might have melt into the background. When we are having fun, we relax, recharge our batteries, and enjoy a much-needed relief from the pressures that surround us.

Dr. Glasser defines fun as the genetic reward for learning. This is very important to remember when dealing with children. Watch children when they're at play. They are constantly discovering, learning, and having a great time. Whenever any of us discovers something new, there is a sense of excitement and fun that accompanies the learning. One of the saddest comments a teacher can make is, "We are here in school to learn, not to have fun."

I have said before that punishment does not teach children anything. There is no fun in being punished. Not only is it painful, there is no learning and therefore no fun.

To satisfy students' need for fun you do not have to turn all of your lesson plans into games or contests. What you need to do is to make your lessons engaging. If students are engaged in what you're a teaching, then they will be learning and they will be enjoying the process.

A key element, then, is to use engaging instruction to prevent discipline problems. How do you create engaging lessons? By creating lessons that meet students' needs. The more of your students' needs you can address with a lesson, the more engaged they will be.

For instance, team and group work meets students' need for love and belonging; choices in assignments or how to complete assignments satisfies their need for freedom; giving them work that is at their level, work at which they can succeed, satisfies their need for power; and if you meet the first three needs, your students will be having fun and thereby satisfying that need as well.

In summary, we all have five basic needs that we are continually attempting to satisfy. If we can teach children how to satisfy their basic needs without impinging on the needs of others, we have taught them how to be responsible.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 5.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 5

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Lessons > Lesson 1 > Chapter 5


To decide, to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life.

Abbie M. Dale

The title of this first lesson is "I've Got a Secret!" Now you have that secret too. The secret is that you cannot force children, or anyone, to do anything that they do not want to do.

I've got a secret!

All behavior is determined by choices. If we cannot force children to make the choices that we believe are best for them, then we must teach them how to make good choices. We teach children about responsibility by giving them choices instead of orders. We give them choices of how best to meet their basic needs in a way that is best for them and best for those around them.

Here are some examples of how teachers who do not know the secret talk with children.

A First-Grade Teacher:
"It is time for all of you to put away the blocks. If you don't put them away right now, there will be no story time today."

A Third-Grade Teacher:
"If you are not in your seats and sitting quietly when the bell rings, you will stay in for an extra five minutes before you are dismissed."

A Middle School Teacher:
"If you do not bring in your homework every night this week, you will get extra homework to do on the weekend."

A High School Teacher:
"If you do not get a B average, you will not be able to play football."

Now, let's look at how teachers who know the secret might handle the same situations:

A First-Grade Teacher:
"I want to read you a story. Put away all of the blocks so we'll have room for everyone to gather around and listen."

A Third-Grade Teacher:
"You will be dismissed just as soon as everyone is in their seat and sitting quietly."

A Middle School Teacher:
"If you bring in your homework every night this week, you will have no homework on the weekend."

A High School Teacher:
"Of course you can play football, just as long as you keep a B average."

Notice that in each of the situations, the teachers who knew the secret presented the children with a choice. They were not being coercive or threatening, nor were they being permissive. These teachers were setting the boundaries for appropriate behavior and then offering the children a choice. Also notice that the consequences were presented as the good things that happen if the students behaved appropriately, not the bad things that would happen if they misbehaved.

Of course, the teachers also have to follow through. If the children choose not to do homework, they are also choosing homework on the weekend. If the high school athletes don't keep a B average, then they will miss playing football. I'll talk more about boundaries later in the course.

The important point to remember is that by giving children choices, you are building their sense of responsibility and meeting their need for power at the same time. The more children get their need for power met in positive ways, the less chance they will choose negative behaviors to meet that same need.

In Our Next Lesson . . .

As you learned today, we all come into the world with a set of needs. The rest of our lives are spent in a struggle to learn how to best meet them.

Children have to learn how to behave in a way that allows them to meet their needs while not encroaching on the needs of others. However, it is one thing to say that we must teach students to behave responsibly. It is quite another to know exactly what to do.

In our next lesson, you will learn specifically what you can do and, perhaps more importantly, what you must never allow yourself to do when teaching your students to behave in a responsible manner.

Next Stepshttps://api.ed2go.com/CourseBuilder/2.0/images/resources/prod/global/nextsteps/steps_icon.png

Okay, you've finished your first lesson. Now what do you do?

You'll want to take the following steps, in any particular order you like:

  • Take the quiz. Reinforce what you learned in the lesson by testing yourself with a short five-question quiz. You can access the quiz for each lesson by clicking the Quizzes link.

  • Do the assignment. Want some hands-on practice applying what you've just learned? Then roll up your sleeves and dig into the assignment! Just click theAssignments link to get to each lesson's assignment.

  • Check out the FAQs. Since learning something new usually raises questions, every lesson in this course comes with an FAQs section. To get to the FAQs, click the Resources link, and then click FAQs.

  • Drop by the Discussion Area. Come talk with me and your fellow students in the Discussion Area! Ask questions about anything that came up in the lesson, and share your insights with everyone. This is where we'll create a learning community.

  • View the index. If you want to find a topic but can't quite remember where it was, then the index is the place to go. You'll find it by clicking the Resourceslink, and then clicking Course Index.

  • Browse resources for further learning. I've included a list of recommendations for books so you can continue learning more about this topic long after our time together ends. You'll find these by clicking the Resources link.

Good luck, and remember to come visit me in the Discussion Area!

Выбранный для просмотра документ Lesson 1 Quiz.docx


Lesson 1 Quiz

You can take this quiz as many times as you wish. Use the quizzes to test your knowledge of each lesson before you take your final exam. Your quiz scores do not have any impact on your eligibility for a completion letter. Your final exam score alone determines your eligibility to receive a completion letter. Because you only have one opportunity to take the final exam, we strongly recommend that you prepare for the final by doing as well as you can on these quizzes.

  1. What is the origin of the word 'discipline'?

It comes from the Greek word meaning 'to punish.'

It comes from the Latin word meaning 'to teach.'

It comes from the French word meaning 'to love.'

It comes from the Latin word meaning 'to coerce.'

  1. What is the secret to effective discipline?

Realizing that you have to lay down the law for children.

Finding the most effective form of punishment.

Being less forceful with children.

Realizing that you cannot make children do anything.

  1. What are the four basic psychological needs?

Survival, belonging, freedom, and fun.

Belonging, freedom, power, and fun.

Achievement, recognition, success, and fame.

Independence, freedom, choices, responsibility.

  1. What do children learn from punishment?

That you have their best interests in mind.

That they have paid for their misdeed and are free do it again.

That they should not misbehave.

That punishment is a necessary evil.

  1. Which is the strongest of the basic psychological needs?

Love and belonging.




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Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!
Your assignment for this lesson is to begin to present your students with choices instead of orders. Think of something that your students need to do in the next day or so. This could be schoolwork or a particular behavior. Remind them of what they need to do, and then present a positive outcome if they accomplish it. If they choose to do what you've asked, they also choose the positive outcome. See how your students react to the offer of a choice. Also, examine how you feel about presenting the choice instead of a demand.

Remember, I'm here to help! If you have any questions or comments about this assignment, please take a moment to leave a message for me in the Discussion Area for this lesson.

Special note: If you are not currently teaching, complete these assignments by planning how to use what you've learned with future students.

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave
The next time you have a discipline problem with one of your students, stop and think. Do not react emotionally. Count to 10 if you have to. Then, determine which need your students are attempting to meet, and offer at least two acceptable choices. Be sure that all of the options you present to the student are acceptable to you.

Give this a try and see how the student reacts. And if you'd like to, please share what happened in the Discussion Area.

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It
Think about your interactions with your students over the past week. Which of them would you describe as authoritarian or permissive? Now, considering what you have learned in this lesson, how could you have handled those same situations differently?

Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .
Think about the interactions you are likely to have with your students tomorrow. In how many of those interactions will you need to have the students do something? Now, plan to present your students with choices in at least two of those interactions. As you are planning, review the guidelines for presenting choices in Chapter 1.

Write down your plan, and put it into action tomorrow.

Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan
Think of an expectation you have for your students' behavior. How can you communicate that to your students as a positive boundary?

For instance, an expectation might be, "I expect my students to complete their homework assignments." That expectation could be translated into a boundary like this, "If you do your homework Monday through Thursday, you can have one half hour free time on Friday."

Communicate your boundary to your students. And remember to follow through. For instance, in the above example, a student who does not hand in homework Monday through Thursday does not earn free time, but that student can try again next week.

Lesson 6: What to Do When

Tomorrow try using the two-step approach to encouragement. When you see a student behaving appropriately, recognize his or her effort by first identifying the behavior ("Great job on your spelling list") and second by tying that behavior to a positive outcome ("Now you can go to the play area.”). See how the student reacts. I am sure you will be pleased with the result.

Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity
Think of a discipline problem that you believe stems from a student’s need for attention. Help the student figure out how to get the attention he or she needs without causing a problem. You may also want to increase the amount of attention that you give the child for appropriate behavior throughout the day.

Lesson 8: Problems with Others
Try using a Teaching Time-out with one of your students. First, give the student some time alone to try to find a solution to the problem. If he or she has trouble finding a solution, help him or her explore some alternatives. Set a length of time to try the new plan.

Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance
Review the alternatives to using the word
no (see Chapter 5). Now set a goal for yourself to reduce by half the number of times you say no tomorrow by using the suggested alternatives. At the end of the day, reflect on your experience. How did you feel saying no fewer times? How did your students respond? Can you reduce the number of times you use no even more?

Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork

Please read and consider the following story:

A father noticed that his daughter was not doing her homework. Despite his pleas, she refused to do her work. Finally, he sat down with her and said, "I am concerned that your homework is not being done. I believe that homework is a very important part of education. Therefore, I will do your homework for you."

The daughter looked completely puzzled, but she said, "Fine." After all, what did she have to lose?

The father explained that each night at 5:30, she needed to sit down with him and go over the assignments to make sure he knew how to do them. Then she had to sit by as he did the work, in case he had any questions.

The first night, he regularly asked her questions about the work, about how the teacher had explained certain concepts, and about where he could find information. Before long, the daughter was doing most of the work herself with her father helping her. Then she was working on her own.

Although I would not recommend this approach, I do find it interesting. Your assignment is to answer the following questions:

  1. Why did the father choose this approach?

  2. How was the father's approach need-fulfilling for the daughter?

If you wish, post your thoughts about these questions in the Discussion Area for this lesson.

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Chapter 1. Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork


Discipline and management techniques can be developed through the hit-and-miss process of experience or they can be learned from reading the information researched from many successful teachers.

—George Watson

Where do I get my ideas about discipline and responsibility? That's a fair question. My interest in children and behavior management began over 20 years ago when I was asked to produce a video-based course for teachers titled Human Relations and School Discipline. That course served not only as my introduction to distance learning but also to children and discipline as well. Over the years, I have created 18 video courses for educators about how to improve student behavior and learning. Those courses have been offered by more than 100 colleges and have enrolled thousands of teachers.

Now, you might think that with that huge number of teachers taking my courses, I should be able to relax, content in the knowledge that I have done my part to improve classrooms and schools. I wish that were true. Unfortunately, discipline problems will be a concern of teachers for as long as there are schools and children to attend them.

As with this course, there is not a finite number of solutions to a finite number of problems. Every year our society and our economy change. Families change and children change. Old problems wither from lack of attention, but new ones sprout eagerly to take their place. As families and schools evolve, one thing has remained and will continue to remain the same: our basic needs.

Once parents and teachers understand that rearing and teaching children is all about recognizing and meeting those needs, then everyone's job becomes easier.

In creating video courses, I met and interviewed dozens of authors and educational experts. But, just as important, I visited hundreds of classrooms around the country and learned from teachers what they have found effective in helping students. The insights and experiences these teachers so generously shared with me form the basis for what you are reading in this course.

As an example of what I've learned from classroom teachers, I'd like to tell you about a teacher whom I interviewed for a course titled Responsibility, Respect, and Relationships: Creating Emotionally Safe Classrooms.

The video interview was shot in Truckee, California, very near Lake Tahoe. I was talking with teachers who were working to put Dr. Glasser's ideas about basic needs into practice in their classrooms. One of those teachers, Coreen, who taught at an elementary school, told the following story.

Earlier that day, she had asked one of her students to work on math problems with a classroom aide. After a few minutes had passed, Coreen looked up to see the little girl stand up and yell at the aide, "I hate you. I hate you." Then she ran out of the room.

Coreen pointed out that in schools with a traditional rules-and-punishment approach to discipline, the little girl would have been apprehended, sent to the principal's office, and probably suspended. At this school, however, cooperation rather than coercion is the goal.

Therefore, Coreen gathered the girl, and once she had calmed down, she and the aide had a talk with her. As it turned out, the girl was upset because she couldn't do the work. She was asked to do three-digit subtraction problems, and she didn't know how. Yelling at the teacher and running out of the room were the only ways she knew of to deal with the frustration and embarrassment.

As a result of the meeting, the girl apologized to the aide and was given some alternative behaviors to use when she was frustrated. And, most important, Coreen and the girl worked out a plan for her to learn how to subtract.

I use this story as an introduction to this lesson about schoolwork problems to highlight the importance of finding the real reason behind misbehavior. Students do not misbehave to hurt the teacher or to embarrass their parents. Students misbehave because it is the only way they know at a particular time to deal with a problem. It is up to teachers (and parents) to discover which of the child's needs are not being met and find ways to meet those needs. Punishing a child who is already hurting emotionally will not solve problems at school or at home. teacher and student at blackboard

Ideally, educating children should be a partnership between school and home. Teachers and parents need to work together to make sure that every child is achieving and behaving to their highest potential. Discipline problems at school as well as at home are golden opportunities to teach. Taking advantage of those opportunities makes for good teaching and good parenting.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 2.docx


Chapter 2. Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork

The Do-Nothing

Accurate information is a key part of motivation.

—Mary Ann Allison

The above quotation can be very helpful in dealing with a student who seems to have checked out of the school experience. Mary Ann Allison is a basketball coach, and I am sure that part of what she is referring to is making sure that her players know themselves, their weaknesses, as well as their strengths. This knowledge leads to confidence, and confidence leads to success.

Students who are described as do-nothings have usually been so discouraged with school that they have given up. If they were disruptive, it would show that they still cared enough to rebel. These seemingly unmotivated students have convinced themselves that they cannot be successful in school.

The feeling of inadequacy could result from a lack of the academic skills needed for success. However, for the purposes of this chapter, I will deal with those students who have the ability to succeed but have just stopped trying.

Let's look at an example.

The problem: Mercedes does not seem to care about school. Nothing—inside the classroom or out—interests her. She does not do her work in class, never participates in class discussions, does not turn in homework assignments, and has few friends. If she is asked a question in class, she refuses to answer. She has never been disruptive. She just never does anything. She doesn't seem to care about grades, and her parents are at a loss as to what may be the cause. When she occasionally does get on task, her teacher is quick to give encouragement, but this has no positive effect.

Boundaries and outcomes: The normal positive outcomes of good class work, such as grades or recognition from the teacher and parents, have not been effective with Mercedes.

Problem analysis: Because she sees herself as a failure, as different from the rest of the class, Mercedes has withdrawn both academically and socially. Ideally, her teacher's efforts would address both of these aspects of the problem.

Solutions: The teacher decided to approach the problem by first working to raise Mercedes' self-esteem. She met with a teacher of a class two grade levels below hers and arranged to have Mercedes go to the class once per day to work as a tutor. The teacher felt that if Mercedes could experience success in teaching younger children, she might start feeling better about herself and about school.

After the first week, the teacher could already see small changes in the way Mercedes was behaving. After two weeks (and much encouragement for her good work by both teachers), she began to show interest in class. Once her self-concept began to change, the teacher met with her and helped her set short-term goals for her schoolwork.

After about a month, Mercedes was doing much better in her academics. Her growing self-confidence allowed her to participate in class and begin making friends. And the teacher of the other class said that Mercedes was such a good tutor that her students were benefiting as well. The solution was truly win-win-win.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: One of the warning signs of a potential do-nothing is a withdrawing from class activities. Keeping all students active and involved in the learning process is always a good idea. When you see one student who begins to avoid class participation, try to make an extra effort to reinvolve him or her.

If you see a student withdrawing, build on that student's strengths. If she is doing well in one particular area, encourage her to spend more time in that area. Don't forbid students to spend time on subjects in which they do well until they do better in other subjects. Students need to feel encouragement in their areas of strength.

A good subject for a class meeting is the subject of mistakes vs. failure. Does making a mistake make a student a failure? What is the difference between "You made a mistake" and "You're a failure"? Is it okay to make mistakes? Why? Why not? In a class meeting such as this, the teacher should pose the questions and let the students examine possible answers. For class meetings to be effective, the teacher needs to remain nonjudgmental and draw all students into the discussion.

Students need to learn that it is okay for everyone to be different and to have different levels of skills. Involving students in tutoring is an excellent way to teach a number of life skills. It also teaches students that others are there to help them feel successful. But ultimately, success or failure depends on the effort one exerts on one's own behalf.

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Chapter 3. Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork

The Cheater

Many times a child feels forced into cheating because of parental pressure or the spirit of competitiveness in the class. The desire to please parents with high expectations can override even the most solid conscience.

—Dr. William Sears

Cheating at school can be a complex problem. Teachers have to examine what need or needs the student is attempting to fulfill by cheating. The need to please parents and gain their recognition and appreciation is often the cause for cheating.

Most students do not cheat just to cheat, or to beat, the system. Students most often cheat because they feel they have to cheat. For instance, a student who has trouble learning how to add and sees all of his classmates succeeding may feel the urge to cheat. Cheating may be a student's way of saying, "I can't do what is being asked of me. Therefore, the only way I can succeed is by cheating."

Finding the reason behind the cheating is a must to solve the problem. There could be one or more factors to consider. The student may have a learning disability. He may have trouble learning just one concept or subject. She may be attempting to meet parents' unreasonably high expectations. He or she may have a problem relating to the teacher.

Once the source of the problem is identified, the need that the student is attempting to satisfy can also be identified. Armed with this information, the teacher can then help the student find a way of getting his or her needs met without cheating.

Let's look at a specific example to learn more about cheating.

The problem: Bobby was caught cheating on a test. He was given a failing grade and will receive an F on his report card. His parents have been called in to meet with the teacher to talk about the problem. Bobby is angry and upset. His parents are embarrassed and at a loss about what to do.

Boundaries and outcomes: The problem has never occurred before, so there is no boundary or outcome in effect. The teacher, however, does have a no-cheating rule with the consequence of a failing grade.

Problem analysis: To solve the problem, the teacher is going to have to discover what need Bobby was attempting to satisfy by his cheating. Of course, cheating means that he did not know the answers on the test. That's an important fact, but it is not the reason why Bobby felt that he needed to cheat. The parents and the teacher need to examine their own expectations for Bobby's academic achievement, and just having a calm discussion with him may be enough.

When students feel that they have a say, are being listened to, and are taken seriously, they will talk about the problem. As with other problems discussed in this course, punishment is not a solution.

If the teacher and parents believe that their expectations are not too high, then the problem may be in the classroom. Many times students fail to understand concepts because their learning styles differ from their teachers' instructional styles. For instance, if Bobby is a highly visual learner and the teacher relies on verbal presentations, then Bobby could have a problem comprehending the lesson. Talking with Bobby is the only way to discover the real motivation behind his cheating.

Solutions: Let's say that Bobby's teacher talks with him and determines that he was cheating because he didn't understand the lesson but was afraid to ask questions because he didn't want to appear dumb in front of his friends. "Everyone else understood," Bobby explained, "I would have been the only one asking questions. The other kids would have laughed at me." Peer pressure is another common cause of cheating.

A solution in this instance would be for Bobby and the teacher to make a plan about what to do next time. He could stay after school, meet with her at recess, put a note on her desk—anything that would open communication but not subject Bobby to ridicule. With this new plan in place, the teacher then needs to pay attention to Bobby's efforts at school and acknowledge and encourage his good work. Giving him some extra attention for trying harder will certainly not hurt.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: The best way to prevent cheating is to allow students to keep retaking a test until they get a passing grade. After all, isn't the objective to make sure that students learn the subject matter? When I offer this suggestion, some teachers argue that if they did that, some students would be taking the same test over and over for weeks at a time. My answer is that at least they will have learned something.

Other teachers say this isn't fair to the other students. How so? They don't have to retake the test; they passed it. One teacher taking this class offered her approach to retaking tests:

"My approach is to offer the same grace to all students, such as you can retake a failed quiz up to a 70 if you re-take it within two weeks or you can improve a paper grade by correcting the mistakes and turning it back in for up to 10 more points. If a student seems to be in extenuating circumstances for some reason then I might consider giving partial grace, such as half credit back on a missed assignment or something. But, I wouldn't ever give the same reward (full credit) for not meeting the requirements that all the other students met."

If students are failed over and over, they can begin to think of themselves as failures. And when they do, they are likely to give up on school and on themselves.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork

The Homework-Hater

Our son Josh came to us one evening with a series of questions he was supposed to answer for homework. When neither of us could help with the answers, we asked to see his textbook. Sure enough, the answers could be found in the appropriate chapter. When we asked our son about this, he shrugged and said: "The teacher said to answer the questions. She didn't say we had to read the chapter, too."

Lee and Marlene Canter, Homework Without Tears

For sure, homework can become a daily hassle if it is allowed to get out of hand. But it can also present a number of opportunities: for you to partner with parents to ensure students' success, to teach students responsibility, and for you to reinforce what you have taught in the classroom. So you can look at homework as a potential problem minefield to be avoided, or you can view it as a possible source of many positive experiences for your students and for you.

If you are going to solve homework problems, you will need to have some contact with parents. Opening positive connections with parents is very important, especially if there ever is a problem. If you already have a relationship with the parents, it will then be easier to work together to solve a problem.

Homework is also an opportunity to teach your students responsibility. For most students, homework is the first time that they have been given a job to do that is their very own. They have to remember to bring the work home. They have to complete the work. Then, they have to remember to bring the homework back to school. This is a tremendous learning opportunity.

If students can experience success in homework, they can see that they can take responsibility for a task, that they can make decisions, and that they can have some control over their own lives. Through homework, students can learn to manage their time, complete an assigned task, follow directions, and work on their own. These are all valuable life skills that are important both in and out of the school setting.

Let's now examine a specific problem to learn more about homework.

The problem: Christie is having problems at school. She is behind in several of her subjects. Her teacher has told Christie's parents that if she doesn't catch up soon, she will have to repeat the grade. The teacher has said that Christie's homework is the key. She hasn't been turning in all of her assignments, and the work that she does turn in is not done well.

Boundaries and outcomes: Since the teacher has been unsuccessful in gaining Christie's cooperation with homework, she has asked that her parents establish boundaries and outcomes at home.

At present, the parents have a boundary that Christie needs to do her homework before she can go out and play. Her parents have been checking her homework every now and then, but they are never sure whether or not it has all been completed. The only outcome that has been discussed is that if Christie doesn't start doing a better job with her homework, she isn't going to be promoted to the next grade.

Problem analysis: The problem here is one of assumptions on the part of the parents. The parents assume that Christie is bringing home all of her homework assignments. They assume that she knows how to do the work and that she is just choosing not to do it. The parents are also assuming that the threat of being held back a grade is enough to motivate any child to do a better job.

In other words, Christie's parents assume that her need to be promoted with her friends is strong enough to overcome her short-term needs for fun or freedom or belonging that are drawing her away from homework.

Solutions: First of all, the parents need to replace their assumptions with knowledge and action based on that knowledge. First, the teacher needs to talk with the parents and tell them how much homework Christie should be doing each night. Next, the teacher needs to give Christie assignments in written form so that her parents can check it. Of course, the teacher must be certain that Christie is capable of doing the assigned work.

Each night, after checking the assignment, Christie's parents need to see that she starts work. They can even offer assistance to get her started, but they should not do her homework for her. If they find that Christie doesn't know how to do the work, they should communicate this to the teacher. Finally, the parents need to tie a short-term positive outcome to Christie doing her homework and then follow through and withhold or grant the outcome.

Christie's parents cannot assume that a long-term goal of being promoted is enough of an incentive for her to do day-to-day homework. Being held back is definitely an unpleasant outcome that Christie would like to avoid. But for her, that may be too far in the future to have any significant effect.

Every day, Christie should be able to earn a privilege for doing a good job on her homework, such as going out to play or watching television or listening to music. Additionally, the parents should institute an additional weekly positive outcome, such as going to a movie with her friends or spending the night at a friend's house.

It is evident that this problem has been going on for some time, so the parents are going to have to expend time and effort to get Christie back on a successful track.

If this sounds like the teacher is going to have to put in a good deal of work with the parents, you're right. But if the teacher feels that homework is essential to Christie's success in school, then the work is very worthwhile.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: You can give parents a number of suggestions to prevent homework problems. They should set up a proper homework study area. The homework place should be well-lit, as comfortable as possible, and have a good writing area. Many parents use their kitchen table for homework. This is usually a very well-lit area, and a kitchen table provides an ample amount of space to spread out books, assignments, drawing paper, and the like.

However, the kitchen, if it is like the kitchen at our house, is a very popular place. Now, this is less of a problem if there are no siblings. But if the child is trying to do homework where mom is cooking or listening to the radio or watching television nearby, these distractions could present a problem.

Some children prefer lying on the floor or bed while working. If a child has his or her room, that is an ideal place as long as the distractions are not too great.

Some children study better in a noisy environment. Believe it or not, that is fine. I mentioned before that I have a son in high school. He likes to do his homework in his room with the TV on, the music playing on top of the TV sound, and his computer set on Instant Messaging, all ready for action. But he gets good grades, A's and B's. Would my insisting that he do his homework without all of the distractions result in all A's? I seriously doubt it. So parents should be prepared to cut children a little slack when it comes to the homework area.

Making a homework schedule for parents and students can also help prevent problems. Children lead busy lives, and it is never too soon to start teaching them organizational skills. The schedule can also include other responsibilities such as practices, games, field trips, testing days, and the like. Parents should involve the child in making the schedule and talk about each item as it is added.

When it comes to homework, they should be specific about the scheduled time. They should also talk with the child about how to deal with last-minute rescheduling problems that might arise. And most important, they should be sure that the child agrees to the schedule. Getting the child's input and commitment is an important part of the process.

The responsibility for doing the homework must rest with the child. However, to prevent problems, parents should be instructed to occasionally check on their child's work and give him or her encouragement for a job well done. If they can see a problem beginning to develop, check the homework on a regular basis. If that doesn't solve the problem, they should contact you.

By working closely with parents, you can teach your students both how to do homework and how to be responsible. By doing homework properly, students learn that they can think for themselves, make plans, and honor commitments. By learning how to solve problems, they feel good about themselves and develop the self-confidence needed to successfully deal with life's pressures. Students also learn that when they take responsibility, their parents and teachers are there to support and help them succeed.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork


The only thing that children learn from failure is how to fail. Dr. William Glasser

Generally speaking, children who are having problems at school don't like school. These children do not feel safe at school, either emotionally or physically. They don't find schoolwork rewarding or need-fulfilling. And worse, if they are failing, they can simply give up on school and on themselves. They feel that no matter what they do, they are going to fail.

So if they are already going to fail, then breaking some more rules isn't going to make any difference. And if their disruptions bring emotional reactions from teachers, at least they will be getting some attention.

Children will endure a lot of pain just to get some kind of recognition, positive or negative. Failing a student simply communicates a lack of confidence in his or her abilities.

The lesson is to not give up on students. Because if you give up on them, they will give up on themselves. When children feel that there is no chance for success, they will stop trying. And if they are not getting their needs satisfied through positive behavior, they will attempt to get them met through negative behaviors. Recognizing when children do not feel safe is important for both teachers and parents. Dr. Jane Bluestein suggests that children who feel unsafe exhibit certain characteristics that parents and teachers should be watching for. These behaviors indicate that children may be at risk for destructive, compulsive, or addictive behavior. These characteristics include:

  • They do not feel valued and secure in school.

  • They do not feel listened to and believe that their opinions are unimportant.

  • They exhibit a high degree of despair, believing that they cannot positively and realistically affect or change their lives.

  • They are negative and pessimistic.

  • They have difficulty expressing feelings constructively. They have a tendency to stuff feelings or blow up.

  • They compete for power with most adults (and often peers).

  • They have difficulty taking no for an answer.

  • They have few interests, perhaps watching a lot of TV.

  • They have difficulty solving problems or making decisions.

  • They have a tendency to blame and avoid responsibility.

  • They lie.

  • They are superachievers.

  • They are poor achievers.

  • They are nonconformists.

  • They bully.

  • They dislike school.

  • They are disruptive at school.

  • They clown around at school (instead of working).

  • They are withdrawn.

  • They fake sickness.

  • They have friends who use drugs or alcohol.

The above characteristics do not necessarily indicate serious problems. They are simply warning signs of which to be aware. If you are concerned, talk with the student. If you are still concerned, talk with the student's parents. If you are still concerned, your principal can direct you to additional resources.

But before you do anything else, talk with the child in a nonthreatening, caring manner. Express your concerns and offer to help. Talking with a child is always the very best way to begin dealing with any problem, at home or at school.

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Lesson 10 Quiz

  1. Which of the following does homework accomplish?

It turns all children into lifelong readers.

For some children, it gives them their first chance to complete a task on their own.

It fulfills their need for fun.

It prevents discipline problems.

  1. Which of the following portrays a do-nothing?

A high self-concept.


Extroverted with many friends.

A feeling of failure and no hope of succeeding in school.

  1. What is a homework place?

It is a place to time-out students who do not do their homework.

It is a state of consciousness that students must attain to do homework properly.

It is a place on the board to write homework assignments.

It is a specific area at home where students can do their homework.

  1. What will happen if you give up on students?

They will do better in school.

You will feel better in the long term.

Students will give up on themselves.

You will have a better chance of helping them at some later point.

  1. What causes all student misbehavior?

A desire to hurt the teacher.

A desire to embarrass parents.

An urge to hurt themselves.

An attempt to solve a problem.

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Chapter 1. Lesson 11: Problems and Independence


The greatest gifts you can give children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

Denis Waitley

What America should ultimately do is erect a statue of responsibility in San Francisco Harbor to offset the Statue of Liberty in New York to remind us constantly that without one we cannot have the other.

Rollo May

In this lesson, we will examine discipline problems that arise out of students' need for freedom and independence. These problems occur more frequently in the preteen and teenage years, but independence can be an issue at any age.

Independence and responsibility are related. For example, a speaker asked a group of teachers, "Do you want your students to be independent or responsible?" Most teachers answered that they would like their students to be both responsible and independent. Then one teacher stood up and dissented, "I want my students to be otherwise."

The speaker felt that the teacher had every right to another opinion, but was curious, "If you want your students to be otherwise, then what would you like them to be." "Otherwise," repeated the teacher. "You want them to be other than independent or responsible, right?" questioned the speaker. "No," responded the teacher, "just otherwise."

The speaker, now feeling like he was being drawn into a comedy routine, asked again, "Okay, what do you mean by otherwise?" "Ah," sighed the teacher, "I want my students to act wisely with others in mind. I want them to be independent, to act free from the influence of others. And I want them to be responsible, to act while respecting the rights and needs of others. I want them to act wisely with others in mind. I want them to be other-wise."

How does one go about helping students become other-wise? Teaching students about independence and responsibility involves allowing them to learn from experience. This requires having a certain amount of faith in children that they will make good decisions or, at least, learn from bad decisions.

In the previous lesson, I mentioned that I did some videotaping at a school in Truckee, California. One of the restaurants that my video crew and I visited there was the Squeeze Inn Restaurant. This quaint little establishment was all of 10 feet wide. You had to walk sideways to get between the tables. You had to, well, squeeze in. Anyway, the establishment's decor included various signs and sayings tacked to the walls. One of those sayings is appropriate here: "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment."

That saying is a nice play on words, but I believe a truer statement would be that experience comes from judgment, good or bad. The way students learn about decisions is by making them. Students learn from both positive and negative outcomes. They learn that decisions bring about results, and they can control the results by the decisions they make.

Many teachers and parents believe that mistakes are bad, that mistakes should not be made, that mistakes should be hidden, and that if you make a mistake, you are a failure. These beliefs can be very damaging to children. Faced with the possibility of making some horrible mistake, children may choose to do nothing, to not try. Children who are overly afraid of making mistakes can easily become frustrated, discouraged, and even depressed.

Just as teachers need to see discipline problems as opportunities for learning, students need to view mistakes in the same light. Making a mistake does not mean that you are a failure. To illustrate this point, Dr. Glasser tells the story of a man who sets out to go to San Diego. For whatever reason, this fellow doesn't make it all the way to San Diego. But, as Dr. Glasser emphasizes, he did not "fail" San Diego. He just didn't get there.

Teachers need to teach their students that mistakes are a natural part of life; everyone makes them. And most people can be very forgiving when others admit their mistakes, apologize, and attempt to solve problems caused by the mistake. Effective teachers see mistakes on tests not as a reason to fail children but as an indication of what they need to teach again.

How do you teach your students to be independent and responsible? By allowing them to make choices, good and bad, and learn from their experience. You also encourage students to try again after making a mistake by your own tolerance of others' errors in judgment. If you laugh at someone's mistake, or if you lose your temper and yell and scream, you are going to teach students to be wary of choices and responsibility.

Here is another chance for you to share some of your life experience with your students. Children love to hear about adults' most embarrassing moments. Sharing your mistakes with your students and talking about what you learned from the experience is an excellent way to teach them about decision making. This is also a great way to build your relationship with your students. They will appreciate the fact that you trust them with your "secrets." I have found talking with my children about my errors in judgment to be enjoyable, educational, and humbling. (Humbling, by the way, is good.)

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Chapter 2. Lesson 11: Problems and Independence

The Procrastinator

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. —Benjamin Franklin

I cannot begin to remember the number of times I have reminded my children (and myself) of that saying by Benjamin Franklin. Procrastinating is a vice with wide appeal. I am tempted to say procrastination is a learned behavior, that we are not born knowing how to procrastinate. However, I am not too sure about that. Procrastination is so common that it might even be considered natural. As to being born a procrastinator, my wife will quickly point out that four of our five children were late being born.

Perhaps procrastination is best understood in terms of basic needs. Procrastination is simply choosing to satisfy one need at the expense of another need. At any one time, we are faced with various needs of different intensities. Part of growing up is understanding that at times we must choose to satisfy some needs that are less pleasurable than others.

Homework is a perfect example. Homework is need fulfilling because it gives a sense of accomplishment and meets the need for power. It may also bring attention and praise from parents or teachers, thereby satisfying the need for love and belonging.

However, after spending seven or eight hours sitting behind a desk at school, children's needs for fun, for friendship, and for freedom are very, very strong. I haven't talked too much about physical needs, but the need for exercise can also be very compelling.

So with homework, it is quite understandable that children will want to satisfy the needs that are the strongest at that time. For most children, freedom, fun, and friendship are the needs pulling the hardest.

One of the parenting books I read recently says flat out, "Procrastination is not genetic." Viewed in terms of basic needs, however, procrastination does have genetically implanted roots. I guess it would be safe to say that we are all born procrastinators.

Natural or not, procrastination is something we all have to face. For students, it can be a statement of independence: "I'll do it when I am ready to do it," or, "I will do it in my own time." Procrastination is also a common reaction to teachers who are very controlling or demanding. It is a rebellious statement that "you cannot control me. I will comply when I am ready and not before."

In my experience, I have found that there is one school instructional activity that leads very easily to procrastination. That is the school project. School projects strike fear in the hearts of most parents. I must point out that I am not educationally opposed to learning projects. Properly used, these projects can help students relate what they have learned in the classroom to the real world. But if children have eight weeks to do their project, you can be fairly certain that on the seventh day of the eighth week they will still be working on it.

Now, let's look at a specific problem regarding school projects and procrastination. As you will see, as with homework, dealing with project problems involves educating parents as well as students.

The problem: When it comes to school projects, Todd is a procrastinator. This is nothing new. Every time he has a project, he waits until the last minute to finish it. More times than not, he will not have the right materials or the right book, and his parents will have to drop what they are doing to get Todd what he needs.clock

Boundaries and outcomes: Todd's teacher took a proactive step and sent a note home to parents with the project timeline. In the note she suggested that they monitor their child's progress and establish boundaries and positive outcomes. Todd's parents took the note to heart and put the following boundary in place: He must finish his project on his own, and it must be completed two days before it is due. If he succeeds, he will be given an extra night out with his friends for the next four weekends.

However, it is now two days before the due date, and the project is still not finished. Todd's parents tell him that he has not lived up to the bargain, so he will not get the extra time out with his friends. Todd then shows his parents a list of things he needs for the project but has forgotten about until now. Todd's parents go ballistic. For his total lack of responsibility, his parents ground him for the next month. But they still go out and get the supplies and help Todd finish the project.

The parents meet with the teacher after the project has been completed and ask what they could have done differently.

Problem analysis: The boundary and outcome were reasonable, but for someone like Todd, it should have been more specific. Here, chunking the project could help. That is, the parents should have sat down with Todd at the start of the project and broken it down into segments. Then they would set and agree on a deadline for each of the chunks. And if each part was completed on time, then Todd would earn a privilege.

What this approach does is teach Todd how to complete a project over time. Some teachers assign projects so that parts are due as time passes. However, other teachers simply assume that the students will be able to figure out how to budget their time on their own. Some children can do this, but others need help. Breaking a big problem down into manageable chunks is a handy tool and works to solve many problems.

Solutions: Let's go back to the point where it is two days before the project is due and Todd had not done anything. Instead of punishing Todd (and worse, helping him finish the project), what should the parents have done?

They denied him the agreed-on positive outcome. That was fine. But they should not have rescued Todd by running off to get his supplies and then helping him finish the project. This is a time for a child to learn about the consequences of choices.

Todd chose to wait until the last minute. The consequence is going to be whatever the teacher has set up. Yes, Todd's grade will suffer. But perhaps that short-term setback will have long-term positive results.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: As with the example, parents need to learn to let children suffer the consequences of their procrastination without rescuing them. Many children only learn by experiencing the negative consequences rather than being told about what might happen. Actions here are much stronger than words.

Prevent procrastination by helping your students learn how to manage their time. Establish minideadlines and checkpoints so that both your students and you will know if he or she is falling behind. Suggest that parents have their children create a calendar so that they can see visually each day how much time is left before the project is due. Being able to see a graphic representation of the days left to work on a project is much more effective than just talking about them.

Once you have agreed on a schedule, do not accept excuses. If checkpoints are missed, then the positive outcomes need to be missed as well. If students learn that they can get out of doing work with excuses, they will take that lesson into the real world where the consequences will be much more costly.

By working with parents to deal effectively with procrastination, you can teach students the value of planning ahead and sticking to that plan. You can also show them that their good work is appreciated much more than their excuses. If you think that your students may have some problems with procrastination, deal with it today. Don't . . . procrastinate.

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Chapter 3. Lesson 11: Problems and Independence

The Rebel

Rebellious children are often the result for parents who try to force obedience. —Jane Nelsen

As the quotation from Jane Nelsen suggests, rebellious students are often reacting to what they perceive as an attempt by someone to control them. Unfortunately, schools seldom react to rebels in ways that could help the troubled students find other ways of meeting their needs. Instead, schools tend to punish rebellious students by imposing punishment and tighter controls. And, of course, the more that controls are imposed, the more rebellious the student becomes.

Yes, it's true that rebels sometimes turn to gangs. At least the rebels can gain sympathy from gang members who are probably rebels themselves.

It's interesting that there is a flip side to the obedience problem. While rebels defy those attempting to control them, there are others equally at risk who submit to these controls. These obedient students are at risk because they may become obedient to whomever wants to control them—first their families, then peer groups, cliques, gangs, cults, and other groups who seek to control others for their own purposes.

Let's return to the rebel. A rebel is somebody who protests against something by defying authority. Many times rebels feel that their actions are justified—they are opposing rules that, to them at least, are arbitrary and unnecessarily severe.

A rebel's behavior can be motivated by any of the four basic needs. A student could rebel against a dress code (the needs for power and freedom). A student could rebel against rules about associating with certain other students (the needs for belonging, power, and freedom). A student could rebel against homework (needs for power and fun).

If we remember that all human behavior is an attempt to meet one or more basic needs, then we have the basis for dealing with that behavior and for helping rebels find more constructive ways of expressing their feelings.

Let's look at an example.

The problem: Simone was having a bad year. She was not doing well in any of her subjects. She disliked school, her teachers, and her life. She felt that the world was against her, so she decided to rebel. She was not particular about what she rebelled against. Any rule that she came across was fair game.

She started dressing in unique ways. She was continually off-task and disruptive in class. Simone's rebellious behavior extended to the yard, where she broke every rule she could find. She was doing everything in her power to make sure that she was identified as a rebel.

Boundaries and outcomes: Simone's school utilizes a boundaries-and-positive-outcomes approach to discipline. As a result, all of Simone's privileges have either not been earned or have been withdrawn. All of this has not had an effect on Simone's behavior.

Problem analysis: It would appear that Simone was not happy with her self-image and decided to create a new one. Her old image of herself was one of a failure, one of someone who could not succeed at anything. In her new role as a rebel, Simone sees herself as succeeding at distinguishing herself as a student who does not need to obey rules because she is more important than the rules. This has brought her recognition from other students who are not succeeding and are upset with school.

Solutions: Since her teachers' efforts had not been successful in reaching Simone, she was referred to the school psychologist, Ms. Green, who was trained in Dr. Glasser's reality therapy approach to psychology. This approach holds that mental health is tied to behavior. Therefore, if you want to improve someone's mental health, then you must change his or her behavior. This psychology translates into three questions that can be asked of students with problem behavior: What do you want? What are you doing? Do they match?

When the counselor talked with Simone, it was quickly established that what she very much wanted was to get out of school. The counselor then questioned if graduating would fulfill that need. She said that of course it would. Then, the counselor asked if the way she was currently behaving was helping her get what she wants, graduation. She has to admit that it was not.girl in cap and gown

So the counselor proceeded to talk about what Simone could do to reach her goal and graduate. The counselor was sure to keep Simone's goals reachable and very short-term, to start off with. The counselor wants her to succeed at reaching one goal, and then build on that success.

Ms. Green's solution to the problem was very perceptive and very appropriate for a rebellious student like Simone. The most important aspect of her approach to solving the problem was that it was totally centered on the positive, on what Simone could do to meet her needs. It was not centered on her rebellious behavior and those types of behaviors that she should not engage in.

The counselor's approach was not threatening to Simone. It was easy for her to see that the counselor really had her best interests in mind. A confrontational intervention with a rebellious student is not going to work. It is only going to cause the student to become defensive and, perhaps, even more rebellious.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: The best way to avoid having rebellious students is to have a school that meets Dr. Glasser's three criteria for a quality school: a warm, supportive environment; schoolwork that's useful; and students involved in evaluating their own work. When all students feel that they can succeed in school, if they feel cared for and supported, there will be few discipline problems.

Another way to avoid rebellious behavior is with the use of class meetings that explore topics such as rules and obedience, following or defying rules, the consequences for following or defying rules, and ways to go about changing rules. These discussions not only help students succeed in school but they also help students prepare to deal with the constraints and challenges they will face in the real world.

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hello_html_m6d7d0e9b.gifChapter 4. Lesson 11: Problems and Independence

The Destroyer

Destruction of property is a very serious form of rebellion. If these troubled students do not receive help, they may turn from destroying things to harming other people or themselves. Destruction of property is a cry for help that must not go unanswered. —James Thompson

In the literature I have read about students who destroy or damage property, revenge is often cited as the cause of this behavior. I would agree that revenge may be the objective of the behavior, but it is not the cause of the behavior. Revenge and acts of violence against property or people has its roots in needs. Specifically, the destroyer seeks to satisfy a need for power that has been thoroughly frustrated.

Destruction of property is a way that students demonstrate that they're more powerful than those who attempt to protect their property. It also gives them a feeling of power over others because their behavior instills fear in them.

Some experts believe that the destruction of property stems from a lack of accountability. In other words, those in charge are not catching the persons responsible and making them pay for the damage. There is some truth to this. The more you let students get away with something, the more they're likely to continue or increase that behavior.

However, simply catching a destroyer and making him or her make restitution does not teach responsibility. Restitution is a backward-looking approach to the problem. An approach that would be more helpful to the student and more effective in preventing future destructive behavior would be a forward-looking approach, an approach that teaches responsibility.

I am not against restitution at all. I think that students should make an effort at repairing damage they have caused. However, I would not stop there. I would go beyond the reparation for past misdeeds and look to what can be done to encourage the student to behave more responsibly.

Let's look at an example.

The problem: Vince is a destroyer. His current project involves seeking how many times he can carve messages in his desk without being caught. When his teacher finally catches him in the act, he shows little remorse and appears ready and willing to accept his punishment.

Boundaries and outcomes: A school rule states that destruction of school property will result in an immediate call to parents and a three-day suspension from school.

Problem analysis: The teacher realized that simply administering the called-for punishment was not going to solve the problem. However, she did comply with the school regulation and called the parents. The parents offered no support, stating, "This is a school problem, not a home problem." The teacher also discovered that both parents worked, and that if the suspension was enforced, Vince would be at home alone for three days.

She went to her administrator and explained the situation. She was told that a suspension could be replaced with another consequence if the teacher could come up with one.

Solutions: The teacher created a multiple-part approach to the problem.

First, she talked with the maintenance supervisor and arranged for Vince to help him with his daily duties—several of which involved cleaning up after students, repairing vandalism, or painting over graffiti. The teacher would have had Vince refinish the desk, but that involved working with dangerous tools and chemicals.

Second, she gave Vince the assignment of calculating the cost of materials and labor for repairing the desk.

Third, Vince had to submit a report detailing the costs of the repair and then instructions for doing the refinishing. This meant that some of the three days was spent in the library or talking with other staff members about how the task was to be accomplished.

And finally, once the cost of the repair was determined, Vince had to list fun things that could have been purchased for the class with that same amount of money.

The teacher met with Vince and went over his report. He had actually done a very good and thorough job. They talked about what he had learned about vandalism. Then, she sent Vince's report home to his parents with a note about what a good job he had done.

Note how the teacher was totally nonpunitive. I am sure that some teachers would have been tempted to have Vince stand up in front of the class and read his report about desk refinishing. This would only have served to embarrass Vince and undo a lot of the good accomplished with the assignment.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: One of the so-called experts I found in my research suggested that vandalism can be prevented with a schoolwide approach. Faculty and staff would work together to design effective consequences and to form a network of students who would report all incidents and the perpetrators thereof. The only effect that I can foresee with this approach, however, is creation of sneakier, more clever vandals.

There is something to be said, though, for a schoolwide approach to the problem. Again, this could be accomplished in class meetings held at all grade levels to talk about vandalism.

Dr. Glasser believes that the best way to prevent vandalism is to create a school climate in which all students feel welcome, accepted, and cared for. When students perceive school as a friendly place that has their best interests at heart, vandalism, along with other discipline problems, will rarely take place.

The key, I think, to the prevention of all school discipline problems lies in the philosophy that is best described by the title of one of Dr. Glasser's books: Every Student Can Succeed.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 11: Problems and Independence


I want my students to be other-wise.

Part of teaching students about independence and responsibility is helping them deal with what others think or say about them. You do this by helping students develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. An important part of this is trusting them to make good decisions.

Dr. Jane Bluestein suggests several ways to encourage children's individuality:

  1. Don't compare individual students with anyone else, including you.

  2. Accept that students may like things that you don't and that they may hate things that you really value and like.

  3. Make a list of your students' talents, preferences, and best attributes. Add to that profile whenever possible.

  4. Encourage students' attempts to explore their identities, even though it may seem to take them in some strange directions sometimes.

  5. As often as possible, let them have some say in what they are learning. Give students choices in assignments whenever possible.

  6. Support and encourage students' individual interests.

Instilling self-confidence and self-esteem in students gives them the courage to think and act for themselves. Many times it is the little things that we do as teachers that can have a lasting impact on children.father and son

I am reminded of the story told by a very successful surgeon and author. He tells of passing by a room and overhearing his father say something nice about him. He says that he realized later that that was probably one of the most powerful things that his father could have done for him. Here he was, a little kid in the next room, and his father didn't know he could hear him. He remembered thinking, "If you hear your parents say nice things about you when you're not there, you know they must mean them."

It is not only the big things but also the little, seemingly insignificant things, teachers can do for students that have a lasting effect on their lives. What a wonderful opportunity teachers have to help children grow to become confident, happy, and responsible people!

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Lesson 11 Quiz

  1. What do teachers need to teach students about mistakes?

That they shouldn't make them.

That they are a natural part of life.

That mistakes have no value.

That they should make as many mistakes as possible.

  1. Which of the following is an accurate description of procrastination?

It's an uncommon problem with children.

It can be eliminated with punishment.

It cannot be helped, and children must grow out of it.

It is choosing to satisfy one need at the expense of another need.

  1. What can cause a student to become a rebel?

Attempting to control the student’s behavior.

Giving a student too much encouragement.

Asking for a student’s cooperation.

Relaxing the punishment for a student.

  1. Which of the four basic needs is the destroyer most likely attempting to satisfy?





  1. Which of the following is a way to encourage students' individuality?

Comparing them to other students.

Comparing them to you.


Giving them choices in assignments.

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Chapter 1. Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow


A good cause is often injured more by ill-timed efforts of its friends than by the arguments of its enemies. Persuasion, perseverance and patience are the best advocates on questions depending on the will of others.

Thomas Jefferson

In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience —W. B. Prescott

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. —Brian Adams

With love and patience, nothing is impossible. —Daisaku Ikeda

Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. —Author Unknown

Lord, give me patience . . . and hurry! —George Robinson Ragsdale

I chose to start this chapter with a series of quotations on patience instead of just one. I want to emphasize the critical importance of patience when it comes to discipline. Nothing that you have learned in this course will work without some degree of patience. There are no quick and simple answers when it comes to teaching students responsible behavior.

The title of this lesson is "Let's Try Again Tomorrow." It is one of the magic sentences that Dr. Jane Bluestein recommends to teachers. The statement is meant to be said to a student who continues to make bad choices. Rather than berating or punishing him or her, Dr. Bluestein suggests that you simply take a deep breath and calmly tell the student, "Let's try again tomorrow." This is a caring, nonpunitive, and hopeful way of speaking to a student who is having problems.

This same advice applies to teachers as well. When your best behavior-coaching doesn't seem to be working, don't get upset or depressed. Simply say to yourself, "I'll try again tomorrow" and let it go at that. Teachers are often too hard on themselves when the discipline efforts fall short of the mark.

Dr. Bluestein has four additional key sentences that may be of help to you in your discipline efforts:

  1. "This isn't working." Let's say that you have told a student that he and his friend can play with the computer as long as they play quietly. After about two minutes of quiet, they are yelling and screaming. You might be tempted to stop the behavior with, "What did I tell you about being quiet? Now, be quiet or I am sending you to time-out."

Instead, take a deep breath, count to 10 if necessary, and say, "This isn't working. Let's take turns with the computer." Both approaches solve the immediate problem. The second way is more respectful and keeps your blood pressure at an acceptable level.

  1. "Think of a solution that will work for both of us." This transfers the responsibility for solving the problem to the student. This sentence is particularly valuable when negotiating with older children. If a student keeps rejecting your ideas, using this sentence will help both of you move toward a solution to the problem.

  2. "Can you live with that?" This sentence is very different from "Is that okay?" Your suggestion may not be okay, but it might be something that a student can live with. It's a way of reaching a compromise that is acceptable to both the teacher and the student.

  3. "Tell me what you just agreed to." This both gains a commitment from the student and confirms his or her understanding of the plan. This makes sure that you and the student are on the same page with respect to solving a problem.

Using these sentences will help you maintain your composure and not let your emotions get the best of you. If you do lose your temper, don't worry. You and your students will both survive the incident. Forgive yourself, move on, and try again tomorrow.

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Chapter 2. Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow

Putting Course Ideas Into Action

Remember the purpose of teaching: to help students develop healthy self-concepts and the life skills they need to be effective, happy, contributing, and respectful members of society.

James Thompson

Throughout this course I have offered many different approaches to solving discipline problems. When looking for a solution to a problem, choose something I have suggested, or a combination of suggestions, and make a plan that feels right for you. You know your students best, and only you can decide what approach will be most effective for them.

When attempting to find a solution to a problem, you might try using the five-step approach that I used in this course. There are many step-by-step discipline programs, and any or all of them may be of help to you. Trying using my five steps, adding or subtracting steps as you see fit.

The problem: It's usually a good idea to spend a moment or two thinking about the problem. If possible, think of the problem in terms of the behavior that you would like the student to change. The more specific you can be in identifying the problem, the easier it will be to find a solution.

Boundaries and outcomes: When establishing boundaries, be sure to keep the number as few as possible. Students will have trouble remembering a large number of boundaries. Always state the boundaries in the positive. Avoid boundaries that start with don't. And always tie a positive outcome (rather than a penalty) to the boundary. Focus on the behavior that you want, not on the behavior that you do not want.

Problem analysis: In analyzing a problem, try starting with the basic needs (the needs for belonging, freedom, power, and fun). Determine which of the four needs the student is attempting to satisfy with his or her inappropriate behavior. Once the need is identified, then you can look for other ways the student can behave to satisfy the need.

This approach is not easy, because at any one time more than one of the needs may be involved. If you can't identify a specific need or needs, just remember that all behavior is chosen for a reason—and that reason is not just to drive you crazy. Students choose to misbehave because it is the best way they can figure out to meet their needs at that time.

Once you realize that the misbehavior is not aimed at you, it is easier to stay objective and calm while approaching a solution.

Solutions: Look for a win-win solution—a solution that gets your needs met as well as the student's. Win-lose solutions are not solutions at all. They only postpone dealing with the real problem. If you can't think of a solution, and the problem behavior is not life-threatening or destructive, don't do anything. Get some distance from the problem. Give yourself a chance to think about the problem calmly, when you are not upset. You need to be in the thinking part of your brain (rather than the emotional part) when seeking a solution.

Don't be afraid to ask the student for input. The worst you will get is, "I don't know." The best you will get is a solution that works for both of you. Use the key sentences that I covered earlier in this lesson. Those sentences can work magic in solving problems.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: The absolute best way to prevent discipline problems is to continue to strengthen your trusting relationship with your students. This can be accomplished by sharing your own thoughts and feelings and then listening to what your students are thinking or feeling. Preventing discipline problems is also approaching every single problem as an opportunity to teach rather than to punish. As long as you continue to have your students' long-term best interests in mind, you will do absolutely fine.

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Chapter 3. Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow

Class Meetings

Students know that teachers care when improvement, rather than perfection, is encouraged. The class-meeting process provides an excellent opportunity for students to trust this philosophy. Class meetings may never be perfect, but every failing can provide an opportunity for solutions. The teacher should continue asking, "What can we do to solve this problem?" Not only does this question show that the teacher cares, it encourages kids to care about each other.

Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, and H. Stephen Glenn, Positive Discipline in the Classroom

I began talking with teachers about discipline problems back in the early 1970s. At that time, Dr. Glasser had just published his groundbreaking book Schools Without Failure. One of the techniques he suggested teachers use to prevent discipline problems was the class meeting.

To hold a class meeting, teachers had the students form a circle. This gave everyone an equal position in the room, and everyone could see each other. The teacher would then lead a discussion.

There were different types of meetings, including problem-solving and open-ended discussions. The rules were simple. Everyone had the right to speak and give his or her thoughts on the subject at hand. The teacher's role was that of a facilitator. His or her job was to remain nonjudgmental so as to encourage the participation of all students. The students were also instructed to remain nonjudgmental and to listen to and accept what their classmates had to say.

It was not necessary for the class meetings to talk about discipline per se. However, just having the class meetings served to prevent discipline problems. Why is this? The answer lies in the basic needs and how they relate to discipline problems. Students who are seeking to get their needs met in a negative way because they could not get them met in a positive manner most often use disruptive or inappropriate behavior.

Class meetings are a very need-fulfilling activity. They meet students' need for power because they get to express their thoughts and feelings, and people listen to what they have to say. They meet students' need for love and belonging because their teacher and peers are accepting them and they are taking part in an activity with their friends. They meet students' need for freedom because they are free to choose when to speak and what to say. And class meetings meet the need for fun because they are nonthreatening, challenging, and enjoyable experiences.

Earlier this year, I read an article about a school in Los Angeles that had a history of serious discipline problems. A new principal came to the school and was determined to turn the tide, reduce discipline problems, and encourage appropriate behavior. In just one year, the principal has drastically reduced the number of serious discipline problems. She accomplished this by making just one change in the school routine. That change was to require that every school day begin with a class meeting. That is convincing evidence of the potential of class meetings.

If someone presents a problem at the meeting, then all attendees brainstorm solutions. Resist the temptation to offer advice. You can give your opinion as long as your opinion has the same weight as your students' opinions. Once various solutions have been explored, selecting one solution can be left to the person who presented the problem. Or if it was agreed upon ahead of time, a vote could be taken as to what would be the best solution. But even with a vote, it would still be up to the person with the problem to decide to accept it or not.

Class meetings can be very powerful. Just allowing a student a chance to voice his or her opinion and express feelings might be enough to inspire a change in behavior. It often takes time for meetings to reach their full potential. For one thing, it will take a while for students to believe that they can actually say what they feel without being put down or criticized.

Class meetings can also be fun activities. I remember a "mystery box" meeting that was a favorite of the children at one of Dr. Glasser's schools. The mystery box can be a shoebox or another other small container. Each week, the mystery box is entrusted to a student. It is that student's job to select some secret item to put into the box. The box is presented at the next meeting, and the other students and the teacher have to determine what is in the box by asking yes or no questions. If the item remains a mystery at the end of the meeting, it is revealed to the delight of all.wooden box

It's a terrific need-fulfilling, trust-building, and fun activity. I highly recommend that you give it a try.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow

A Positive Note

Don't just learn something from every experience, learn something positive. —Al Neuharth

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. —Willie Nelson

My very first full-time job was as an instructor at a university. I was more than a little nervous about teaching, especially at the college level. All of my undergraduate and graduate study had been in the area of communications, not education. I could bring to mind only one piece of advice a professor friend had given me for teaching: "Always end a course on a positive note." These last two chapters are my attempt to follow that advice.

You have probably noticed that in this course I often relied on the works of William Glasser and Jane Bluestein. This is because I very much respect their work as well as their philosophy of life. They are both very positive people and have been very generous in allowing me to use their materials in my classes. I mention this here because I am going to enlist their help in bringing this course to a conclusion.

First, I would like to share a short quotation from Dr. Glasser's book Schools Without Failure. I believe it provides an excellent summary of what discipline should be all about:

In helping children, we must work to make them understand that they are responsible for fulfilling their needs, for behaving so that they can have a successful identity. No one can do it for them.

I would also like to leave you with some very positive thoughts courtesy of Dr. Bluestein. This is her list of the best things an adult ever said to a child:

  • "I care about you."

  • "How are you?"

  • "You are a good person."

  • "You can do anything you choose to do."

  • "You're very smart."

  • "I'm so glad that we've got you."

  • "You are very special."

  • "When you make up your mind to do something, you always follow through."

  • "You are number one."

  • "Congratulations! You deserve this!"

  • "You'll go far. I'll never have to worry about you."

  • "You're beautiful."

  • "You add so much to this class."

  • "You're really good at . . ."

  • "I really like who you are."

  • "How do you feel about that?"

  • "What do you think?"

  • "I respect you."

  • "You're more responsible than a lot of adults I know."

  • "You're going to achieve whatever you want because of your great personality."

  • "You did a wonderful job! I'm so proud of you."

  • "I appreciate knowing I can count on you."

  • "You've got a good head on your shoulders."

  • "You've got a tremendous amount of talent."

  • "I'm so lucky to know you."

  • "You have a great sense of humor" or "You're fun to be with."

  • "I really admire how you . . ."

  • "Your hard work really shows."

  • "I appreciate you."

  • "I believe in you."

Jane follows that list by noting that genuine appreciation comes with no attempts to change or control a child's behavior. Sincere, positive comments from important adults become a part of a child's belief system and self-perception and can greatly influence the way he or she grows.man smiling

And if at a particular moment you find yourself totally speechless, I suggest a big smile. It says a lot.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow


When you put faith, hope and love together, you can raise positive kids in a negative world. —Zig Ziglar

In attempting to find a way to end this course, I was paging through Jane Bluestein's book Mentors, Masters and Mrs. MacGregor. This book is a collection of entertaining and inspiring stories about teachers and other special people who have made a positive, significant difference in the lives of others. I was drawn to Dr. Bluestein's recollections of teachers who she felt played an important part in her life. I believe her thoughts are an excellent way to end this course:

In seventh-grade social studies, my teacher, Mark Blasko, was young and cute and wore these neat tweed jackets with leather patches at the elbows. Knowing that year I was into creating crossword puzzles, he actually helped me sell one to a publisher of educational magazines for kids. Aside from being a terrific social studies teacher, Mr. Blasko has the distinction of being the only teacher I ever wrote to over the summer. Even more amazing, he sent a three-page reply that, 31 years later, I still have.

There were others: Miss Bell, the only gym teacher I ever had in my entire school career who treated me with respect even though I was one of the worst students in her class.

Or Michele Matzkin, whom I wanted to look like, talk like, dress like and generally be,even though, in ninth grade, I didn't think I could ever come close. She inspired me to continue studying French and to pursue my dreams, "no matter how impossible they may seem right now." Her posters of Mont St. Michel eventually culminated in a dream-fulfilling trip there some 25 years later.

Or Dr. Southworth, my supervisor and instructor during my teaching internship, who told me that I was going to be a great teacher even after seeing me on the absolute worst day of my entire classroom career.

But perhaps the teacher that I loved most was my kindergarten teacher, Edith Mather. I don't remember a time that I didn't want to be a teacher, and after a day or two in kindergarten, I couldn't envision myself doing anything else. Mrs. Mather never seemed to mind that for weeks on end, despite dozens of other available activities, all I ever wanted to do was "paint at the easel," or that I was about the only girl who ever wanted to play in the wood shop. She let me hum the Christmas carols when my parents said I wasn't allowed to sing the words. She was the one who took a poster I had painted of children at a playground to a school board meeting and, as a result, according to what she later told my parents, got the necessary funding to have a playground installed for us at the school that year.

Mrs. Mather never, ever yelled, although she did lose her patience with me once when I simply would not quit talking, and asked me to go to the cloakroom to wait until she was finished with her announcements. Arrogant because I honestly felt as though I were somehow above this kind of punishment, and furious that she kept interrupting me, I stormed off to the cloakroom uttering a few choice swear words to let her know that this five-year-old was not pleased! I remember Mrs. Mather calling me away from the now-stunned class, sitting on the piano bench so she could meet me at eye-level, and calmly proceeding to let me know that we just don't use words like that in kindergarten. In a million years I will never know how she kept a straight face, and in the end, she let me sit back down again.

When I was in high school, I tried tracking her down to go visit her but discovered that she had left the district. Many years later, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact her, a friend's mother discovered that Mrs. Mather had moved to another town in New Jersey, and sent me the address. I wrote her a letter, detailing some of my finer memories of her class. I sent her a copy of my kindergarten picture, as well as a copy of my latest promotional brochure, telling her how, because of her influence, I had decided to pursue my lifelong ambition to become an educator.

Later that summer, I received a letter from her son. He had been going through his mother's things and found my letter. He thanked me for writing and assured me that his mother had enjoyed hearing from me. My letter had arrived two weeks before she died.

If I had any doubts before I started this book, I am now completely convinced that we do indeed touch one another's lives. We are products of a lifetime of experiences, events, interactions, a word or a look—any of which can have a profound effect on who we become in life. How we act with one another matters because people notice and they remember and they sometimes carry these memories throughout their lives. I'm also reassured that no matter how many negative forces are at work in a person's life, it sometimes takes no more than one person, one act of love or acceptance or encouragement, to make a difference. More often than not, that person will never see, know or receive evidence of the impact he or she has had on us—unless we stop and say, "Thanks for making a difference in my life!"

I send my thanks to Dr. Bluestein for her words of inspiration and encouragement as I set about writing this course. I would also like to thank you for taking this course. I hope that you have found the learning experience rewarding and enjoyable, and I hope that what you have learned may make a difference in your life and the lives of your students.

I leave you with one final thought. Remember that modeling is a powerful instructional tool. Use it and teach by example. Envision the type of person you would like your students to become, and then do your best to be that very person.

Please don't forget to test yourself by taking the final exam, which you can get to by clickingcompletion at the top or bottom of the classroom. Good luck! You've been a great class, and I wish you every success.

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Final Exam

Completion > Final Exam

Important: Please note that we do not use your quiz scores to determine your eligibility for a completion letter or to measure your success in meeting the objectives of this course. Our assessment of your performance in this course will rely exclusively on your final exam score. In order to obtain the highest possible score on the final exam, we strongly recommend that you make sure you have taken and passed every quiz. We also recommend that you print and review a copy of the final exam before you actually take the exam.

Please review your selections before submitting. You may only submit your final exam answers once. In order to qualify for the Completion Letter, you'll need to successfully complete the final exam with a score of 65% or higher. Within 1-2 minutes, you will receive an evaluation of your answers.

  1. According to choice theory, what motivates all human behavior?

Our desire to satisfy our basic physical and psychological needs.

Our desire to please others.

Our desire to do the right thing.

Our environment.

  1. When is punishment appropriate for teaching responsibility?

Only for severe misbehavior.

Only if it is permitted by state law.

Only in schools when delivered by licensed teachers.

Punishment is never appropriate.

  1. Why do students choose to misbehave?

Because, at that moment, they have no other choice.

Because circumstances cause their misbehavior.

Because the misbehavior better satisfies their basic needs than appropriate behavior.

Because they are trying to drive you crazy.

  1. Which of the following applies to children from dysfunctional families?

They are condemned to dysfunctional lives themselves.

Children of dysfunctional families will look outside the family to get their needs met.

They will never be able to get their needs met.

They will all grow up to be irresponsible adults.

  1. What is the most effective way to teach students about responsibility?

By letting them have their way some of the time.

By not yelling and screaming at them.

By only punishing them for severe misbehavior.

By giving them choices.

  1. Which of the following applies to obedient students?

They have a hard time functioning in the absence of authority.

They strive to have control over their own lives.

They take responsibility for their actions and rarely blame others for their mistakes.

They will learn about responsibility by closely following directions.

  1. What part of their students' brains must teachers address when teaching responsibility?

The rational part of the brain.

The emotional part of the brain.

The protective part of the brain.

The subconscious part of the brain.

  1. When a student is hurt or severely threatened, how does his or her brain react?

It immediately activates the decision center.

It calms down to make a rational response.

It shuts down emotions.

The cerebral cortex, the thinking part of the brain, shuts down.

  1. Why do some students intentionally make teachers lose their tempers?

Because it gives them a feeling of power and control over their teachers.

Because they think it is what teachers want.

Because they believe that it is the right thing to do.

Because it meets their need for emotional stress.

  1. Which of the following is a proper guideline for presenting choices to students?

The options must be acceptable only to the teacher.

The options must be acceptable only to the students.

The options need not be acceptable to the student.

Choices need to be acceptable to, and meet the needs of, both the teacher and the students.

  1. Why does the win-win approach to discipline prevent resentment in students?

Because it lets them know that teachers are in charge.

Because it lets them know that they are in charge some of the time.

Because it lets them know that their needs are being recognized and considered.

Because it lets them know exactly what their punishment will be.

  1. How do teachers make deposits in students' emotional bank accounts?

By their acts of courtesy toward students.

By offering rewards for good behavior.

By making sure obedience is achieved.

By modeling how not to be responsible.

  1. Which of the following is a proper statement of a positive boundary?

If you return the book that you borrowed, you can borrow another book.

If you do not return the book that you borrowed, you will be sent to the principal.

If you do not return the book that you borrowed, you will choose to be sent to the principal.

If you do not return the book that you borrowed, you will not be able to borrow any more books.

  1. Which of the following is a characteristic of a good boundary?



Trusting students so you don't have to follow-through.


  1. How does an expectation differ from a boundary?

An expectation states only the negative outcome.

An expectation focuses only on the teacher's needs.

An expectation focuses only on the students' needs.

An expectation is not normal.

  1. Which of the following can cause students to become people-pleasers?




Positive boundaries.

  1. According to Dr. Glasser, when is the only time you should give advice?

When you are absolutely sure that you are right.

When it is least expected.

Only when students are mature enough to understand it.

When someone asks for it.

  1. What benefits does criticism offer?

It is a good tool to teach responsibility.

It is constructive.

It appeals to the cerebral cortex part of the brain.

None. It causes anger and resentment.

  1. What is the best use of time-out?

As an effective way to stop unwanted behavior with punishment.

As an opportunity to teach the student more appropriate behavior.

As a mild form of punishment that is only emotionally harmful.

As a reward for good behavior.

  1. Which of the following applies to whining?

It is a learned behavior.

It is instinctive.

It is a student's attempted to satisfy the need for freedom.

There is no effective solution to whining.

  1. Why should you avoid reminding students of their mistakes?

Because it will cause resentment.

Because it encourages people-pleasing.

Because it threatens their need for survival.

Because you create a lose-win situation.

  1. When is a Teaching Time-out preferable to a regular time-out?



Only when students are 8 years of age or older.

Only as a last resort.

  1. What does the majority of research say about spanking and corporal punishment?

That it is not harmful.

That is has no long-term negative outcomes.

That is has many positive outcomes.

That its negative outcomes greatly outweigh the positive outcomes.

  1. How many organizations advocate eliminating corporal punishment as a way of disciplining children?




Well over 40.

  1. Which of the following will defiant students respond to positively?





  1. Which of the following satisfies a student's need for power?

Acknowledging good efforts and successes.

Ignoring failures and good efforts.

Ignoring successes and good efforts.

Punishing failures and poor efforts.

  1. Why is the broken-record technique ineffective?

Because it is repetitive.

Because it forces arguments.

Because it is a boundary.

Because it is disrespectful.

  1. Which of the following is an effective way to solve problems regarding cheating?

By punishing the student every single time he or she cheats.

By failing the student.

By suspending the student from school.

By discovering which basic need the student is attempting to satisfy by cheating.

  1. Which of the following applies to a student who chooses to cheat on a test?

The choice is motivated by internal needs.

The choice is solely motivated by external forces.

The choice is solely motivated by peer pressure.

The choice is solely motivated by the teacher.

  1. What effect can failing in school have on students' behavior?

This will have no effect on children's behavior.

It will actually make them happier.

It will cause them to want to behave better in school.

It often results in disruptive behavior.

  1. What can be said of independence and responsibility?

They are unrelated.

They are related.

They are mutually exclusive.

They are contradictory.

  1. What is a danger of teaching students strict obedience to authority?

They may become easily influenced by any person or group wanting to control them.

There is no real danger.

The students may grow up to be rebels and destroyers.

The students will be obedient to teachers and no one else.

  1. Which of the following is a good way to encourage students' individuality?

Comparing them to other students their age.

Comparing them to good adult role models.

Comparing them only to students who are more mature.

By not comparing students to anyone.

  1. What approach to solving discipline problems is recommended in this course?

The two-step approach.

The three-step approach.

The four-step approach.

The five-step approach.

  1. What is the purpose of the key sentence, 'Tell me what you just agreed to'?

To intimidate the student.

To motivate the student.

To gain a commitment.

To get the student's attention.

  1. Considering everything that you have learned in this course, what is the best way to control students' behavior?

With attention.

With praise.

With logical consequences.

You cannot control students' behavior.

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hello_html_m65b19f91.gifLesson 12 Quiz

  1. When your best discipline efforts are not working, what should you say to yourself?

I'll get it right tomorrow.

I'll never let that happen again.

I'll try again tomorrow.

My students will get it right tomorrow.

  1. Which of the following is an ineffective key sentence for solving discipline problems?

Do it now, or else you will suffer the consequences.

That won't work for me.

I can live with that.

Tell me what you just agreed to.

  1. When using the five-step approach suggested in this course, which of the following is acceptable?

Do not add a step.

Never subtract a step.

Add or subtract steps as needed.

Never change the steps.

  1. Which of the following is accurate regarding class meetings?

They are not need-satisfying.

They need strong adult leaders.

They are only need-fulfilling for the teacher.

They can prevent discipline problems.

  1. Who is responsible for fulfilling students' needs?




Other students.

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Chapter 1

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It


If we want today's students to become accountable for what they do and responsible for making something of themselves, we're going to have to provide them with learning experiences that give their brains enough of the right kind of information to grow on.

Douglas Naylor

"Now you're going to get it!" is normally a threat directed by adults toward children. The use of a threat in the title of this lesson is actually not inappropriate, because we'll examine why threats, among other things, are not effective ways to teach children appropriate behavior.

"Now you're going to get it!" could also be interpreted as a declarative sentence meaning, "Now you are going to understand it." That meaning also has relevance for this lesson. When talking with teachers about the secret to effective discipline,I find that many of them finally get my message when I talk about what teachers are not supposed to do.

What you are not supposed to do, what doesn't work, is the subject of this lesson. Once you know what not to do, you will better understand what you need to do.

To explain the actions you should not take, I need to talk a little about how the brain works.

There are three basic parts of the brain: the brain stem (the protective brain), the limbic system (the emotional brain), and the cerebral cortex (the rational brain).

The brain stem, the protective brain, serves as our survival system. Its job is to keep us alive. It controls blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, body temperature, and other body functions necessary for our survival. It is also our early warning defensive system. The protective brain scans information received from the world for anything that might be life threatening. When danger is perceived, it takes over from all other functions of the brain and generates life-saving behavior. It immediately readies the body for fight or flight.

The limbic system, the emotional brain, is the home of feelings. Its job is to determine whether information being received brings good news, bad news, or nothing new. When the news is good, the limbic systems tells us to feel happy, glad, contented, or satisfied. When the news is bad, it tells us to feel mad, frustrated, afraid, or worried. The purpose of emotions is to prepare the body for action. Feeling good prepares the body for friendly, cooperative behavior. Feeling bad energizes the body to deal with trouble.

The cerebral cortex, the rational brain, is the home of thinking and learning. It's to this part of the brain that we direct our teaching. Here is where incoming information is analyzed and choices and decisions are made. The rational brain organizes incoming information into meaningful patterns that make life in the real world understandable.

Since teaching students about responsible behavior involves learning and choices, we must make sure that what we are teaching children makes it past the protective and emotional parts of the brain and reaches the rational, cerebral cortex. If what we are attempting to teach is blocked by one of the other functions of the brain, then our teaching will be ineffective.

I have said earlier that spanking or other forms of physical punishment do not teach responsibility. As soon as you hurt a child, even slightly, you cause the child's brain to downshift to protective, defensive functioning. The thinking, learning part of the brain is turned off. Any attempt to reason with the child, to give her choices from which to learn, will have no effect.

When you are in a highly emotional situation, your body is charged with adrenaline, and you are supersensitive to the world around you. Traumatic experiences are also etched into your memory. If someone hurts you or severely frightens you, you will remember those feelings for a long time. This is the job of the protective brain stem. It wants you to remember what happened, how you reacted, and what you did to survive the situation.

While children in a survival mode cannot make rational decisions, they can still remember. Experiences tied to strong emotions are remembered vividly. While you may want to teach a student something about behavior through physical punishment, the only thing he is likely to remember is the punishment itself, not the lesson.

I remember very little about what I was taught in grade school. But I do remember certain incidents. I remember the day when one of my teachers got so angry with us students that she kicked the waste basket so hard it flew over our heads and crashed into the back wall of the classroom. I remember when one of the school bullies cornered me in the school yard and gave me a bloody nose. Fear and pain make firm anchors for memories.

We are also ineffective when our disciplinary efforts are stopped at the emotional brain. If we yell at students or threaten them, their emotional brain says, "This is bad news. This is not a time to feel comfortable and happy. This is a time to be apprehensive, to be worried, to be afraid. This is not a time to be open and cooperative."

When we talk to students about behavior, we do not want a defensive fight-or-flight reaction. We do not want an emotional, tearful reaction. We want our students to hear what we are saying, to understand, and to remember our message.student and teacher

Therefore, if we want to teach students responsible behavior, we must do so in ways that do not create fear or cause pain. If we want children to learn, we need to gain their cooperation in the process. We cannot force children to be responsible. It is a path they themselves must choose.

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Chapter 2

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It

Why Threats Don't Work

No use to shout at them to pay attention. If the situations, the materials, the problems before the child do not interest him, his attention will slip off to what does interest him, and no amount of exhortation or threats will bring it back.

John Holt

In the previous chapter, I pointed out that threats do not work because they are directed to the emotional center of the brain and invite emotional reactions from students rather than teach them about responsibility.

Another reason that they don't work is because if threats are used often enough, students either ignore them or find ways around them. The lesson here is not to underestimate students' intelligence. They are often smarter than we give them credit for.

To illustrate this point, I offer the following story that I recently ran across on the Internet. I like it because of its message and because I am particularly fond of duck stories.

Once upon a time, a duck walked into a pet store and asked the owner, "Do you have any duck food?" The owner said, "No." The next day the duck walked in and asked the owner, "Do you have any duck food?" The owner said, "No, we do not sell duck food." The next day the duck came back again and asked, "Do you have any duck food?" The owner said, "No, and if you come in here again I will nail your beak to the wall!" The next day the duck walked into the store and asked the owner, "Do you have any nails?" The owner replied with confusion, "No, we don't have any nails!" The duck then asked, "Do you have any duck food?"toy duck

By the way, there's a reason why I like duck stories. When my first daughter was about 3, I asked her if she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. "Oh, yes daddy," she quickly answered, "I know." Ah, I thought, already she's thinking about being a scientist, teacher, firefighter, or maybe even a writer like her dad. So, I asked, "What do you want to be?" With a smile and wide eyes, she replied, "I want to be a duck." Oh, well.

The pet store owner's threat didn't work with the duck. Threats will not work with students either. Threats don't work for two reasons.

One reason is that your students might believe that you do not intend to follow through on the threat. For instance, "If you are tardy one more time, I am going to show up at your house and walk you to school myself." The threat may serve to get students' attention but will do little to change their behavior or teach them responsibility. The threats do not have to be outlandish to fall into the unbelievable category. If you are in the habit of using threats and then not following through, your students will ignore them.

The other reason that threats don't work is that they appeal to the emotional part of the brain. When the threat is received, a bad feeling is triggered that interferes with the rational part of the brain needed for reasoning and responsibility. For instance, "If you say that one more time, I am going to call your parents!" The student will fear and remember the thought of her parents being called but is likely to forget what she is not supposed to say.

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Chapter 3

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It

Why Losing Your Temper Doesn't Work

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Robert Frost

We teach students through modeling. They learn from what they see us do. When we lose our temper, we lose control. We are letting the emotional part of our brain overtake the rational part. Therefore, we teach students that anger is an appropriate way to deal with a problem. This lesson is counterproductive to teaching responsibility.

Angry responses also disregard students' needs and feelings. When you lose your temper and yell and scream, students take it personally. Why? Because you are attacking them, not their behavior. With your angry actions, you are saying, "I don't like you." This type of communication is not going to make students feel warm, snuggly, and ready to cooperate.

I will borrow a law of physics and apply it here. "Every action will cause an equal and opposite reaction." Physics was not one of my strong suits, but I believe that is pretty close. What kind of reaction would you expect your anger to produce in your spouse or a colleague? Anger, of course. Two angry people yelling at each other is not likely to end with a positive result.

Also, angry teachers sometimes slip into put-downs, name-calling, and other hurtful types of communication. Here is an example:

TEACHER: (Stopping Suzie in the hall after school) Suzie, you were late again this morning.


TEACHER: So, if I have to be here on time every morning, at least you can show me the courtesy of coming on time.

SUZIE: You're late once in a while.

TEACHER:(Now starting to lose control) Wait a minute, this is not about me! This is about you and your inconsiderate behavior, and I have had enough of it!

SUZIE: Hey, is it my problem if my mom let me oversleep?

TEACHER: (Now yelling) Don't you talk back to me!

SUZIE: I'm just telling you . . .

TEACHER: (Interrupting) You don't tell me anything. I tell you.

SUZIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TEACHER: You have no respect. You make me sick. You don't want to be on time, then you'll just have to go to the office and explain it to them.

SUZIE: Like I care.

TEACHER: (Now totally out of control) How dare you talk to me that way!

(Suzie leaves with a bit of a satisfied smirk on her face.)

Notice the stage direction that I gave Suzie at the end of that little scene. Suzie "leaves with a bit of a satisfied smirk on her face." Why did I do that? Look at the scene again and determine which of the two people is in control of the situation.

Right. Suzie is in control.

Children are much smarter than we give them credit for. I have said that before, and I'll keep repeating it. It is a lesson that many teachers and parents fail to learn. Children can be very manipulative. Even young children know which of the teacher's buttons to push to get an overreaction.

Why would a student intentionally set off a teacher's anger? Which of the student's needs could this type of behavior satisfy? The answer is power. When students are in control of a situation, it meets their need for power. This is natural, because in that same situation (being faced with an angry teacher), their needs for love and belonging, freedom, and fun are certainly not being met.

Put-downs like "You make me sick," or "You're never going to amount to anything" or "You are disgusting" are very harmful. Put-downs are a form of punishment. They are meant to hurt students emotionally. Hurting students will not make them more responsible.

When you're angry, you are probably also going to be irrational. What you say when you are upset may make no sense at all. This is particularly apparent in the questions that are many times part of an angry exchange. The following is an example:

TEACHER: Robert, stop bothering Melissa.

(Robert does not respond, nor does he comply.)

TEACHER: Robert stop that, this minute!

(Robert continues teasing.)

TEACHER: Robert, how many times do I have to tell you to stop?

What does the teacher expect the student to answer? Three times? Four? Even if Robert did answer that question, I doubt that it would satisfy the teacher. This type of question makes no sense at all, but it's one that's used over and over again.

Here is an example of another ineffective question:

TEACHER: Ellie, you still have not cleaned up your desk.

ELLIE: Uh, so?

TEACHER: So why can't you ever do anything I ask when I ask you to do it?

Now, if Ellie could suppress her emotions, and if she had taken this course, she might respond as follows:

ELLIE: Well, at the moment you asked me to clean up my desk I was involved in a very interesting and enjoyable conversation with Janie. My psychological need for fun at that moment superseded my need to comply with your request and thereby gain your approval and satisfy my need for love and belonging. Therefore, I chose to continue talking with Janie rather than clean up my desk.

Asking students why they are not doing what they need to do is seldom productive. Many times they don't know why they did what they did. The normal, and appropriate, response, therefore, is, "I don't know."

To teach students about responsible behavior, both you and your students have to be in a rational state of mind. Losing your temper and getting angry reduces both of you to an emotional level that prevents teaching and learning.

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Chapter 4

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It

Why Do Teachers Keep Doing What Isn't Working?

Have you ever gone to bed at night with the following thoughts: "What a day! I feel like I did nothing but yell. No wonder the kids think I'm so mean!" You feel frustrated, guilty, disappointed in yourself. You vow to be more positive tomorrow.

For most teachers, being less grouchy just turns out to mean being more permissive. They awaken the next day and, in their good intentions, give in in places where they, and the kids, need structure and boundaries. They let things slide or say okay to things they would never normally allow.

And when their kids start pushing the envelope, as normal kids will when the limits of the envelope aren't clear or consistent, at some point, a normal teacher will have a tolerance break. They end up even more negative (if not ballistic) than they had gone to bed feeling guilty about the night before.

Dr. Jane Bluestein

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If that statement were entirely accurate, I am afraid most teachers, including myself, would have been committed to rubber rooms a long time ago.

Why do we continue to do what does not work when it comes to discipline? The answer is that we think it is working.

Threatening or bribing or pleading or punishing can bring short-term compliance. In other words, these actions appear to be effective. When the same misbehavior occurs again, we tend to look at it as an isolated incident and handle it the same way we handled it before.

Teachers usually do not see misbehavior in a larger context. If the same inappropriate behavior keeps reoccurring, that means that whatever corrective actions we are taking is not working.

However, reoccurring misbehavior is usually met by the teacher with a frustrated outburst of anger. "Didn't you hear me the last time?" "Why do you insist on teasing your neighbors every single day?" "You are late again. What is wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with you?" That is a very telling question. A teacher who asks that question is saying to the student, "This is all your fault. You are a bad person. If there was not something wrong with you, we would not be having these problems. It is not your behavior that is the problem. You are the problem."

A very good first step to effective discipline is for teachers to look at their own behavior as well as their students'. Teachers should ask themselves, "What can I do differently to help my students change their behavior?" After all, you can only control your own behavior, not your students'.

There is another reason why some teachers continue to do what isn't working. It is because their behavior, no matter how ineffective with students, still meets one or more of the teacher's basic needs. Some teachers continue to demand obedience from students, even if they know that approach isn't working. Feeling that you have control over your students meets your need for power. Unfortunately, some teachers are so starved for power that the only way they can get this need met is at the expense of their students.

Another reason we continue ineffective behavior is because we think we are doing the right thing. For instance, if a student spills some paint on the classroom floor, a logical and proper consequence would be for the child to clean up the spill. But it is not only what you do, it is how you do it. Here are some parent responses to the spilled paint:spilled paint

"Clean that up this instant. Can't you pay attention to what you are doing?"

"How can you be so clumsy? You are just like your little sister! I am not going to clean up after you. You clean it up right now."

It's a common misbelief that students need to feel bad or suffer to learn from their mistakes. Adding humiliation to the situation turns what the teacher is saying into punishment. Emotional punishment is just as painful, and just as harmful, as physical punishment.

Please think about and take to heart the information in this chapter. Helping students learn to be responsible is an important part of your job. The last thing you want is to unintentionally hurt them with your discipline efforts.

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Chapter 5

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It


The bottom line will always come down to our intention: If our goal is to teach responsibility and self-control, build community and raise kids to be respectful, considerate citizens, we will choose different behaviors than we would if our goal were to exact revenge, cause pain or disempowerment. And corporal punishment will not be among the behaviors we select, no matter how well justified we think we are.

Dr. Jane Bluestein

In the next lesson, we'll begin focusing on the effective actions you can take with your students in teaching responsibility. But in concluding this lesson, I want to go over and reemphasize what should not be done. This is very important because well-intentioned but misdirected discipline efforts can harm children.

I will summarize both the authoritarian and the permissive approaches and detail the negative aspects of each. The following is adapted from Dr. Jane Bluestein's book 21st Century Discipline, which I highly recommend.

The Authoritarian Approach to Discipline

  • What results from an authoritarian approach? Teachers win; students lose. Teachers may get their needs met, but students do not get their needs met.

  • What does the authoritarian approach look like? Teachers are demanding and inflexible. The price of students' compliance is their efforts to avoid punishment, criticism, humiliation, and put-downs. Teachers deal with the students, not the behavior. They equate students' poor choices with character flaws ("Something is wrong with them; they made a bad choice, therefore they are bad").

Teachers basically believe that students will not do anything right unless they are forced to. They may practice any or all of the following: yelling, controlling, manipulating, threatening, condemning, criticizing, punishing, or nagging. Teachers make the decisions. Students are seldom, if ever, given choices and the opportunity to make decisions.

  • What does the authoritarian approach communicate to students? That teachers are the boss, and what they say goes. It also says that teachers know what's best for students, that their needs are more important than students' needs, and that teachers can have their way because they are bigger and more powerful than students.

  • What does the authoritarian approach sound like? Here's a sampling: "Because I said so." "Your desk is a mess. Clean it up, or else." "You make me sick." "Why can't you be like your sister?"

  • Are there any advantages to the authoritarian approach? You'll find that it's supported by tradition ("It worked for my teachers, and it will work for me."). Also, it may satisfy teachers' needs and gain short-term compliance.

  • What are the disadvantages to the authoritarian approach? Many. It creates obedience and therefore teacher-dependence. At best it generates compliance, not commitment and responsibility. It may generate resentment or rebellion from students. It definitely does not teach decision-making or self-managing behavior. It teaches students to use their own power (bullying, hurting, teasing) to get what they want. It does not teach cooperation, compromise, or respect for other's needs. And finally, for the teacher, this control-oriented type of relationship can be exhausting, stressful, and frustrating.

The Permissive Approach to Discipline

  • What results from a permissive approach? Teachers lose; children win. Students may get their needs met, but teachers don't get their needs met.

  • What does the permissive approach look like? It is frequently (and incorrectly) seen as the only alternative to an authoritarian approach. Also, teachers offer freedom with little structure or limits, and yet they expect students to behave responsibly in appreciation. They naively believe that "if they care enough, they will do it for me." And so they're apt to take students' misbehavior personally.

The permissive approach is inconsistent. Teachers minimize their needs at first, but then they criticize students for their lack of cooperation. Also, teachers may offer choices—but only to test their students' ability to make the "right" choice. Permissive teachers may practice any or all of the following: begging, pleading, nagging, whining, or condemning. And worst of all, there is little or no distinction between students' behavior and self-worth.

  • What does the permissive approach communicate to students? That students' needs are more important than teachers' needs, that external approval is more important than self-care, and that choosing behavior because it pleases others is good.

  • What does the permissive approach sound like? It has a whiny tone, as you can see: "Please, will you try to be good for a change?" "I am so sick of getting after you." "You guys have it so easy." "I give up. Do what you want."

  • Are there any advantages to the permissive approach? Not many. It may give teachers short-term relief, because the students get their way and leave teachers alone—for a while. Also, this approach may work with students who respond to guilt, fear of abandonment, or who are afraid to make decisions without teachers' approval (if that can be seen as an advantage).

  • What are the disadvantages of the permissive approach? You can probably already see several: It reinforces obedience, teacher-dependence, and the need for external approval. It generates (if anything) compliance, not commitment. Because it is an inconsistent, unpredictable approach, it frustrates students' need for power, which is their need to be in control of their own lives. It does not teach responsible, decision-making, or self-managing behavior' but prompts students to use helplessness and manipulative behavior to get their needs met. And last, it does not teach cooperation, negotiation, or respect for the needs of others.

As you look over this fairly extensive description of things that teachers should not do, please bear in mind that none of us is by any means perfect. We all occasionally engage in negative behaviors from time to time. Many times we are overwhelmed by the stress and obligations of family or work, and we let our emotions get the best of us. That's okay. If you are doing a good job otherwise, an occasional lapse is not going to irreversibly harm your students. They are remarkably resilient.

The objective of this course is not perfection but, more reasonably, progress. The fact that you are taking this course says a lot about the type of teacher you are. You care about your students, and you want to do the very best job that you can. I'm sure this course will help.

Now that you have been thoroughly immersed in the no-no's of teaching responsibility, it is time to move on to the more positive side. It's time to look at what teachers can do. And that is the subject of the next lesson.

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Lesson 3 Quiz

  1. Which of the following describes the cerebral cortex part of the brain?

It is the thinking, rational part of the brain.

It is the part of the brain that houses emotions.

It is the part of the brain that controls unconscious body functions such as breathing.

It is the part of the brain that protects us against threats.

  1. Why are threats ineffective in dealing with students?

Threats appeal only to the rational part of the brain.

Threats do not address students' emotions.

Threats do not satisfy teachers' needs.

Threats do not address the rational, thinking part of the brain.

  1. To teach students about responsibility, which of the following is required?

The parents' cooperation.

An efficient time-out system.

Enticing rewards for good behavior.

A rational state of mind in both the teacher and the students.

  1. Why is losing your temper an ineffective way of dealing with students' behavior?

It engages the rational part of the brain.

It clashes with children's need for fun.

It gives students too many choices.

It activates the protective brain and shuts down thinking.

  1. Why do many teachers continue to use ineffective approaches to discipline?

Because children will eventually get it.

Because they want to be consistent.

Because ineffective approaches take less time in the long run.

Because they think that what they're doing really is working.

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Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Your assignment for this lesson is to begin to present your students with choices instead of orders. Think of something that your students need to do in the next day or so. This could be schoolwork or a particular behavior. Remind them of what they need to do, and then present a positive outcome if they accomplish it. If they choose to do what you've asked, they also choose the positive outcome. See how your students react to the offer of a choice. Also, examine how you feel about presenting the choice instead of a demand.

Remember, I'm here to help! If you have any questions or comments about this assignment, please take a moment to leave a message for me in the Discussion Area for this lesson.

Special note: If you are not currently teaching, complete these assignments by planning how to use what you've learned with future students.

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave

The next time you have a discipline problem with one of your students, stop and think. Do not react emotionally. Count to 10 if you have to. Then, determine which need your students are attempting to meet, and offer at least two acceptable choices. Be sure that all of the options you present to the student are acceptable to you.

Give this a try and see how the student reacts. And if you'd like to, please share what happened in the Discussion Area.

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It

Think about your interactions with your students over the past week. Which of them would you describe as authoritarian or permissive? Now, considering what you have learned in this lesson, how could you have handled those same situations differently?

Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .

Think about the interactions you are likely to have with your students tomorrow. In how many of those interactions will you need to have the students do something? Now, plan to present your students with choices in at least two of those interactions. As you are planning, review the guidelines for presenting choices in Chapter 1.

Write down your plan, and put it into action tomorrow.

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Chapter 1. Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .


Negotiating is the art of letting the other person have your way.


At one point in my life, I was head of a small company, and I was responsible for negotiating contracts with vendors and customers. I had a plaque on my desk with the above quotation.

I mention it here because that quotation could be adapted to read, "Discipline is the art of letting students have your way." This tongue-in-cheek definition of discipline sounds good at first. But its viability suffers on closer inspection. With that definition, there is only one winner, the teacher, who somehow tricks students into behaving a certain way. Effective discipline, however, must be win-win: both teachers and students must be winners and get their needs met.

Creating a win-win outcome is also the goal of effective discipline. Discipline is not the art of letting students have their way. Neither is discipline the art of getting your way.

When discipline is practiced correctly, there are no losers, only winners. Teachers win because they are able to have their needs met without imposing authority or control. Students get their needs met because they get a say in the process through the use of choices. This is the win-win approach to discipline.

In this lesson you will learn about this win-win approach to teaching responsibility. You will learn more about choices and the critical part they play in discipline. You will also learn how to nurture a respectful, caring relationship with your students that lays the foundation for effective discipline.

To begin, let's look more closely at choices.

As I have said before, presenting students with choices does not mean giving up all of your classroom control. You are still in control because you are in control of the options that you present.

Here are some guidelines for the proper use of choices:

  1. Choices must offer options, not threats. "Do it, or else" certainly gives students a choice, but the "else" is very probably not positive. Choices must be free of threats, otherwise students will feel manipulated. And then they will not feel that they actually had a choice to make.

  2. All options presented must be acceptable to you and to your students. In other words, you do not give students good options and bad options to see if they will pick the right one. "Do you want to clean up that trash, or are you going to make me clean it up for you?" This is obviously a set up. The only acceptable option is to clean up the trash or start an argument.

  3. The choice that you present must be clear. Students must understand what is being offered to them. "You can have free time so long as you finish your work in a reasonable amount of time." The teacher who gave these choices no doubt knows exactly what a reasonable amount of time is, but this definition is not being communicated to the student.

  4. Start with simple choices. This is especially true with very young children. If you complicate the situation with too many options, you will probably confuse your students. "You can choose to do your homework at home, at recess, or in free time, but if you choose to do your homework in class, be sure that your regular class work does not suffer." Inthecaseofchoices, moreisnotbetter.

  5. Use time limits when necessary. Time limits can be useful no matter what age you are dealing with. For younger children, giving a time limit narrows the choices and makes it easier for them to make a decision. "Do you want to put the paints away now or after recess?" With older students, time limits can be essential. In dealing with teenagers, if you do not set specific time limits, you can be sure they will adopt the "put it off as long as possible" attitude.

  6. Invite input from students. This works well with older as well as younger students. However, when you ask for input from teenagers, you have to be prepared to negotiate. For instance, "We need to determine a time limit for making up missed homework assignments. What would you suggest?" A typical teenage response might be: "How about a month?" The teacher, having asked for this input, should now say, "A month doesn't work for me. How about 24 hours?" Then, a time acceptable to both student and teacher would be negotiated.

Take a moment and reread the above exchange in which the teacher is negotiating with the teenager. The teacher's response to the teenager's suggestion of a month was not, "Are you out of your mind?" It was simply, "A month doesn't work for me."

This type of response keeps the lines of communication open, and the conversation remains a calm consideration of choices rather than an emotional confrontation. This teacher is speaking to the thinking part of the teenager's brain and, in doing so, invites a reasoned response. This is the type of exchange that teaches decision-making skills.

Offer students help in making the decision. With younger children, they may be, at times, too tired or too distracted to make a decision. In that case simply ask, "Would you like me to help you make a choice?" Offering to help is fine so long as the decision is still the student's to make.

If the student responds to your offer of choices with a blank look or "I don't know" or refuses to choose, you simply offer another choice, "Would you like to choose or would you like me to choose for you?" If the student still refuses to choose, then you are dealing with defiant behavior and that will be covered later in the course.

By offering choices within these guidelines, you will teach students that they have control over their own lives and that they are responsible for their own behavior.

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Chapter 2. Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .

What Does Work: The Win-Win Approach to Discipline

Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means that everyone wins because agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a win-win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.

Stephen R. Covey

Before reading this chapter, I recommend that you review the descriptions of the authoritarian and permissive discipline approaches given in the conclusion of Lesson 3. It will be helpful to note the differences between those approaches and the win-win approach described below. Again, I am indebted to Dr. Jane Bluestein for her writings on this subject.

The Win-Win Approach to Discipline

  • What results from a win-win approach? Teachers and students win. Also, students and teachers both get their needs met

  • What does the win-win approach look like? First, it's characterized by direct, honest communication rather than by threats, name-calling, and emotional outbursts. Second, the goal is to obtain students' cooperation rather than their compliance. Third, teachers may practice any or all of the following: offering choices within limits, setting contingencies, supporting, listening, guiding, informing, accepting, allowing natural consequences to occur, and offering recognition and reinforcement.

Fourth, teachers focus on the positive consequences of cooperation rather than on punishment for lack of cooperation. Fifth, positive consequences for cooperation may include a greater range of choices, freedoms, and responsibilities. Sixth, with the cooperative, win-win approach, teachers leave the consequences of choices (positive and negative) with students. Students retain the responsibility for their own behavior.

Seventh, consequences for poor choices that aren't life-threatening are allowed as learning experiences. Teachers resist the temptation to rescue students but remain available to provide information. Eighth, teachers differentiate between the student and the student's behavior, and they accept their students even though their behavior may not be acceptable. And last, teachers basically believe that their students' needs are as valuable and as important as their own.

  • What does the win-win approach communicate to students? It tells them, "I hear and understand you and what you want," "We can both win. One of us doesn't have to lose," "You are a good person, even though you sometimes mess up."

  • What does the win-win approach sound like? Listen in: "Yes, you can use the computer just as soon as your work is done." "Yes, you can talk with your friends while doing this assignment so long as your talking does not bother the rest of the class." "You can do your homework tonight or tomorrow at recess."

  • Are there any advantages to the win-win approach? Yes! Here are just a few: It teaches responsibility through internally motivated cooperation. It accommodates students' need for power and control without interfering with teachers' needs. It discourages resentment, because students recognize that their needs are being recognized and considered. It helps students make a connection between "What I do" and "What happens to me."

By giving students choices and some control over their own behavior, it builds self-concept. Its results tend to be long-term and lasting. It models compromise, negotiating, and cooperation. It teaches self-control and demonstrates to students that there are ways of dealing with problems other than losing their temper or whining or complaining. And it teaches students that it's possible and desirable to get what you want in life without hurting or depriving anyone else.

  • What are the disadvantages of the win-win approach? Honestly, very few: It may take longer to show positive results. and it may be perceived as permissive by people who favor a powering, authoritative approach to discipline.

The advantages of the win-win approach to discipline are obvious. The rewards, however, may take some time. When you first start using a win-win approach (especially with older students), they may want to test your sincerity and resolve.

This is especially true of students who have only experienced authoritarian discipline. These students are used to looking to adults for directions and orders. They are accustomed to having someone else make decisions for them. Offers of choices can be met with, "I don't know," "I don't care" or, "Whatever." If you get these responses, do not be discouraged. The rewards and positive outcomes are well worth the wait. Patience, persistence, and a sense of humor will keep you going.
teacher and student

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hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 3. Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .

What Does Work: Treating Children as Though They Were Adults

If you want children to act like adults, stop treating them like children.

James Thompson

As I begin this chapter, I am reminded of the first talk I heard by Dr. William Glasser. He was describing his first visit to an elementary school as a discipline consultant. He told how the principal met him and led him into a little room near the office and then sent in a "problem" child for Dr. Glasser to "fix." Dr. Glasser described how he came out of the meeting with the child and asked the principal, "Do you have any more children like that one?" "Oh, yes," the principal replied enthusiastically, "we have a lot of them!" "Fine," said Dr. Glasser, "I quit."

Dr. Glasser didn't really quit; he stayed and talked to the teachers about students and behavior. All of the teachers were eager to hear what they could do to the students to stop their disruptive and defiant behaviors. Dr. Glasser gave them some advice they weren't expecting. "First of all," he directed, "you have to stop irritating the kids."

What Dr. Glasser was suggesting was for teachers to stop frustrating students by ignoring their needs. He was reminding them that everyone, adults and children, have the same needs. We seem to keep this in mind naturally when we are dealing with other adults. But we tend to forget this when dealing with children.

Let's look at an example that I don't believe is too far-fetched.

Two people are walking to tables in a cafeteria with trays loaded with food. They obviously know each other. As they are walking down an aisle, one of them stubs his toe, his tray of food goes flying, and he falls into his friend, knocking both of them to the floor. Slowly they stagger to their feet. What do they say to each other?

First, let's assume the two people are adults.

ADULT #1: (Helping up Adult #2) Are you okay?

ADULT #2: Yes, I think so.

ADULT #1: You must have tripped on something.

ADULT #2: Yes, I think so. Boy, what a mess.

ADULT #1: Don't worry about it. It wasn't your fault.

ADULT #2: I guess not.

ADULT #1: I'll go get someone to clean this up. Stay here and make sure nobody else gets hurt.

That's not an unreasonable exchange between two adults. I'm sure all of you have been in similar circumstances. How would you describe the dialog? Caring? Understanding? Comforting? Yes, all of those.

Now, let's look at the same situation—but with an adult and a child. In this case, the child stubs her toe and falls into the soda can display.

ADULT: Look what you've done! What's wrong with you?

(Child is too scared to respond)

ADULT: (Yanking the child up) I told you to watch where you were going! How stupid can you be? Why don't you ever listen?

(Child starts to cry)

ADULT: Don't you start crying. You are such a baby! Just shut up!

(Child is now sobbing)

ADULT: I told you to stop that! Now you are really going to get it!

How often do you see two adults acting this way? I would expect not very often. How would you characterize what the parent said? Insensitive? Hurtful? Irresponsible?

Children learn to act by the way they are treated. If they are treated in insensitive and hurtful ways, that is the way they will treat others.

A very simple and yet very important rule to follow is to speak to and treat your students as if they were adults—no matter how old they are. This does not mean that you can't play or act silly or have fun with your students. Those things are just as important as anything else.

What it does mean is when there is a behavior problem, rather than rant and rave or beg and plead, speak with the student on an adult level with courtesy, respect, caring, understanding, compassion, and patience. In other words, treat your students the way you would like to be treated. If you want to change the way your students behave, you are going to have to change the way you behave first.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 4.docx


Chapter 4.Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .

What Does Work: Emotional Deposits and Withdrawals

With each new relationship, we open an emotional bank account. Much like a financial bank account, it receives deposits and from it comes withdrawals. When withdrawals exceed deposits, the account is overdrawn. One main difference between the two kinds is that the human relationship usually requires daily small deposits to maintain the balance and build equity. Deposits are made through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping commitments. Withdrawals are made through discourtesy, disrespect, threats, and overreactions.

Stephen Covey

Being responsible and taking responsibility for your actions is not easy. In some cases, it means enduring the unpleasant consequences for poor choices. In other cases, it means foregoing what would be really fun for something less fun but more responsible. I guess you could say that if it were easy to be a responsible person, everybody would be one.

So, what can teachers do to get their students to do the hard work of becoming responsible? The above quotation by Stephen Covey gives us the answer. He refers to this strength-building process asemotional deposits. I call it building self-esteem and self-confidence.

Before we look at the positive, deposit-making side of the equation, let's look at the negative experiences that make withdrawals from our emotional bank accounts.

Think about a time when you were put down or treated poorly or unfairly by another person. How did you feel when your character was questioned?

I can remember one such incident clearly. It happened when I was working for a company that specialized in training teachers how to manage student behavior. I can't remember what mistake I made that prompted the encounter with the president of the company, but it must have been significant.

Anyway, I was called into his office and confronted with my error and the possible negative consequences to the company. The president said (among other unprintable things), "Thompson, what in the world were you thinking about? How could you have done this? I am very disappointed in you."

It took me a long time to get over that meeting. Even though I don't remember what I did, I am positive that it was not an intentional error aimed at hurting the company. Nevertheless, I was treated as though I had intended it. The president chose to attack me personally, rather than address what I had done.

What was the result of this raid on my emotional bank account? For one thing, I was not ready to run right out and slay dragons for the good of the company. I was more in a withdrawing, licking-my-wounds state of mind. I was scared to death that I'd make another mistake. It was like walking in a mine field. My only thought was to watch what I said and did, to be extra careful. My confidence was shaken; my self-esteem damaged. Repairs took a good deal of time. As a result, until I got over the personal assault, I did not work to my potential, much less feel good about my job or myself.

But while these drains on our emotional accounts can be devastating, emotional deposits are very uplifting and inspiring. We make emotional deposits when we tell students they are doing a good job, when we recognize their accomplishments, when we express confidence in their potential. We make emotional deposits when we communicate to students that we accept and appreciate them for who they are, when we do not compare them with others.

ledger book

These emotional deposits build a feeling of trust in students. This trust is essential as you move toward a win-win approach to discipline and begin presenting students with choices. At first, they might be skeptical about your intentions, but if their trust level is high enough, if their emotional bank account has sufficient deposits, they will believe that you have their best interests at heart and will be willing to take on the hard work of learning responsibility.

When teachers focus only on getting their needs met, when they lose their tempers and yell and scream, or if they simply throw up their hands and let students do as they please, students' level of trust will deteriorate. When their emotional bank accounts become overdrawn, students are more likely to engage in irresponsible, destructive, and even self-destructive behavior.

When the students are young and susceptible to threats and manipulation, teachers can get what they want without making emotional deposits and building trust. But when students become teenagers, threats or bribes no longer work. Without trust or mutual respect, teachers have little influence over children. There are simply not enough funds in the students' accounts to draw upon. A lack of deposits in the formative years leads to an overdrawn emotional bank account in the teen years and a breakdown of adult-child relationships.

If we want students to tackle the hard work of learning to be responsible, we must give them the tools they need to do that work: self-confidence, self-worth, and the feeling that they and their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 5.docx


Chapter 5. Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .


It is helpful to have patience with ourselves and with children as we try to change old habits. As our understanding of the underlying principles deepens, practical application becomes easier. Patience, humor, and forgiveness enhance our learning experience.

Dr. Jane Nelsen

The win-win approach to discipline has its roots in the secret you learned in the first lesson: You cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do. In a situation where teachers force students to behave in a certain way, the teachers are the winners. They get their needs met. The students are the losers. Their needs are being ignored in favor of the teachers'.

The win-win approach does not mean being permissive. It doesn't mean that teachers have to lower their expectations about students' behavior, nor does it mean that teachers have to do away with limits and boundaries.

If you give students freedom without limits, you are likely to get the opposite of what you want: irresponsibility. Being responsible means being able to recognize and honor reasonable limits.

It is true that some students are very content in having a teacher or other adult control their lives. This diminishes the responsibility they have to take for their own actions. After all, if the teacher forces the child to do something or act in a certain way, then the teacher takes the blame when things go wrong. It is an easy road for some students to follow.

However, if we allow students to rely on us to tell them how to behave in every situation, we are depriving them of opportunities to develop responsibility,self-confidence, and self-esteem.

A win-win approach to discipline includes clear and specific limits. Students know what is expected of them. They know how far they can go without testing limits.

This win-win approach implies an agreement. It implies that both teachers and students know what is expected and what the limits are. It also implies that teachers and students agree ahead of time and commit to meeting certain expectations and observing limits.

The importance of commitment cannot be overstated. Both teachers and students need to agree and commit to a behavior plan. To illustrate how commitment works, I will retell a story Dr. Bluestein uses to illustrate parent-child negotiation and commitment. It is a true story from a teacher who had attended one of Dr. Bluestein's parenting workshops and was trying to put his new knowledge into action at home.

The situation involves a teenager who has just recently obtained her driver's license. The weekend is approaching and the following dialogue takes place:

DAUGHTER: Can I have the car this Saturday?

DAD: Yes, but we need to set a time for you to be home—10:00 works for me.

DAUGHTER: Come on, Dad, the party isn't over until 11:00.

DAD: Where is the party?

DAUGHTER: At Jill's.

DAD: Okay, that's about 10 minutes away, so you could be home by 11:15.

DAUGHTER: Daaaaaad . . . what if we want to stop for a coke or something?

DAD: Okay, then midnight would be fine with me. How about you?

DAUGHTER: Well, if we say 1:00, I'll be sure not to be late.

DAD: One o'clock doesn't work for me. But I'll settle for 12:15.

DAUGHTER: Final answer?

DAD: Yes, final answer. And by 12:15, I mean 12:15 by my watch with the keys on the kitchen table and gas in the gas tank.

DAUGHTER: But what if I have a flat tire?

DAD: Well,if you have a flat tire, I sure hope you are home at 12:15 by my watch.


DAD: Okay?


DAD: Now what did you just agree to?

DAUGHTER: (Reluctantly, mumbling) Home by 12:15, by yooooour watch, keys on the table, gas in the gas tank.

DAD: Good.

DAUGHTER: But what happens if I'm late and it's really not my fault?

DAD: If you are home as agreed then you can have the car again next weekend. If not, we'll try again in a couple of weeks.

There are some important points to note in this dialogue. First, a mutually agreeable limit or boundary is set at 12:15. The boundary is clear—12:15 by the father's watch, keys on the table and gas in the tank. Second, both the father and the daughter commit to the plan. The key to the commitment is the father's question, "What did you agree to?" And third, there is no threat. The outcome is positive.

If the daughter stays within the boundary and meets her commitment, she can have the car again. If, for whatever reason, she misses 12:15, then they will "try again in a couple of weeks." This is very different from, "If you are not back by 12:15, then no car next week." The focus stays on the desired responsible behavior, not on punishment for not keeping the commitment.

Of course, the above example is too sophisticated for a young child. However, you can still offer choices to a 3-year-old or a preteen. It is just a matter of degree. The principles are the same.

By the way, the real parent in the story reported that not only did his daughter get home every night on time, she was normally early because she wanted to allow some extra time just in case she had a flat or some other problem.

To work properly, the win-win approach takes planning. Both the teacher and the students have to know and agree to the boundaries. In the next lesson, we will look more closely at the planning process.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Hi Everyone.docx


Hi Everyone,

Since I usually have several substitute teachers enrolled in every class, I thought I would post some ideas especially for your teaching situation. Regular classroom teachers may find some of the ideas helpful too. JT

Ideas for Substitute Teachers:

Substitute teaching comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some ideas for you. First, get things off to a positive start by standing at the door and greeting students as they enter. Then, have a brief class meeting to introduce yourself and tell the students how you want your time together to be successful. If you are able to set up your own rules for the class, explain them at that time. If you must follow the rules set up by the regular classroom teacher, explain that as well. Many substitutes have said that just using the class meeting to start the period does wonders to prevent problems and ensure a productive class. Being a sub can be tough, especially if you are forced to follow a discipline plan with which you are not comfortable. Remaining as positive as possible is my best advice and the class meeting will help get things started in the right direction.

The most important thing is to keep your focus positive and on wanted rather than unwanted behavior. Come to class prepared with an age/grade appropriate positive. For instance, for younger grades, bring a book to read to them or a video to show at the end of the day. For older students, bring a radio so they can listen to music at the end of the period or day. Or use a few minutes of free time at the end the class. Try various positive outcomes until you find one that works for you and the students.

But by far the best approach is to prevent problems by getting students engaged in learning. One of the most common mistakes made by substitute teachers is believing that they must be in control, that they must be "teaching" at all times, and that the classroom must be quiet and orderly. I would suggest that this is not the best approach, especially in the upper grades when you only have the students for one period. Get the students involved in whatever the lesson happens to be. Ask them questions about what is being learned, help them apply what they are learning to their own lives, use an ice-breaker or attention getter right of the bat, get the kids talking with one another, get them researching or discussing or working on the internet.

If you are stuck with for ideas about creating engaging lessons, just remember the basic needs. The more of your students' needs you can address with a lesson, the more engaged they will be. Team and group work meets their need for love and belonging; choices in assignments or how to complete assignments satisfies their need for freedom; giving them work that is at their level, work at which they can succeed, satisfies their need for power; and if you meet the first three needs, your students will be having fun and thereby satisfying that need as well. You don't have to create games and contests for students to have fun. If they are learning and if their needs are being met, they will enjoy their time in your classroom.

I realize that it is difficult using these ideas in a substitute's situation. It will take some creativity on your part to modify the regular classroom approaches, but they will work when you find the right combination of boundaries and positives, icebreakers, and engaging lessons. The most important thing for both regular classroom teachers and substitutes is developing a relationship with the students. For substitutes, the best way to accomplish this is by starting each day or class with a brief class meeting. Good luck JT

PS Over the years, I have had several substitute teachers take this class. Below are some of their comments that you might find helpful:

Barbara writes: It would be wonderful if every teacher had a discipline information sheet (along with a daily schedule, a class roster, a bus list, a map of the school, a list of where certain supplies are kept, extra activity sheets, etc.) in a folder clearly marked "SUBSTITUTE".

Michelle writes: I have been subbing for several years now. I have seen some resources at educational supply stores. Also, I did a search on Amazon and found several books - some with emergency lesson plans. Just select books and type "substitute teaching" in your search. Most of the items I have purchased have been books with writing prompts or filler activities for those days when you do not have a lesson plan. As far as discipline goes, I have found that it really helps to tell the students at the start of the day that I am following lesson plans written by their teacher and that while the work is assigned by their teacher my style of presentation may be different. This helps to eliminate the "Our teacher doesn't do it that way" remarks. I also tell the students that I have found that when the class chooses to work together and cooperate we often have extra time available for fun activities, but if the class chooses to talk a lot or waste time with behavior issues we will not have any extra time available. Be prepared to have an activity ready. The K-6 students love silent ball, heads up 7 up, and 4 corners.

Dorrie writes: Keep your focus on the positive. Always recognize and encourage positive behavior. If the class finishes their work early, you can allow them to talk using "inside voices" or play a group game like Hangman or Round Robin with math facts. You can always bring in extra puzzles or word searches for them to do. I hope this helps you out. Good luck!

Lynn writes: In regards to subs, I have found that giving students some input as to a positive activity they would like to participate in at the end of the day/period is effective. ("Follow class rules and you will get to participate in s special activity".) Activities might include reading a book of their choice, drawing, writing a letter to their teacher about their day without her/him etc. The key is their input. This has worked for me.

Debra writes: I just finished a substitute training course at our local college. And they suggested we always meet students at the door as they enter for class and to tell the class our rules. But they didn't really suggest a "brief class meeting" to set up rules. This sounds like a really good idea. And the way you handle this brief time with your students will tell them how serious you are about not only the lessons, but how much you care about their experience during this time together. The regular teacher should have rules in place, but reemphasizing your rules (or guidelines) to the class would help not only that day, but lay the groundwork for any days you may return later

Christine writes: I agree that a brief meeting at the beginning of a class is a great way to introduce yourself. One thing I learned very quickly when subbing (K-8 grade) was sometimes students were quick to be argumentative or point out if I didn't do something the way the regular classroom teacher did. I used morning meeting as an opportunity to show the students that the teacher had left me lesson plans, that I would follow. That as a different teacher, I might do some things differently than their regular teacher, and that's okay. . .Just like their parents or other teachers (specialists) do things differently as well. This eliminated a lot of disruptions throughout the day - because it was established up front. Also, learning the students names is VERY important for having a successful subbing day.

Karen writes: Because I've substituted before and found that the most important thing is knowing the students' names, now as a regular classroom teacher I photocopy the school year book and cut out the pictures of my students, and then use wall tack to attach the pictures to a folder for the substitute in seating chart order. This way I can easily change the seating arrangement as necessary. Sometimes a photo isn't available. In that case I describe the youngster using only positive adjectives. Never say anything negative in writing where the youngster might get a hold of it.

Kelly writes: I was a substitute for nearly two years, and I think that the best thing that I had going for me was the ability (and desire) to memorize the students' names in the class before we started the period. I had new students every period, too, so it was definitely something I had to be determined to do. I used my observation skills by walking around the classroom prior to the bell ringing and looking at notebooks to catch names - then I would call on them using their first names - and it really seemed to command attention in the room. The students also knew that I really respected them right from the "get-go" because I cared enough about knowing their names. I cannot tell you how many students came up to me throughout those years and said how much it meant to them that I knew their name, and how many subs just didn't even seem to care to even bother to get to know them. In addition, whenever I saw them in the hallway, library, lunchroom, or even outside of school in the neighborhood I would call them by name --- the more you call them by name, the more you'll remember it, and the more you'll get their attention and respect.

Hope these ideas help. JT

Выбранный для просмотра документ Lesson 4 Quiz.docx


Lesson 4 Quiz

  1. Which of the following would you want to avoid when presenting choices to students?

Offering punishment as an option.

Presenting all options as positive.

Asking for students' input, if appropriate.

Using time limits if necessary.

  1. What does the win-win approach to discipline communicate to students?

That their needs are important only if the teacher wins.

That every student wins when everyone works together to get A's.

That teachers' needs are as important as the principal's needs.

That students' needs are as important as teachers’ needs.

  1. What is a disadvantage to the win-win approach to discipline?

It may take more of the teacher's time at first.

It does not work in the long term.

It may teach students irresponsible behavior.

It may be emotionally harmful to children by teaching them to be highly competitive and always win.

  1. If you give students freedom without limits, what is likely to be the result?

Students engaging in irresponsible behavior.

Students engaging in responsible behavior.

Students working harder to get win-win solutions to problems.

Students not getting any of their needs met.

  1. Why are some students content to let parents or teachers control their lives?

Because it allows them to avoid taking responsibility for their own behavior.

Because it meets their need for freedom.

Because students don’t know any better.

Because all children prefer to be controlled by others.

Выбранный для просмотра документ teaching time-outs.docx


ello Everyone,

I know that some of you have enrolled in this course because you have a specific student or a specific problem and you are anxious for a solution. However, I have organized this class so that the first lessons present the theory behind my approach. The second half is devoted to the application of that theory and problem solving. The rationale being that the better you understand why these ideas work, the better you will be able to apply them in your classroom.

Nevertheless, I sympathize with your desire for something practical to use now. One of the most powerful techniques you will learn in the coming lessons is the Teaching Time-Out.

I have decided to give you the basics for this technique now so you can begin using it as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. You will learn why I recommend this technique and why is works in the application phase of this course.

Teaching Time-Out Guidelines:

Teaching Time-Outs differ from traditional time outs in that they are not punitive and they are not given for a set amount of time. They are not meant to punish a student for misbehavior; they are meant to teach students alternative, appropriate behavior.

These time-outs should be explained to students before they are used. Students must understand that these time outs are not punishment and are time for planning. For Middle-Secondary, I also refer to this technique as "One Minute After Class" but it still has the same objectives as a Teaching Time-Out.

1. Teaching Time-Outs (or One Minute After Class) shouldn't be used as a tool to embarrass students. Request the time-out or after class minute in a respectful manner.

2. The purpose of a teaching time out or minute after class is to get students to commit to a plan for improved behavior.

3. For Elementary: Allow the student to have a space that's comfortable. If there's no place in your classroom, work out a system with a neighboring teacher where your students can go to and from each other's classrooms when they need a moment. In some cases, a teaching time out can happen at the student's desk.

4. For Middle-Secondary: A minute or two after class is usually enough time to gain a commitment for improved behavior. After all, students hate losing their passing time, so they're usually quite cooperative.

5. For Elementary: Teaching Time-Outs are not given for a specific amount of time. Some students need more time, while others can create a plan very quickly. Whether students spend seconds or minutes in a teaching time-out doesn't matter, just so long as they come up with a plan for improved behavior. A teaching time-out plan, or planning form, always has four parts. To help you remember them, think of the acronym G-PAR. * Goal: What is the desired behavior change? * Plan: How will the goal be achieved? * Action: When will the plan be put into action? * Results: When will we meet to check if the plan is working?

6. For Middle-Secondary: If you are meeting the student after school or at a time other than between classes, use the G-PAR approach. Verbal is OK, in writing is better. If you are meeting after class or your time is limited, use the reality therapy three question approach: What were you doing? (If the answer is "I don't know . . ." then you say "I saw you doing this…") Was that helping you (or your classmates) get your (their) work done? What can you do differently next time? The three steps identify the problem behavior, get the student to acknowledge that behavior, and get the student's commitment for improved behavior. Those are all key elements in helping students change their behavior.

7. For Elementary: If a student is having trouble developing a plan, then you will need to set aside some time to help him or her.

8. For Elementary: If a student refuses to go to the time-out area, this is defiant, disruptive behavior that should result in the student being removed from your classroom.

9. For Middle-Secondary: If a student refuses to cooperate or to meet with you, then this is defiant behavior and should be reported to the appropriate school administrator.

10. Teaching time-outs work best when they're supported by the school's administration. So if you refer a student to someone outside of the classroom, the emphasis continues to be on creating a plan for improved behavior. Returning to the classroom is contingent upon that plan.

There will be more on teaching time-outs in lesson eight. JT

Выбранный для просмотра документ toddlers.docx


Hi Everyone,

Recently, I have been getting more and more inquires about how to handle the behavior of toddlers. Since the ideas in this course were meant for children three and older, the problems of toddlers and two-year-olds needed to be addressed separately. Therefore, I offer the following for those of you dealing with the behavior of little ones:

Toddlers and the Terrible Twos

“Your sweet little baby has changed. He now says ‘no’ to every request you make. He hits. He bites. He throws his cereal across the room. Congratulations. You have entered a new, perfectly normal developmental phase.” – Lily Montgomery

Toddlers are generally described as those children of an age when they are learning to walk, usually in the range of 12 months to three years. Included in this time span is the infamous “terrible twos,” a time that many new or even experienced parents dread.

While the behavior of toddlers, and especially two-year-olds, can at times be maddening, they way they are acting is just a natural part of their development. However, even though this stage might be natural for the child, teachers and parents often need some help to cope with it.

First of all, toddlers and two-year-olds are not trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. They are just expressing their independence and trying to communicate about their needs. This can also be the reason why toddlers frequently get frustrated and resort to hitting, biting, and temper tantrums when they don’t get their way.

Toddlers are going through an enormous number of physical, psychological, and emotional changes in their lives. For the child, this is a time of wonder and excitement. It is a time to explore, to discover, to try new things, and to find new ways of meeting their psychological needs for love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.

This is a time when children learn how to talk, to walk, to run. It is a time to discover all of the neat things they can do with their hands. It is a time to learn how to make sounds and how to sing. And most importantly, it is time to begin communicating with those around them.

With all of these new experiences and new challenges toddlers face every day, it is no wonder that at times they become tired or frustrated or angry. If you respond by getting angry at them, things will get worse before they get better and could end up with tantrums or hitting or just plain screaming. With their very limited vocabularies and still developing self-regulation abilities, it is difficult for them to do anything but hit or scream when they are frustrated. It is the job of parents and teachers to help young children recognize their emotions and to calmly, and repeatedly (for it will take lots of repetition over time), explain better ways to express these emotions.

By learning about this normal stage in a child's development, you will more easily survive the terrible twos unscathed, and so will the toddlers. Let me preface this advice by saying that there can be a huge difference between dealing with a 12-month-old and a child approaching three-years-old. The suggestions below are meant for children in the later part of this developmental period. In the early stages, your options for dealing with problem behavior are pretty much limited to supervision, distraction, redirection, and removal. Then, as children proceed through this growth phase, you will be able to use the strategies suggested below.

Now let’s look more carefully at some of the developmental areas.


I doubt that you can remember what it was like to learn to walk. But you might remember what is what like when you drove a car by yourself for the first time. Remember the feeling of freedom you had, the exhilaration of realizing that you won’t have to depend on others to get you from here to there (at least not always).

Freedom is an important need, even for toddlers. And toddling is like driving at first; you just can’t get enough of it. So, toddlers like to be on the move and some of the time they want to move when you need them to be still. So, it is not that they are defying your requests to stay in one place, they are just responding to the need to do their best to master their newly discovered mobility.


It is at this age, that the toddler looks down his arms at his hands and wonders, “Now, what can I do with these things.” And pretty soon, they find out that they can pick up things, squeeze things, turn things, pound things, and throw things. And because this is another new skill, they just can’t seem to get enough practice seeing what kinds of things their hands can get into. It is tempting for parents and teachers to see these actions as mischief, but for toddlers it is not mischief, it is an exploration and testing and refining their motor skills. So, when a toddler drops his cup from his high chair, he is not doing it in anger, he just wants to see if he can do it and what will happen when he does (i.e., does it always fall down, or does it sometimes fall up?).


Here is one of the areas that can be most frustrating for toddlers. Have you ever seen parents look down at a toddler and say something like, “Now why did you throw that?” What was the expected response? “Well, mother, I was actually experimenting with the trajectory I could achieve by hurling your keys with my right hand instead of my left. Worked quite well actually.”

Toddlers can’t understand much of what we say but they respond to our tone of voice, our body language. And some of the time, this scares them so they cry. Language can be frustrating for toddlers also when they try to communicate with us. Perhaps a toddler remembers that the last time she said “Merfple” she got a bottle. Now, she says “Merfple” over and over and all she gets is blank stares from her parents. So, she gets frustrated and she cries.

Language will eventually make your time with toddlers much less stressful, but until the lines of communication are open, language on both sides can present problems.


Do you know the saying; “He knows just enough to get himself in trouble”? That is a pretty good explanation of toddlers. Just like they are exercising and practicing their physical skills, so are they starting to think for themselves. At this time in their lives, the toddler’s memory starts to improve. And as they remember they begin to predict what type of action might cause what type of result.

At this stage in their development, the psychological need for power comes into play. The need for power is satisfied with the ability to complete a task and the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies it. Unfortunately, the toddler’s desire to do something might well exceed her ability to do it successfully. This developmental stage gets toddlers into trouble and can drive teachers and parents to the brink. At this stage toddlers need much patience, encouragement, and, most importantly, supervision


I have often thought that toddlers and teenagers have a lot in common, especially when it comes to independence. For teenagers, they are anxious to be free of parental control, make their own choices, and take more control over their lives. For toddlers, they are moving from being completely dependent on their caregiver, to experiencing their first taste of independence.

This is part of the reason why the word “no” seems to have little effect on some toddlers who are determined to do things their way, and their way only. As your child tries to move from dependence to independence, she will often merit labels like “stubborn,” “hard-headed,” "defiant," and "won't mind.” Some of these behaviors are simply a natural result of the toddler’s need to become an autonomous individual. And the "stubbornness" that keeps the toddler from "minding" is the same determination that helps him get up after a fall and try again. So, keep track of your success with toddlers because that information may come in handy when they are teenagers.

Tips for Dealing with Toddlers

Whether you are a classroom teacher or a parent, just understanding toddlers’ developmental stages doesn’t tell you what you can do to help them (and you) survive this stage. So, here are some helpful hints I have put together that will help you teach toddlers to behave more responsibly.

Here are some ideas for both parents and teachers.

* Establish regular classroom or home routines that are practiced often and stick to them each day. These include regular times and routines for meals, naps, baths, and bedtime.

* Teach children social skills like listening, waiting to be recognized before speaking, respecting others and their property, using quiet voices when asked, etc. Don't assume that two year olds come to you knowing how to behave in all situations. Also remember that probably the best way to teach toddlers these skills is to use them yourself on a regular basis.

* Offer toddlers simple choices, like “Would you like apples or oranges for your snack?” and not just “What do you want for your snack?” This helps toddlers feel like they are making some decisions and have power over things, but they are not allowed to choose unacceptable alternatives. The rule is: When you offer a choice, be sure that both options are acceptable to you.

* Anticipate and plan for problems. For instance, if a child has trouble making decisions, prepare him or her for an upcoming choice, “We are going to the ice cream store today and you get to decide what flavor you want. So think about what you want so you will be ready to choose,” or, “After recess, you will get to choose between playing with blocks or reading a story with me. Think about what you would like to do.”

* Set boundaries and don't be surprised when the toddlers try to test those limits to see what they can get away with---after all that is their job, to see just how far they can go before you stop them.

* Don’t give in to tantrums

- Stay calm and ignore the behavior to the extent possible. - Keep the child safe. For instance, if the child is banging his or her head on the ground, place a pillow under his or her head.

- Isolate the child if possible. If you are in a public place, take the child outside or to the restroom. In a classroom, if possible remove the child from the room. If tantrums are common in your room, have a safe place the child can go or be put that is safe.

- Don't punish the child.

- Don’t give into the child.

- Don't try to reason with them. They are in an emotional state that is not open to logic.

- Do your best to soothe your toddler. If they will let you touch them, then rub their back or hold them close to you so they can feel comforted and not abandoned or ignored.

- Don't let the disapproval of other people affect your response to the tantrum.

- When the tantrum ends regroup and continue what you were doing. Don’t express anger that it happened. Don’t express relief that it has stopped. Just accept the fact that it is over and move on.

* Provide children with a safe environment to explore and play in.

* If you see trouble brewing try to divert the attention of one or more of the children.

* Remind them often of boundaries and your expectations--you are dealing with very short attention spans.

* For teachers, learn about multiple intelligences and try to provide activities and lessons to satisfy as many of them as you can.

During this developmental phase, children may talk back or be defiant or just ignore you. Here is where the three “P’s” of dealing with toddlers is key. Have you heard of the three P’s? They are “Patience, Patience, and Patience.” Don't take the behavior of toddlers personally. To use a sports analogy, toddlers are just getting into the game of life. They don’t know exactly how the game goes and they don’t know all the rules, but they sure like to play. So what they need is a caring audience, some skillful coaching, and a lot of encouragement and enthusiastic cheerleading. JT

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hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 1. Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan


Have a plan for everything.

Coach Bear Bryant

You may be surprised, but quoting a football coach to begin this lesson is very appropriate. If you want to succeed in the game, you have to have a plan. The same is true of classroom discipline. If you want to succeed in the game of discipline, you have to have a plan.

In this lesson, we will look at how to create a game plan for effective classroom discipline. With this plan, teachers and children can agree on what behaviors are and are not acceptable.

Doug Naylor, director of Dr. Glasser's Educator Training Center, often uses football analogies when talking to teachers about discipline. He makes a good point: Dealing with children and discipline should be more like coaching and guiding and less like coercing and demanding.

If you do not plan, if you just react as situations present themselves, you are going to continually have problems. If you are reactive instead of proactive, you are going to find yourself losing your temper and making problems worse instead of solving them.

Without a plan, you are relying on the limbic system, the emotional part of your brain, to direct your behavior. In other words, you are letting your emotions get the best of you.

football player with signOn the other hand, if you have a plan, if you have thought about what you need to do when there are problems, then you use the cerebral cortex, the thinking part of your brain to tell you what to do. This is much more likely to get positive results than getting emotional and yelling and screaming or whining and nagging.

I could have started this chapter with the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It is trite but true. It is much more preferable to spend your time preventing discipline problems than it is to waste valuable instructional time quelling classroom disruptions.

This is why effective teachers have a classroom discipline plan. They have thought about their needs and the types of student behaviors that will help them get their needs met and help let them do their job. They have also thought about their students' needs and realize that for learning to take place, they must gain their students' cooperation.

There are, however, effective and ineffective ways to utilize classroom discipline plans. An ineffective discipline plan is directed toward trying to control children's behavior. An effective discipline plan is directed toward teaching children to control their own behavior. Let's look at examples of each of these discipline plans.

An Ineffective Classroom Discipline Plan

Authoritarian teachers most often use this type of discipline plan. These teachers mistakenly believe that external forces control students' behavior. Their classroom discipline plans typically begin with a list of rules that state specific unacceptable behaviors. Then there is a list of punishments (negative consequences) that the teacher will impose every time a student breaks one of the rules. Finally, there is a list of rewards that students can earn by following the rules.

Many teachers use this approach to discipline because it often produces short-term compliance. Students like to get rewards and do not like to receive punishments. Therefore, they follow the rules for a while. This does not teach students about responsibility, though; it merely gains compliance.

Sooner or later, this ineffective discipline approach will run into problems, because it is a controlling approach that frustrates children's needs for autonomy, self-control, power, and freedom. As this frustration grows, discipline problems will erupt and the discipline plan will cease to work.

One of the main problems with this ineffective approach is the emphasis on specific, unwanted behaviors. Just imagine writing down all of the unwanted behaviors for your classroom. I tried doing this once and stopped when I got to 50 rules. Attempting to create a list of specific don't-do-this rules that cover all situations is hopeless.

An Effective Classroom Discipline Plan

An effective discipline plan is much simpler. First of all, rules are not a list of unwanted behaviors, such as no hitting, no name-calling, no talking without raising your hand, no eating in the classroom, no running in the classroom, no touching other people's property, etc.

Rather, an effective discipline plan's rules state general responsible behaviors, such as respect others and their property, be helpful, and be friendly. The emphasis is positive, toward obtaining desired behaviors. Many teachers call these rules life rules because they are applicable both in the classroom and in the outside world.

The classroom rules are developed and agreed upon by the students. The rules are usually determined in a class meeting where the question is presented, "What type of classroom do we want?" Each of the rules is discussed in detail so that students know what following the rules would look and sound like in their classrooms. With younger children, appropriate behaviors determined by the rules can be role-played.

In addition to rules that are in effect at all times, you will also need activity directions that are in effect only at certain times. Your activity directions are more specific and meant to cover student behavior only during a given activity.

An effective discipline plan does not have punishments or negative consequences. The consequencethen of not following the rules is that the students do not get the type of classroom they want. So, when a rule is not followed, instead of punishment, the teacher talks with student about his or her behavior and how it is not helping him or the other students get the type of classroom they want.

For students who continue to have problems following class rules or choose not to follow directions, boundaries need to be established to clarify the types of behavior that are acceptable and are not acceptable. A boundary helps students see just how far they can go. This eliminates the need for students to keep testing with various degrees of inappropriate behavior to see just how far they can go and what they can get away with.

The boundaries are normally tied to a positive. That communicates to the student that he or she can earn something they want with more appropriate behavior.

For Instance, here is an example of a boundary for a high school class.
In this situation, the class has previously agreed that during lectures, there would be no talking. On this particular day, for whatever reason, various students are talking with each other while the teacher is attempting to explain a lesson. Instead of threatening detention, the teacher says:

Looks like there is something going on that several of you need to talk about. Right now, I need to get through this lesson. If you will all pay attention until I finish, you can have five minutes at the end of class to talk with your friends.

Now, if students continue to talk and are disruptive to the class that problem needs to be handled as well. If a student is either unable or unwilling to change his or her behavior, he or she needs help. This help is normally given in what I call a Teaching Time Out.

With a Teaching Time Out, students go to a time out area to come up with a plan for improved behavior, a plan to change their behavior so that they can return to the class and follow the class rules. Students get out of time out as soon as the plan is developed and the teacher has time to talk with the student and approve the plan.

With secondary students, this can be handled in a one minute meeting after class or with more severe situations with in school suspension or a visit with the vice principal or counselor. But no matter where the Teaching Time Out happens, the emphasis is developing a plan for improved behavior, on teaching the student about making more responsible choices. There will be more about the Teaching Time Out in Lesson 8.

So this is a classroom discipline plan based on the belief that behavior is internally controlled:

  • Class (life) rules that define appropriate behavior. 

  • Boundaries to help students control their behavior. 

  • Teaching Time Out for students to plan for improved behavior.

In contrast, this is a discipline plan based on the belief that behavior is external controlled:

  • Rules. 

  • Negative consequences (punishments) for when rules are broken. 

  • Positive consequences (rewards) for when rules are followed.

With an internal control approach to discipline, there is no need for punishment. There is no need to do something to a student who misbehaves. A result of that behavior might be that a positive is not earned or that time must be spent in planning for a behavior change; but there is no punishment, no dwelling on the past, only a focus on the future and on appropriate behavior.

This approach also has both short- and long-term positive effects. It teaches students that they have control over their own behavior by the choices they make. It teaches them that certain behaviors bring certain results and that they are responsible for accepting those outcomes.

In addition, positive consequences are presented as a natural result of appropriate behavior. "If you do this, you will earn this positive" or "If you choose responsibly, you will enjoy this pleasant result." It is not "If you do this, I will give you this."

Establishing of a classroom discipline plan is a very important first step in teaching children about responsibility.

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Chapter 2. Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan


You can't base your life on other people's expectations.

Stevie Wonder

A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.

Patricia Neal

One of the most common causes of teacher anguish is unfulfilled expectations. I am sure that you have heard colleagues vent their frustration because their students were not living up to their expectations.

Expectations are normal, but they can also be the source of pain and disappointment for teachers. The problem is that most teachers do not realize the following about expectations: they have only to do with themselves, they have nothing to do with students.

Expectations are teachers' sole property. Remember, teachers cannot control the behavior of their students. While it is fine to expect your children to be sitting quietly in their desks when the bell rings, you have no control over students meeting your expectation.

However, when an expectation is explained to a student and the student agrees to try to meet it, that expectation then becomes an agreement and plan of action.

Let's go back to the football analogy. Imagine it is just before game time and the team is in the locker room. The coach tells the team: "I expect you to win today, I expect you to run plays that surprise the opposition, I expect you to anticipate their defense, I expect you to run where they least expect it, I expect you to score again and again, and I expect you to stop the other team from scoring."

What has the coach accomplished? He has definitely communicated his expectations to the team, but he has done nothing about coaching his team how to go about meeting those expectations. Neither has the coach got his team to buy into his desires and commit to working to fulfill his expectations.

Having expectations and relying on them can be very frustrating. For instance, a teacher might have the following expectations: "I expect my students to be friendly and generous to their classmates" or "I expect my students to respect the property of others" or "I expect my students to try their very best."

There is nothing wrong with having expectations, even high ones, just as long as you do not assume that (1) your students know what your expectations are, and (2) your students will agree to meet your expectations.

When you expect a student to behave in a certain way, you may assume that she is ready and willing to cooperate. But is she? If you have a certain expectation for a student and she doesn't meet that expectation, you might feel as though your trust has been betrayed. But if in reality the student did not know and agree to the expected behavior, then you have no reason to feel disappointed in his or her performance. You must realize that your just having the expectation is no guarantee that students will strive to meet them.

The way to avoid the frustration of unfulfilled expectations is by communicating your standards and limits to students, by planning positive consequences for behavior that meets your standards, and, most important, by gaining students' agreement.

Children are not mind readers. Many parents and teachers have expectations and assume that children know what they are. Then, when children do not meet these expectations, they feel unhappy, disappointed, react emotionally, and punish the child. For instance, consider the following parent-child situation.

A child has been on the phone for 25 minutes and the parent is waiting for an important call about work. The parent has not told the child about the call, but he expects the child to be considerate of others who may want to use the phone and keep her call to a reasonable length. The parent waits patiently for a while, then starts getting anxious, then starts counting the minutes, then the parent is thinking, "How inconsiderate of her to tie up the phone for all of this time."

When the child finally gets off the phone, the parent grabs the receiver and says something like "Well, it's about time. There are other people in this house who might need the phone." The parent is upset because his expectation (unstated and unknown by the child) was not fulfilled.

This brings to mind a situation a principal told me about. A first-year kindergarten teacher was having a very tough first day of teaching. His students were cute, bright and, for the most part, eager to please. Yet he was still having a difficult time getting the students to follow his directions. Finally, recess time came. When the bell rang, the children were all over the classroom, having fun, but totally out of control.

"Everybody stop!" he yelled. And they did. "Now, form a line by the front door so we can go to recess." The students stared at him for a moment, then ignored his direction and went back to doing what they were doing. Again, the teacher yelled, "Quiet. Now get in a line, right now." All of the children were quiet, but no one moved. Finally, a little girl asked, "What's a line?"

Unfulfilled expectations are a very common cause of teacher-student confrontations. The teachers are emotionally upset and hurt because their students have disappointed them and have failed to live up to their expectations. Students are emotionally upset because they are being unfairly accused of intentionally breaking a commitment they never agreed to.

This all goes back to the coaching analogy. If you expect your team to score and win, you have to have a game plan, you have to teach the plan to the team, you have to make sure they understand it, and you have to get them to agree to it. You can have a terrific plan and you can explain it skillfully and thoroughly, but without the team's agreement, your expectations are likely to go unfulfilled.

Now, the question is: "If having expectations about my students' behavior is not enough, what do I need to do?" The answer is that you need to establish positive boundaries, and that is the subject of the next chapter.

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hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 3. Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan

Positive Boundaries

Boundaries allow us to think of consequences as the good things children get (or get to do) as the result of their cooperation, changing the prevailing connotation of the word "consequence" from negative to positive.

Dr. Jane Bluestein

In this chapter, you will learn why and how to use boundaries instead of relying on expectations or threatening negative consequences. Boundaries come into play when students have trouble following class rules. If you are lucky enough to have a class that always behaves in accordance with your rules, then you will never need a boundary. However, when misbehavior occurs, you need a method of dealing with it and helping the child in a non-punitive, productive manner. Boundaries are an important part of such a method.

Boundaries say to a child, "I see that you are straying from the path we all decide to follow. So, to help keep you headed in the right direction, I am going to give you some boundaries. You will know exactly how far you can go off the path and what positives await if you stay within the boundaries." Now, that is a pretty belabored metaphor, but it is fairly accurate. In plain language, boundaries define the rule that needs to be followed and the positive consequences that will result from behavior in accord with the rule.

Boundaries provide the structure that students (and teachers) need, but without the threat of punishment. Rules and negative consequences present a do-it-or-else proposition that is authoritarian and win-lose, with the teachers doing the winning and the students doing the losing.

Using boundaries just takes a simple shift in thinking. It is not, "Do this or these bad things will happen to you," it is, "Do this and these good things will happen." Instead of a threat of punishment, boundaries promise a positive outcome. This is win-win. Teachers get their way because students stay within the boundaries. Students win because they get to enjoy the benefits that result from observing the boundaries.

There is a very different feeling for both teachers and students when boundaries are used instead of punishment. The use of boundaries encourages cooperative behavior. The focus is positive. The use of negative consequences relies on the threat of punishment. The focus is negative.

You will find that being positive and using boundaries rather than threatening punishment feels much better. A very different energy is produced when people focus on positives rather than negatives. Teachers who have shifted to this positive approach to discipline report a significant reduction in conflicts and power struggles with their students.

Some people might argue that using rules and punishments are proactive and preventive as well, as long as they are explained to students ahead of time. However, telling students rules and warning of punishments is still a threat. This approach says, "Here are the rules; follow them or suffer the consequences."

The positive uses of boundaries feel much different. This approach says, "This is what I'd like you to do, and if you do it, these good things will happen." Of course, if the child chooses not to stay within the boundary, the consequence is that he or she does not enjoy the positive outcome.

To get a better idea of how boundaries differ from rules and punishment, let's look at two examples. In the first example, the teacher relies on rules and punishments. In the second example, the teacher presents positive boundaries.

This particular problem actually took place in a fourth grade class. The teacher was having a continual struggle getting students in their seats and settled for their math lesson after lunch period. Every day the students would come into class after lunch and be absolutely uncontrollable for the next five to 10 minutes. They were running around the classroom, making a good deal of noise, and refusing to get into their seats.

Option 1: The Way of Punishment

The teacher decides that the only way to handle the situation is to be assertive and lay down the law. She tells the students: "I will not tolerate your disruptive behavior every day after lunch. The rule is to come into the classroom, quietly go to your seats, and sit without talking. If you break this rule again, you will not have free time at the end of the day. This will happen every time that you do not follow the rule."
teacher pointing at student

Okay, let's break down this approach:

  • Teacher's desire: For the children to come into the classroom after lunch in an orderly fashion and sit quietly in their seats.

  • Consequence: If the children do not comply, they will lose free time.

  • The focus is negative: Come into class quietly—or else.

Option 2: The Way of Positive Consequences

The teacher tells the class: "I know how much you like me to read you stories. I have decided that I will read a story right after lunch. But to do this, I need to have everyone go to their seats and sit quietly. I can't read a story with a lot of noise. So tomorrow, if you come in from lunch and go right to your seats and sit quietly, I will read you a story. If you are still too noisy tomorrow, we'll try again the day after that. Is that something that you would like to do?" The students agree.teacher reading a story

Here's the positive approach in brief:

  • Teacher's desire: For the children to come into the classroom after lunch in an orderly fashion and sit quietly in their seats.

  • Consequence: If students comply, she will read them a story. If they do not comply, they will try again the next day.

  • The focus is positive: Come into the classroom in an orderly way, and something good will happen.

With both options, the teacher's desired behavior is the same. The difference is in the consequences. In option 1, the focus is on the negative that will result. If the students do not comply, they will lose free time. This is clearly a power statement and a threat: "If you do not do as I say, something you won't like will happen."

With option 2, however, the focus is on the positive: follow directions and something good will happen. Also, the teacher asks for the students' agreement before implementing the plan. And the teacher keeps the focus on the positive—even if the students do not follow directions the first time, they can try again the next day. Reading a story to the students right after lunch has another benefit. It allows the students time to unwind and calm down from the excitement and fun of lunch. This is truly a win-win solution to a discipline problem.

To summarize, let's examine the ways in which boundaries differ from expectations:

  • Boundaries offer positive consequences, connecting the desired behavior with something the students want. An expectation focuses only on what teachers want.

  • The commitment to an expectation is one-sided, from the teacher. A boundary is aimed at getting the students' commitment as well.

  • Expectations have a similar effect on students as threats. They connect the students' behavior with the teacher's reaction to it. "I expect you to act this way" implies disappointment, anger, or punishment if students don't fulfill the teacher's expectation. Boundaries connect the students' behavior to some outcome unrelated to the teacher's reaction. This puts less stress on the student-teacher relationship.

In the next chapter, you will learn more about the proper use of positive boundaries.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan

Creating and Using Boundaries

I don't give advice. I can't tell anybody what to do. Instead I say this is what we know about this problem at this time. And here are the consequences of these actions.

Dr. Joyce Brothers

All teachers must begin the school year by determining their classroom rules with their students. This is needed because teachers' rules vary from year to year, from classroom to classroom. Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to make sure that students know rules for their classroom.

Teachers must also explain to students that if they have trouble following the rules, they will help them make a plan to get back on track. The emphasis needs to be on teachers helping students change their behavior, not on what teachers will do to students in an attempt to coerce them into behaving in a certain way. The proper use of boundaries is essential in this process and this chapter will explain how to create and use them.

The following guidelines for creating and using effective boundaries are adapted from Dr. Jane Bluestein'sThe Parent's Little Book of Lists. Dr. Bluestein is a nationally recognized expert in the use of boundaries both by teachers and parents.

Characteristics of a Good Boundary

What makes a boundary good? At least five characteristics must be present in every boundary you create.

Clarity. Effective positive boundaries are unambiguous, specific, and clearly communicated. They work best when you have the others' attention, when they understand what you're requesting, when the positive outcome of their cooperation is clear and when specific, requirements, conditions, or time factors are spelled out. Communicating a boundary immediately after some misbehavior might not be best. Chances are both you and the student will be in an emotional state, a state that is not conducive to a calm, rational explanation of a boundary.

Win-win. Boundaries respect and consider the needs of both the teacher and the students. They attempt to create ways for both you and your students to get what you want.

Proactivity. Boundaries work to prevent problems from escalating by dealing with discipline incidents quickly and fairly.

Positivity. The focus is on the positive outcome of observing boundaries. Boundaries are expressed positively, as promises rather than threats.

Follow-through. Follow-through is allowing a positive consequence to occur only when students observe the boundary. Follow-through builds trust because it shows students that you will honor your promises.

So if you are clear, care about your students' needs as if they were your own, create a positive focus, and keep your word, you will have boundaries that work for everyone's best interests.

Ten Reasons to Use Boundaries

Why should you use boundaries? Here are 10 reasons to consider.

  • Boundaries allow you to express your limits in a positive manner by also communicating the conditions or availability of certain privileges that your students desire.

  • They also help prevent conflict and build a cooperative relationship with students. They help you take care of your own needs while accommodating your students' needs or desires.

  • Boundaries also build a positive classroom environment. They emphasize pleasant outcomes available with cooperation.

  • They allow you to create less stress and fewer power struggles than using threats and demands would. Boundaries are less likely to be received with an emotional, irrational reaction.

  • In addition, they build mutual consideration and respect. Students appreciate the fact that you have their needs and interests in mind.

  • Boundaries also do not rely on students' fear of teachers' emotional reactions, such as anger or disapproval.

  • They can also minimize student behaviors, such as whining, begging, temper tantrums, or relying on excuses to get they want—if you include good follow-through.

  • Rather than shutting students down, boundaries leave the door open for them to change their behavior in order to get their needs met. While rules or threats emphasize the penalties for misbehavior, boundaries focus on the ability to make more constructive choices.

  • This reason is especially crucial: boundaries do not threaten emotional safety in relationships.

  • And finally, boundaries are especially effective in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and respect, although the process of setting them can help create these qualities in an otherwise troubled relationship.

With benefits like these, who wouldn't want to use boundaries in the classroom and at home?

Eight Things to Remember When Setting a Boundary

Here's a checklist you can use as you create boundaries for your students. Some items overlap a few of the things you've already looked at regarding characteristics of and reasons to have boundaries. But I think this list is a good way to encapsulate what you've learned and take it with you into the classroom.

  1. Use boundaries to let your students know your limits and tolerances and to give them information they can use in making decisions.

  2. Use past experience (and common sense) to take into account both your needs and students' needs when formulating a boundary.

  3. Be clear and specific about what you're asking for, what you would like, which options are available, or any other factors your students will need to know in making choices.

  4. Communicate your boundary before the conflict continues or recurs.

  5. State boundaries positively, as promises rather than threats.

  6. Be prepared to follow through. If you're not willing to withhold positive outcomes if the boundary is not honored, don't bother setting the boundary in the first place.

  7. Be careful not to make or accept excuses. Do not give warnings or let things slide just this once. This tells students that it's okay to disregard your boundaries.

  8. If a student is unable to complete his or her end of the bargain because the request or time limit was unreasonable, the instructions were not clear or understood, or he or she lacked the necessary skill or experience to do what you want, it's a bad boundary. This is not the same as making excuses for a capable individual who simply doesn't come through. In this instance, back up and try again. Do not withhold positive outcomes at this time.

Following these guidelines will help you establish effective boundaries that recognize and respect both your needs and you students' needs. Good boundaries are the foundation for teaching students responsibility.

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hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 5. Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan


The best discipline, maybe the only discipline that really works, is self-discipline.

Walter Kiechel III

Teaching students responsibility and self-discipline is about showing them how they can get their needs met within limits, within the positive boundaries that you have set. This will only work if you are consistent in your approach to discipline.

To illustrate this point, I like to use the story of the Mystery Speed Limit. This story was told by Dr. Glasser as a part of his teacher workshops.

One day a man is driving down the highway, and he comes upon a speed limit sign with a big question mark on it. Before he has time to think about what it might mean, he sees flashing red lights in his rearview mirror. He pulls over to the curb and a police officer comes to the driver's window.

"What did I do?" asks the man. The officer does not answer the question but instead asks him to get out of the car. As the man stands and watches, the officer proceeds to let the air out of each of the tires. "What did I do?" the man persists. "You broke the speed limit," responded the police officer. "What speed limit?" the man asks. "The only thing I saw was a sign with a question mark on it." "That is correct. Today is mystery speed limit day. And today I decided that five miles per hour was the limit."

"That's not fair," the man exclaims, "And what are you doing to my tires?" "Oh," the officer says as he finishes letting the air out of the last tire, "I also decided that today's punishment was going to be letting the air out of your tires instead of giving you a ticket. Have a good day."

Nobody likes mystery speed limits. Yet teachers use them with students all the time. Without set boundaries that are known to both the child and the teacher, inconsistency and unpredictability will lead to conflicts and emotional reactions.

For instance, take a teacher who allows students to talk quietly with each other when she is delivering a lesson. But on some days, because of other stress factors in her life, the teacher finds talking irritating. But she says nothing and grits her teeth until she can't bear it anymore. Then she loses her temper and yells at the students for making too much noise.

If students constantly face inconsistencies, they will not be able to make rational decisions about how to behave. Without consistency, students cannot relate consequences to the actions they take.

For instance, say the teacher in the above example talked with her students about an acceptable noise level. Then she and her students agreed that "library voices" would produce an acceptable noise level. However, if the teacher enforces the boundary only on some days and not on others, the students will no doubt let their talking get louder and louder until there is a confrontation.

Children learn by testing boundaries. They can't resist it (I think it's in their job description). Children love finding out just how much they can get away with. If the boundaries keep changing or if they are not consistently enforced, then children will continue to test the limits.

Remember the saying, "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile"? Whoever said that had to be a teacher talking about students!

The need for consistency is a very challenging aspect of teaching. The boundaries and standards that you set for students will make most sense when they are clear and do not change from day to day.

However, being consistent does not mean that you cannot be flexible and understanding. There may be times when set rules and boundaries are inappropriate. There is nothing wrong with changing a boundary if the situation calls for it.

The key value of consistency is that your consistent actions build consistent responses from your students. Applied to the football analogy, this means that it is much easier to both coach and play the game if everyone is observing the same rules.

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Lesson 5 Quiz Results

Important: If you missed any questions on this quiz, below you’ll see explanations about why the answers you selected were incorrect. However, the explanations don’t identify the correct answer, so you may retake this quiz if you’re dissatisfied with your score.


-Your Instructor

Evaluation of your answers:

  1. Which of the following could you find in an ineffective classroom discipline plan?

You chose: A list of unwanted behaviors.


  1. Positive boundaries allow us to think of consequences as what?

You chose: As the good things that happen when boundaries are observed.


  1. Which of the following is accurate regarding effective boundaries?

You chose: They promise positive outcomes.


  1. What are three characteristics of an effective boundary?

You chose: Clear, proactive, positive.


  1. Why are boundaries proactive?

You chose: Because they work to prevent problems from escalating.


Your score: 100% (out of 100%). Excellent job!

Quiz 5 
Date submitted: 11/02/2013 11:50:10 PM (PDT) 

Please print this evaluation for your records.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Lesson 5 Quiz.docx


Lesson 5 Quiz

  1. Which of the following could you find in an ineffective classroom discipline plan?

A list of wanted behaviors.

A list of positive boundaries.

A list of unwanted behaviors.

A list of positive outcomes.

  1. Positive boundaries allow us to think of consequences as what?

As the bad things that happen when boundaries are not observed.

As the good things that happen when boundaries are observed.

As the good things that won't happen when boundaries are not observed.

As the bad things that won't happen when boundaries are observed.

  1. Which of the following is accurate regarding effective boundaries?

They promise positive outcomes.

They threaten negative outcomes.

They control children so that they'll behave the way you want them to.

They show students which areas of the classroom they can be in at any one time.

  1. What are three characteristics of an effective boundary?

Clear, proactive, positive.

Reactive, positive, clear.

Proactive, negative, consistent.

Positive, meaningful, reactive.

  1. Why are boundaries proactive?

Because they are always set after the first instance of problem behavior.

Because they work to prevent problems from escalating.

Because they ignore the negative.

Because they ignore the positive.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 1.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 1. Lesson 6: What to Do When


To end the discipline war, it is imperative to stay out of power struggles and create an atmosphere where the long-term effects for both children and adults are mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, and cooperation in solving problems.

Dr. Jane Nelsen

In the previous lesson, you learned how to create a discipline plan with positive boundaries. Students can choose to act appropriately and responsibly, observe the boundaries, and enjoy the positive outcomes. Or they can choose not to observe the boundaries and forego the positive outcomes. The question is, what should the teacher do in either situation? The answer is the subject of this lesson.

In Chapter 2, we'll explore actions teachers need to take when students choose to ignore boundaries. In Chapter 3, we'll look at the reinforcing actions teachers should take when students choose to act responsibly. Then, in Chapter 4, we'll spend some time learning about the art of negotiation and the role it can play in teaching students decision-making skills.

In the rest of this chapter, let's examine the options open to teachers when they observe a student who is choosing inappropriate behavior that is dangerous or destructive. In a situation like that, you have no choice but to immediately intervene to stop the behavior.

For instance, if you see a student throwing rocks at a window, you will want to stop that before discussing alternative behaviors. Or if you see a student climbing over the playground fence, you need to get the child to safety first and worry about discipline and responsibility later.

However, once you have stopped the destructive behavior or removed the student from a dangerous situation, you must take further action to prevent the future occurrence of the problem.

The very first thing you should do is call a time-out. This time-out is for you more than the student. While the student may or may not be emotionally upset, you no doubt will be. This is not the time to talk rationally to a student. You can try counting to 10, but that may not be sufficient time for your blood pressure to return to something close to normal. A better option would be to tell the student that you will talk to him or her later about what happened. Then, at a time when both you and the student have calmed down, talk about what happened.

If there was already a boundary in place, then the child must accept the outcome of not enjoying the positive consequence. For instance, a boundary might be that students can enjoy the playground during recess as long as they stay away from the fence. If they ignore the boundary, you would then talk with the student about why the boundary is important and then explain that playing outside will not be permitted the next day.

If there was no boundary in place, then it is time to establish one. Talk with the student and explain why playing in the yard and not on the fence is important. You will not have a problem getting the student to understand the importance of a boundary that is meant to keep him or her from harm. Then set the boundary and be sure to define exactly where it is acceptable to play. Then tie a positive outcome to the boundary. If your students observe the boundary, they can continue to play outside at recess.

If there was no boundary in place, then taking away a privilege (no recess the next day) is not appropriate. Remember, you might expect your students to know that climbing the fence is not acceptable, but expectations are yours alone and have nothing to do with your students. Therefore, taking away recess would be punishing the student rather than teaching responsibility.

If you punish students, it is likely that they will remember the punishment much more clearly than what it is they were supposed to do. And the object is not to punish the child for inappropriate behavior. The objective is to teach the child about appropriate, responsible behavior. If a needed boundary is not in place, then see it as an opportunity to teach, not an opportunity to punish.

In the next chapter, we will examine what actions you can take if the misbehavior is neither dangerous nor destructive. And this is something you'll need to ask yourself, "Is this behavior dangerous or destructive?" Not all misbehavior is, yet we often respond to it in the same strong, urgent way. And by doing so, we miss a prime opportunity to teach.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 2.docx


hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 2. Lesson 6: What to Do When

Responding to Misbehavior

If you punish a child for being naughty, and reward him for being good, he will do right merely for the sake of the reward; and when he goes out into the real world and finds that goodness is not always rewarded nor wickedness always punished, he will grow into a man who always thinks about how he will get on in the world, and does the right or wrong thing according as he finds of advantage to himself.

Immanuel Kant

If a student engages in misbehavior that is not dangerous or destructive, you may respond in a number of ways ranging from doing nothing and allowing the situation to reach its natural conclusion to intervening and stopping the behavior.

To analyze your various options, let's look at a specific situation. Suppose you have a student, Stacey, who is fighting with another girl over a toy. Neither child is being endangered by the behavior, nor is the behavior destructive. (Of course, if the toy in question were a $300 computer game, then the destructive boundary would apply.) Depending on your discipline plan, Stacey may or may not be ignoring (or testing) a boundary. Here you could take a number of different actions. Let's examine several of them.

Situation 1: Boundary in Place

There is a boundary in place that states that students can play with any of the toys in the fun area if they share with others.

Option 1: You could intervene and stop the fighting. You could tell Stacey that she chose not to share the toys, and therefore she will not be able to go to the fun area the next day. This approach is okay but for Stacey it may feel like punishment because you intervened and took the toy away.

Option 2: You could do nothing and let the situation play itself out. If the toy is broken in the course of the fighting, then the student learns that a result of fighting over a toy can be the loss of that toy.

Now, if you jump in to save Stacey and say something like, "Now you see what can happen, but don't cry, I'll get you another toy," you are not going to teach her anything about responsibility. Children learn from being allowed to experience an unpleasant consequence.

If the toy is not broken, then after the situation passes, you could sit down and talk with Stacey about what happened, the choice she made, and the consequence that she will not be able to go to the fun area the next day. By not intervening and by not saving Stacey, you teach her an important lesson about responsibility.

Situation 2: No Boundary in Place

If there is no specific boundary about sharing, you have another set of options.

Option 1: You could intervene and offer a solution. You could stop the fighting and suggest that Stacey play with the toy for 10 minutes and then let the friend have it for 10 minutes. This is not a desirable option because it deprives the child of a learning opportunity. While the solution that you present might be fair, it can teach children to look to others to solve their problems.

Option 2: You could intervene and create a new boundary. In this case, you would stop the fighting and ask Stacey and her friend what they could do so that both of them could play with the toy. Involving the students in finding a solution is preferable to solving the problem for them. Help them decide on the boundary and the positive outcome that will result.

Then, ask them if the boundary is okay with them. It will be because they had a hand in creating it. Asking for their agreement also confirms their commitment to follow the boundary. This is a good approach to solving the problem, and it teaches responsibility.

Option 3: You could intervene and initiate negotiation. You would stop the fighting and take the toy away from them. You would tell them that they could have the toy back just as soon as they agreed on a way to share it.two gilrs sharing a toy

This is an excellent option depending on the age and maturity of the students involved. This option teaches students that they have control over their own behavior and the outcomes that result from it. It also teaches students about compromise and recognizing the needs of others. If the students have trouble finding a solution, it would be acceptable if you offered to help them by presenting some alternatives. Just make sure that the decision and solution is theirs and not yours.

Option 4: You could do nothing and let the students deal with the situation themselves. They may find a solution, one child will win and the other will lose, or they may break the toy. If they do not find a solution, you may want to take this as a learning opportunity and talk with them about it. Helping students explore alternative ways of behaving teaches them that they have control over their own behavior. This is also a very proactive option in that you are taking a step toward preventing the problem in the future.

It's obvious from this list of various options that no one simple answer applies to all situations. You have many ways to respond to your students' misbehavior. Some choices teach more about responsibility than others. However you chose to respond, you will be helping your students if you keep two general rules in mind: (1) Don't punish, and (2) help the students learn alternative ways to behave in the future.

While I'm opposed to punishment, that doesn't mean that I'm opposed to logical consequences, which are the natural outcomes of behavior. I want to take a moment to clarify the difference between a punishment and the logical consequences of a misdeed.

Here's an analogy to illustrate the point: If I don't pay the bill for my morning newspaper, the newspaper's distributor will stop delivering the paper to my house. No one from the newspaper will call me and lecture me or try to humiliate me. Nor will they send someone to my home to yell at me or hurt me. There's no emotion involved. The consequences were set and explained in advance, and once I pay the bill, all will be forgotten and my newspaper delivery will begin again.

The goal of punishment is to force compliance by threatening or inflicting emotional or physical pain. The goal of logical consequences is to help children connect their actions to the results of those actions and to develop self-control.

Unlike punishment where the intention is to make a child feel shamed, the intention of logical consequences is to help children learn from their mistakes in a supportive atmosphere.

The teacher's tone of voice is critical in distinguishing logical consequences from punishment. There are many ways to say to a child that they've spilled their juice and should clean it up. If the tone is angry or punitive, then it's no longer a logical consequence.

In summary, the goal of any effective approach to discipline must be to teach children to take responsibility for their actions and the results of those actions. Logical consequences help accomplish this. Punishment does not.

In later lessons, you will learn more about responding to misbehavior when we examine in detail specific discipline problems.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 3.docx


Chapter 3. Lesson 6: What to Do WhenRecognition and Reinforcement

The ability to recognize and reinforce positive behavior is essential to any win-win relationship.

Dr. JaneBluestein

In previous lessons, I warned you about the temptation to use punishment with students because of its short-term effectiveness. There is also a flip side to this warning. The opposite of punishment is praise, and it is equally dangerous. Praise may work in the short term, but its only long-term effects are harmful.

The problem is not in the praise itself but how it is delivered. If praise were simply the acknowledgment of a job well done, it would be fine. But praise is almost always tied to a conditional statement. For instance, "I like the way that you did that," ties the value of the job done to the approval of the person giving the praise.

This "I like the way" type of praise is unfortunately used innocently by teachers who believe that they are encouraging appropriate behavior. Statements such as, "I like the way you are sitting," or, "I like the effort you put into this project," say to students that the reason their behavior is worthy of praise is because it pleases the teacher.

Praise is also often used in connection with a comment on the value of the child. "You are such a good boy for cleaning up your desk," and, "What a good girl you are for thinking of that," are examples of this type of praise. These statements are saying, "You are a good person because I approve of what you did."

The problem with misused praise is that it causes children to become people pleasers. They choose behavior not because it is right or wrong, but because it will please the teacher (or the parent).

Children who grow up with conditional praise have trouble developing strong self-concepts because they are totally dependent on the opinions of others. Misused praise can also cause discipline problems for children who do not want to play the pleasing game. Other children resent and rebel against praise because they can't compete with children who know how to play the people-pleasing game.

The alternative to praise is encouragement. Encouragement has positive, long-term results because it produces self-confidence and self-worth. Encouragement differs from praise in that it does not contain an evaluative or conditional component. "What a great job you did on your homework," and, "It is obvious that you worked very hard on that project. Good work!" are unconditional expressions of encouragement.

Encouragement recognizes a student's appropriate behavior, and the student's satisfaction derives from that behavior. Encouragement does not describe your feelings. Even though your students' good behavior might be very pleasing to you, your pleasure is not the reason to encourage them to continue that behavior.

Every opportunity to praise a student's accomplishments is also an opportunity to offer encouragement. Just remember to focus on the student and the student's behavior and not on your feelings about that behavior. Focus on your students' needs, not on your own. Recognition and encouragement that focus solely on the accomplishment of students meets their need for power and builds the confidence they need to think for themselves and make decisions.

Praise can also be harmful when it is insincere or sarcastic. This is by far the most harmful version of praise and can produce immediate negative results. "Well, it's about time you stopped talking and got your work done," and, "Look at you, in your seat 10 whole seconds before the bell," are examples of this very harmful use of praise.

For points to remember about recognizing and encouraging appropriate behavior, I turn again to Dr. Bluestein's The Parent's Little Book of Lists. Even though the book is written for parents, her advice holds true for teachers as well. The following points to remember about reinforcing positive behavior are adapted from that book.

Guidelines for Encouraging AppropriateBehavior

  • Watch out for the tendency to focus on what your students are doing wrong. Deliberately look for what your students are doing right. (It is easier to recognize and reinforce positive behavior when you start focusing on it.)

  • Resist connecting students' worth to an accomplishment. Instead of saying, "What a good girl you are! You made the honor roll," say, "All right! You made the honor roll! I know how hard you worked forthat. Congratulations."

  • Use a two-step technique to recognize a behavior without tying it to your feelings. First, describe the positive behavior without judging the worth of the student. "I see that you worked quietly all period long," or, "Way to go! You got all of your work done," are examples. Second, if possible and appropriate, tell students how the positive behavior pays off for them. "You can have free time and listen to music now," or "Now you can go outside and play," helps the students tie positive outcomes to appropriate behavior.

  • Recognize appropriate behavior after it has happened. Resist the temptation to manipulate students into behaving. "You've shown me that you are a very responsible person and I am sure that you will continue to be on time for class the way you did today," is not as effective as waiting until the student continues the behavior and then acknowledging it.

  • Don't recognize someone else's behavior in an effort to motivate another student to do the same. "Your neighbor is working quietly," and, "Look at the way Jackie is standing in line," will only cause resentment, feelings of inadequacy, and competitiveness.

  • Avoid using your conditional approval as encouragement. Comments like, "I am so happy that you did your homework," or, "I love it when you get good grades," suggests that you won't feel this way otherwise, that your happiness and love depend on the student doing these things.

  • Avoid presuming how your students feel, should feel, or must feel as a result of the accomplishment, with statements like, "You must feel proud of . . ." or, "You should feel happy because . . ." The experience may have an entirely different value to the child.

  • Don't give compliments as a way of introducing a complaint: "You really improved in English. Too bad you're not doing so well in math."

As behaviors become more internalized and automatic, they will also self-reinforce. However, even though the need for your reinforcement diminishes, it's still a good idea to acknowledge the positive behavior. It's always nice to have your good efforts recognized and appreciated.

Self-confidence and self-esteem result when students feel in control of their lives. Positive reinforcement can contribute to this when it is sincere and does not make a value judgment about the child. Students know when your positive comments are genuine, and this builds a trusting teacher-student relationship. This trusting relationship will greatly increase the effectiveness of your efforts to teach your students responsible behavior.

Your proper responses to your students' misbehavior and the proper use of encouragement for appropriate behavior will go a long way toward preventing discipline problems. However, when misbehavior occurs, and it will occur, you have to stick to your discipline and follow through. Follow-through is an essential part of teaching responsibility and is the subject of the next chapter.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 4.docx


Chapter 4. Lesson 6: What to Do When

Follow-Through and Negotiation

What the parties have to realize is that neither of them wants to be, nor will permit themselves to be, a loser. My philosophy of negotiation is that in a successful negotiation everybody wins. Instead of just fighting over a piece of the pie, everybody gets together to make a new pie.

Gerard I. Nierenberg (President, Negotiation Institute, Inc.)

Many of the books I have read about children and discipline stress the importance of follow-through. Most often, follow-through is thought of as making sure that both you and your students keep your commitments. If you set a positive boundary that states that your students can have free time if they finish their assignments on time, then you have to follow through to make sure the boundary is observed before the positive outcome is allowed. If the assignments are not finished on time, then there is no free time that day, and the students can try again tomorrow.

Follow-through shows students that you are serious and sincere in your boundary-setting. Without follow-through, the value of boundary-setting goes right out the window. When students are faced with inconsistent boundaries, they will behave only when they feel it is in their best interest to do so. Presenting students with this moving-target approach to boundaries teaches them nothing about responsibility and decision-making. It teaches them to behave when you are paying attention and to get away with what they can when you are not.

Follow-through, however, can also apply to situations where a discipline plan is not working. You will know when a plan is not working because you or the student will become the winner and the other the loser. If you are the loser, you will know it. If your student is the loser, he or she will make certain that you know it. If this happens, it's time to look at the problem and come up with a new plan to solve it. To accomplish this you need the student's cooperation and input. In the words of Mr. Nierenberg, it is time for you and your student to get "together to make a new pie."

Let's look at an example of a recurring problem. A teacher has a student named Jack who is having a continuing problem of getting his homework done. The teacher has talked with him about the problem, and both have agreed to the following plan: If Jack brings in his homework, he can go to recess. If he is late, he must use recess to do the work. If he doesn't finish the homework at recess, then he has to stay in at lunchtime until the work is complete. (If using recess time is not possible in your situation, substitute an acceptable alternative: free time, lunchtime, after school, in ISS, and so on.}

Even though Jack has agreed to the plan, he still fails to have his homework done two or three times a week. The teacher has tried speaking with Jack's parents but has received no support. The parents are taking Jack's side and suggesting that perhaps the problem is that Jack doesn't know how to do the work. This frustrates the teacher even more because she knows that Jack can do the work.

The situation goes on like this for a couple of weeks. Jack is angry and resentful, even though he agreed to the plan. He always has some excuse as to why his homework was not completed. In his mind, he feels that it's not all his fault.

The plan isn't working because it has become lose-lose instead of win-win. The teacher is losing because she has to stay in and supervise Jack during recess and lunch. Jack is losing because he is missing recess.

What should the teacher do? She could rid herself of the problem by sending Jack to the office when he doesn't bring in his homework. However, that would not solve the problem. And sooner or later, the office would tire of Jack's visits and send him back to the teacher. Negotiating with Jack may be the best solution.

Before continuing with the example, let's examine why negotiation is a good approach to solving a problem. Negotiation minimizes power struggles that are the result of win-lose or lose-lose interactions. It also generates a commitment from students that greatly increases the likelihood of cooperative behavior. Negotiation allows students to have their side of the story heard. It allows them to express their preferences and desires. And most important, it meets their need for power by allowing them control over their lives within the limits you have set together.

Negotiation also teaches students important life skills, skills that will be valuable to them in the real world. Negotiating, decision-making, and appreciating the needs of others will help them succeed in work and in relationships.

Negotiation, however, does not apply to all situations. Some things are not negotiable. You cannot negotiate to meet a student's wants if they are harmful to others, are illegal, or would create additional problems for someone.

When you sit down to negotiate with a student, keep these guidelines in mind:

  1. You need to determine which of your student's needs is being frustrated by the current situation. You have to find out what he or she wants and is not getting.

  2. Talk with the student and brainstorm possible solutions that both of you can agree to.

  3. Once a solution is reached, clearly define the new boundary and the positive outcome. If a time limit is needed, be sure that it is stated and part of the agreement.

  4. Ask the student to recite back to you what he or she has agreed to. This confirms the student's understanding and commitment.

  5. Be prepared to follow through. Make sure the boundary is honored and the positive outcome realized.

Now let's return to our example of Jack's inability to get his homework done. Your negotiation with Jack should go something like this:

TEACHER: I want to talk about homework. I feel that it's a very important part of school. It helps you learn and remember what we have covered in class.

JACK: Yeah.

TEACHER: I want to talk about what we can do to help you get your homework done so that you don't miss recess or lunch. Would you like that?

JACK: It's not my fault that I can't do my homework. I'm doing too many things like sports and stuff, and I get home late.

TEACHER: Do you have games or practice every night?

JACK: Almost.

TEACHER: How many nights do you have a game or practice?

JACK: On Tuesday and Thursday.

TEACHER: So, it's hard for you to get your homework done on those nights.

JACK: Yeah. I get home late and I'm tired.

TEACHER: Okay, what if we could work out a plan so you wouldn't have homework on Tuesday and Thursday?

JACK: Yeah.

TEACHER: How about if I give you no homework Tuesday and Thursday and double homework on Wednesday and Friday?

JACK: I can't do that. That's too much on one night.

TEACHER: Well, homework is important, and you can't miss it on two nights of the week. What do you suggest?

JACK: Well, I only have practice on Tuesday and that's not too late. I guess I could get it done.

TEACHER: Great. Now what about Thursday?

JACK: Thursdays we have night games. So, since I'm doing the other homework, maybe I can skip Thursday.

TEACHER: Skipping homework is not an option, but I'll give you some options. You can continue to make up Thursday's homework at recess and lunch, or I will let you have the weekend to do the work.

JACK: I don't like either one.

TEACHER: Okay, would you like me to choose one for you?


TEACHER: Which option do you want? Recess and lunch? Or the weekend?

JACK: I guess recess and lunch, but maybe I can get it done on Thursdays.

TEACHER: That's good. Now, what did we just agree to?

JACK: If I don't get Thursday homework done, then I have to stay in at recess and finish it.

TEACHER: Correct, and lunch too, if it takes that much time. And what about Tuesdays?

JACK: I'm going to do it.

TEACHER: And if you don't do it?

JACK: Recess and lunch.

TEACHER: That's a good plan. Let's see how it works next week, and then if we have to make a different plan to get your homework done, we will. Okay?

JACK: Yeah.

This seems like a good plan for both the teacher and Jack. But follow-through remains important. The plan may or may not work. With consistency and follow-through, though, both Jack and the teacher will get their needs met.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 5.docx


Chapter 5. Lesson 6: What to Do When


Moral autonomy appears when the mind regards as necessary an ideal that is independent of all external pressure.

Jean Piaget

Effective discipline is about teaching students to be independent, to take responsibility for their own behavior, and to solve their own problems. While most teachers would agree with this statement, they fail to see that this approach does not allow for something many view as essential: giving advice.

Dr. Glasser has only one guideline for advice: Never give advice unless someone asks for it. This holds true for everyone, most of all teachers and parents. Giving children advice is very different from helping them find a solution to a problem.

There are many reasons not to give children advice. Advice denies children the opportunity to discover solutions themselves. When children can't find solutions themselves, they don't develop self-confidence. Giving advice teaches children to depend on someone else to solve problems. Advice harms a trusting teacher-student relationship because it suggests that the teacher does not trust students to solve their own problems. Also, advice could be wrong and actually cause more problems. And worst of all, giving children advice allows them to blame you if the advice doesn't work out.

What you can give students is information. You can tell them what you observed him or her doing and you can detail the types of results that are likely if the student does or does not choose to continue that behavior. Making certain that students have the information they need to make choices and decisions is critical and that is where your role as a teacher comes in.

Criticism can also harm children's self-confidence. Criticism is a personal attack on children's self-worth and is devastating to self-confidence. Some adults are under the misconception that criticism is necessary to guide children toward proper choices and behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than promote growth, criticism is used to control, change, or demean children. Criticism is not only saying that the child made a bad choice, it is also saying he or she is a bad person for doing so. Criticism promotes anger and resentment and damages a trusting teacher-child relationship.

For instance, "If you weren't so stubborn, you'd see that getting your homework done teaches you valuable skills. You're not going to learn I'm right until it is too late." Critical statements like this are very harmful. Believe it or not, children do take to heart your negative statements and incorporate them into their image of themselves. It is hard for children to believe that they are worthwhile and capable when important people in their lives keep telling them that they aren't.

Rather than looking for things to criticize, watch for what your students are doing right. Let your students know that you recognize that behavior and that you have confidence in them. Effective teaching is helping children develop an "I can" attitude and then standing back while they test their capabilities. As I said before, this is a difficult task for teachers (and parents), but the reward of watching your students grow into confident, happy, productive persons is certainly worth the effort.boy smiling

In the next lessons in this course, we will look at how to utilize what you've learned so far to solve specific discipline problems. This second phase of the course will help you personalize your new knowledge and apply it to your own classroom situation.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Lesson 6 Quiz.docx


Lesson 6 Quiz

  1. Why is it sometimes a good idea to call a time-out?

To give you time to think of a proper punishment.

To give you and the student time to calm down.

To give you time to downshift to your brain's limbic system.

To let the student, not you, decide on the proper punishment.

  1. What should you do if there is no boundary in place that applies to a student's misbehavior?

Use punishment only until the misbehavior stops.

Let the misbehavior continue, because there is nothing you can do.

Give the student a 10-minute time-out.

Talk with the student about the misbehavior and create a new boundary.

  1. When is doing nothing an appropriate response to a student's misbehavior?

When the behavior is destructive.

When you need time to think of the appropriate punishment.

When you want to use a surprise rule.

When you want to let the student solve the problem by him or herself.

  1. Which of the following is a proper statement of encouragement?

'I really like it when you do your work when I ask you to.'

'Great job! You are a very good girl for sharing with Sally.'

'Good job on your homework. You should be feeling very proud.'

You did an excellent job on your homework. It is obvious that you put in a lot of effort.

  1. Which of the following causes people-pleasing?



Positive boundaries.


Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 1.docx


Chapter 1. Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity


There is a vital need for children to grow up in a loving, sustaining environment. The key pathways in the brain are laid down in those early years, and a warm, friendly, loving environment is critical.—GordonDryden

Congratulations! You have completed the first half of this course. You have succeeded in establishing a good theoretical foundation of information about effective discipline. Now it's time to put your new knowledge to use and apply it to real discipline problems.

In the next six lessons, you will be presented with a series of discipline problems that commonly occur in classrooms. I was tempted to arrange the problems according to the ages at which they are mostly likely to occur. Then, after thinking about that for a while, I decided on a less chronological approach. While certain problems do tend to occur at specific ages, that doesn't always hold true.

In this lesson, we will deal with the problems normally associated with younger children: the attention-demander, the apple-polisher, and the whiner. Of course, we can all point to older children who have the same types of problems. But no matter when they occur, the problems of growing up can be very bothersome to teachers.

Each of the problems will be examined following a five-step approach. Following is a description of those steps and what each will entail.

The problem: In this first step, I will describe the problem.

Problem analysis: In this step, I will analyze the problem in terms of who is doing what and why. Many times it is just as important to look at what the teacher is doing as it is to look at the student's actions. I will also analyze the problem in terms of basic needs. What need is the student attempting to fulfill? How can this need be fulfilled without causing a problem?

Boundaries and outcomes: What has been the boundary and what has been the outcome? Does the boundary need to be adjusted? Does the outcome need to be changed?

Solutions: There are always many solutions to a particular problem. In this step, one or more solutions will be proposed that will meet both the student's and the teacher's needs.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: This step will look at what the teacher could do to avoid similar problems in the future. In some cases, suggestions will be presented for ways to build a more trusting relationship between the teacher and the student.

Here's an example of how this format will work. The problem involves playtime with a computer and desk work.

The problem: Patricia is a fourth-grade teacher. She has a student, Mark, who is crazy about computers. He is very intelligent and enjoys playing computer games. Patricia and Mark agreed that he could go to the computer area (if it is free) once he finished his assignments. This arrangement worked for a while. Then Patricia noticed that Mark's work was showing definite signs of being completed in haste. Patricia tried speaking with Mark about the problem, and he agreed to do better, but he never followed through.

Problem analysis: Mark is rushing through his work so he can play on the computer. Mark's need for fun is interfering with his responsibility to do his best job with his desk work. His need for freedom also comes into play, because he wants to do what he wants to do rather than what he should be doing.

Boundaries and outcomes: The boundary in place calls for Mark to finish his desk work before he can play his video game. The positive outcome is being able to play with the computer.

Solutions: Rather than just changing the boundary or outcome and presenting it to Mark, it would be better if Patricia sat down with him and discussed the problem. She should explain that the goal is not for him just to get his work done but to do it in a responsible manner. Here Patricia needs to explain what a responsible manner is: his name and the date at the top of the paper, all parts of the assignment neatly printed or written, complete, and with evidence that some thought and effort has gone into it.

Once Mark has agreed to the definition of work responsibly completed, a new plan should be put into effect. Namely, Mark can play on the computer after his work is completed responsibly. To make sure that they both are working with the same understanding of what "completed responsibly" is, Mark will show Patricia his completed work for the first week before going to the computer area.

If Mark does a good job with his work that first week, then further checking might not be necessary. If the work is still not right after a week of Mark foregoing his computer time, then it is time to revise the plan.

Another solution to the problem would be to institute mandatory desk work time. With this option, Patricia and Mark would negotiate and set a time for assignments each day. The length of the mandatory time is negotiable, but mandatory time itself is not negotiable.

Mark must spend that mandatory amount of time doing his desk work. If he finishes his work before the mandatory period is up, then he can study or read for the balance of the time. If Mark observes mandatory desk work time and does a good, complete job on his work, then he can go to the computer.

The use of a mandatory amount of time for desk work eliminates the temptation to speed through the work to get to the computer games. This mandatory time approach works great with students who speed through their homework in order to go out and play. Try suggesting it to parents as a way to solve homework problems peacefully.

Both of the above solutions are win-win. Patricia wins because the work is completed properly. Mark wins because he still gets to play on the computer. A win-lose solution would involve Patricia saying something like, "Okay, Mark, you are not doing a good job on your work. So, no computer time for two weeks. And you will stay after school and do your work over properly."

Patricia wins because the work gets done. But Mark loses because he is punished with a two-week loss of computer privileges. What has Mark learned in the process? Has he learned about doing a better job on his desk work? No. Has he learned that acting responsibly can bring positive outcomes? No.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: Recognition and encouragement are very important with desk work assignments. Because homework occurs frequently and over a long period of time, it's easy to take good work for granted. Instead, Patricia should make an effort to recognize Mark's good work often to let him know that she cares about and appreciates his responsible efforts.

There are many other solutions to the desk work vs. computer game problem. But the solution, the end result, is not as important as the process. Has the process that solved the problem taught the student a lesson about responsibility? That is the important question. Remember, you should view every discipline problem as an opportunity not to punish but to teach your students about responsibility.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 2.docx


Chapter 2.Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity

The Attention-Demander

Children learn at a very early age how good it feels to have attention, but sometimes they have the mistaken belief that they don't count unless they are the center of attention at all times. —Dr. JaneNelsen

Children and adults alike want attention. When other people recognize us and give us attention, our need for power is fulfilled. "I am recognized. I am somebody. I have worth." We also crave attention because of our need for love and belonging. "The teacher is paying attention to me. She must like me."

Because getting attention is so need-fulfilling, it can cause serious problems when it is lacking. Some students have learned how to verbalize their need to be noticed by statements such as, "Teacher, watch this," or, "Look what I drew." These are clearly pleas for attention.

Problems occur when students do not know how to verbalize their need to be noticed and start acting the need out, positively or negatively. Some students may call for attention by being extra helpful or doing a particularly good job on an assignment. Other students might choose to yell out an answer in class, throw a piece of chalk, or pester a neighbor. All of these actions are saying, "Please notice me. Pay attention to me."

Several classroom behaviors indicate that a student's need for attention is not being satisfied. These are students who speak too loudly or come late to class or are out of their seats or following you around. They are ready to engage in any behavior just to get your attention.

These types of actions can bring the student some unpleasant consequences along with the added attention. Teachers can grow irritated and punish the student. Other students may resent this attention-getting and begin putting the attention-demander down or excluding him or her from their groups. But because the student's need for attention is so strong, he or she may continue attention-seeking no matter what the negative consequences might be.

Let's examine a typical problem situation to learn more about attention-demanding and effective approaches to dealing with it. The following story is true. The teacher was a first-grade teacher, and this incident took place during her first two weeks of teaching.

The problem: The teacher's name was Terri. The student's name was Justin, but the very first hour of school Terri had nicknamed him Shadow. Wherever she went in the classroom or out on the playground, Justin would stay right next to her, just like a shadow. It seemed as though Shadow was actually attached to her. As much as she tried, she could not distract Justin from his need to be at her side. No matter what task Terri gave him, it only took a minute or so and he was back to show her what he had done so far.

Meeting Justin's constant need for attention made it impossible for her to deal effectively with the rest of the class. Something had to be done.

Problem analysis: It is obvious that Justin is used to a good deal of attention at home. Some teachers might think that just ignoring Justin would be a good approach. The problem is that Justin's need for attention is not going to go away by itself. Just ignoring his polite pleas for attention will only give way to more demonstrative demands. Finding a proper solution to the problem must involve meeting Justin's needs and Terri's needs as well.

Boundaries and outcomes: Since this occurred at the beginning of the school year, there were very few boundaries in place. There was no boundary dealing with attention.

Solutions: Several approaches can be effective in dealing with attention-demanding students. Many times, giving them some special job or responsibility can help. Other times, having them work with a group of students (where they can get recognition from their peers) will solve the problem.

In Terri's case, however, she found a very creative, nonpunitive, and caring way to deal with Justin. She sat down with him and told him that she enjoyed having him in class and liked talking with him and answering his questions. She also told him that she had to help the rest of the children in the class too, but she still wanted to have some special time with Justin.

She took out 12 paper clips and showed them to Justin. She said that these paper clips would make sure that he would be able to talk with her throughout the day. Every time that Justin wanted to talk with her or show her something, all he had to do was bring her one of the paper clips and she would listen to what he had to say. She said that he had 12 paper clips, so he could come to her 12 times during the day.

Terri put the clips on his belt and pointed out that when he used up all of his paper clips, then he would have to wait until the next day to talk to her. He would get 12 paper clips every morning. Twelve seemed like a lot to Justin, and he thought this was a great plan. It also gave him some extra attention because he was the only student in the class with the paper-clip passes.

The school day began, and Justin started using his paper clips as he was directed. By 10:00 he had used his last paper clip. But he went over to Terri anyway to show her his latest piece of work. Terri simply held out her hand for a paper clip. When Justin was unable to produce the paper-clip pass, she simply shook her head and continued working with another student. Justin stood there for a moment and then went back to his work. He tried a couple of more times to get Terri's attention before stopping his attention-demanding behavior.

The next day, Justin's paper clips lasted until 10:30, the next day, until noon, and by the end of the week he was making the clips last all day. At the end of that week, Terri told Justin how great he was doing working by himself. He was doing so well that she was going to have to give him only eight paper clips the next day. Terri kept up this plan, being sure to encourage Justin to work on his own and complimenting him for doing so.

After two weeks, Justin was down to only one paper clip and was working well by himself and with other students. Terri let him keep the one paper clip just in case he ever had a very special something to share with her. It was a win-win solution to the problem. Justin was able to get his needs met and learn about controlling his own behavior. Terri got her needs met and developed a caring, trusting relationship with Justin at the same time.paper clip

Proactivity.or preventing future problems: A way to prevent attention-demanding behavior is to make an effort to have some positive, individual contact with every student, every day. Even if it is as simple as welcoming him or her into the classroom in the morning, positive interactions are powerful tools. Some teachers use a class roster and make a check next to the name of each student with whom they have interacted. Record keeping may or may not be necessary, just so long as you have a plan and follow through with it.

If you want students to be able to work by themselves without overly relying on your help, then you need to recognize and encourage students when they are working well on their own. Encouraging appropriate behavior is the best, most effective way to avoid inappropriate behavior.

If you see an attention-demanding problem beginning to develop in a student, you can set up a time of day that is your special time together. Then, when a student begins to pester you, you can say something like, "This isn't our time to talk, but I am really looking forward to hearing what you have to say at our special time at 1:00."

By properly dealing with attention-demanders, you can teach students about respect, courtesy, and responsibility. And with your encouragement when they do control their behavior and work by themselves, they can gain satisfaction that comes from within instead of constantly searching for attention and recognition from others.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 3.docx


Chapter 3. Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity

The Apple-Polisher or Angel

If I could eliminate forever four phrases from our language in the interest of healthy people, it would be "good boy," "bad boy," "good girl," and "bad girl" and all their related derivatives. Keep what people do separate from who they are so that a bad act doesn't make a person bad or a good act make a person good. This is an important key to healthy self-esteem.

H. Stephen Glenn

This chapter could also have been titled "The Good Child." Both the apple-polisher and the angel want to be seen as good children. Yes, dealing with children who are "good" can be as discouraging as dealing with children who are "bad." Good children and apple-polishers have learned their life roles from the success they have had in their people-pleasing efforts.

Good children seek to do good things mainly when there is an adult present to notice the deed and respond with a "What a good child you are" type of remark. These children have come to believe that they are good when they do something that pleases an adult. These children are not responsible; rather, they are manipulators, seeking to please adults with their actions so that they can get what they want.

Apple-polishers also manipulate by giving praise to gain a personal advantage. They are apt to tell teachers how wonderful they are and what a great job they are doing. They are used to receiving praise that's not genuine, so they are apt to use praise in the same manner.

Angels, like apple-polishers, are manipulative. Angels tell adults what they believe others want to hear and behave perfectly in the presence of authority. Angels tend to act innocent or naïve if confronted. They also see putting down other students as a way of raising their stature with the teacher.

Teachers encourage apple-polishers and angels when they use conditional forms of praise such as, "I love the way you did that," or, "You are such a good girl for standing quietly in line." These statements teach students that their self-worth depends on the approval of the teacher.

Apple-polishers are attempting to satisfy their needs for power and belonging with their manipulative actions. Their need for power causes them to want to be noticed, to be recognized, to be listened to. Their need for belonging causes them to want to be accepted and loved. In their interactions at home or at school, they have found that they can get these needs best met when they are being good.

The apple-polishers and angels can be very helpful to teachers. They are forever volunteering to take on extra tasks, to help clean up, and to take up the slack left by students who are "less good" than they. But the purpose of this good behavior is more important than the behavior itself. The good behavior itself is not need-satisfying. What is satisfying is the approval that they receive from the teacher.

The problem: Tami is an eighth-grader and a confirmed apple-polisher, angel, good child and sometimes a tattletale. She is an excellent student but makes sure to tell her teacher (Mr. Bowman) that he should have all the credit. If it were not for his terrific teaching, she would not be doing so well in school.apple

Of course, her classmates see right through Tami's good girl act and have started to distance themselves from her. As her classmates desert her, Tami turns more to Mr. Bowman for praise and confirmation that she is a good student. Mr. Bowman has tried to avoid her apple-polishing behavior, but this has just made Tami more resolved in her efforts to get Mr. Bowman's attention.

Problem analysis: Tami believes that the only way she can gain a feeling of self-worth is by pleasing adults. She needs to learn that behavior that is less self-centered and more responsible can also be rewarding and need-satisfying.

Boundaries and outcomes: Boundaries and outcomes do not apply in this situation. Angels and apple-polishers have come to believe that their behavior is appropriate. They believe that they are doing what adults want them to do.

Solutions: In attempting to deal with apple-polishers and angels, external control in the form of praise or punishments absolutely will not work. Remember, you cannot control the behavior of students. You cannot force students to choose responsible, unselfish behavior. The choice has to be theirs.

In Tami's case, Mr. Bowman could try to capitalize on her academic skills in ways that could gain her some genuine recognition for genuine efforts. He could, for instance, ask Tami if she could help him and another teacher out by tutoring some students in a lower grade. She would probably jump at the chance to help the teachers. By giving Tami this type of responsibility, Mr. Bowman can introduce Tami to the good feelings that can be gained through helping others.

Then, after she has gained some success with the tutoring, Mr. Bowman could talk to Tami about the experience, why helping others is important, and why it results in good feelings for the person being helped and the person helping. By approaching the problem in this manner, Mr. Bowman not only begins to solve the apple-polishing and angel behaviors, but he also teaches Tami an important lesson in responsibility.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: Mr. Bowman could help prevent Tami from lapsing into inappropriate behavior by helping her get reconnected with her classmates. Feeling disconnected is a very common cause of behavior problems. Being disconnected from others is painful and demands immediate attention.

To help the situation, Mr. Bowman could engage the class in the cooperative learning activities in which students work in groups to solve a problem. These activities need to be structured so that success depends on the contributions of all members. By helping her classmates succeed, Tami gains self-worth from her own feelings of accomplishment and from the recognition that she receives from the teacher and her fellow students.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity

The Whiner or Complainer

I can't stand whining students. Punishment doesn't work with them. Bribery doesn't work either. All they do is complain, complain, and complain whenever I ask them to do something. Why can't they just behave without whining and complaining and whimpering and . . . does it sound like I'm whining?


Students choose whining or complaining behavior because they have found that those behaviors are effective ways to get their needs met. It is born of the philosophy, "If I do this long enough, eventually I am going to get my way." Whining is a student's attempt to wear down the teacher's patience. And the more it works, the more children will use it. The problem is, how do you deal with a whining child without giving that child the attention that he or she is seeking with the whining behavior?

The problem: Jessica is a first-grade student and is a whiner and a crier. It has reached the point where she seldom asks for anything in a normal tone of voice. First comes the whining, and then if she doesn't get what she wants, the crying starts. The only way to get her to be quiet is to give her what she wants. Her teacher has talked with her parents, but they have resigned themselves to rationalizing that she'll eventually grow out of it.

Problem analysis: Whining is a totally learned behavior. Children are not born knowing how to whine in order to get their needs met. All it takes is for them to whine once and get their way for them to keep repeating that behavior.

Punishing whining or crying can actually encourage children to continue these behaviors. Children who want attention badly enough will accept punishment rather than receive no attention at all.

By this time in this course, you may have noticed that the need for attention is a recurring theme in discipline problems. For children, their basic need for love, belonging, attention, and friendship is by far the most important need. When analyzing any discipline problem, you will do well to first analyze the problem in terms of a child's need for attention. More times than not, teaching children how to gain your attention in an appropriate manner will solve many discipline problems.

Boundaries and outcomes: There were no boundaries and outcomes in place for whining.

Solutions: Before talking with young children about their whining, it's a good idea to first make sure that they know exactly what whining means. A teacher could sit down with the child and explain how she can get what she wants without whining. For instance, she could say to Jessica, "If you want a special toy, I will be happy to get it for you if you ask for it nicely without whining. This is how asking nicely sounds: 'May I please have the kitty puppet?'"

Depending on Jessica's age, the teacher could ask her to practice asking for something nicely. If you want to encourage appropriate behavior, you will have to teach that behavior to the child.

Another solution that works with older students is to use a Teaching Time-out. A Teaching Time-out is a nonpunitive use of time-out to teach a lesson about responsibility. (I'll cover Teaching Time-outs in detail in the next lesson.) If the whining continues after Jessica has been taught the proper way to ask for something, her teacher could tell her that if she feels the need to whine, then she can go to the Time-out area until she remembers the proper way to ask for something.

The boundary is that whining in class is not acceptable and therefore if she chooses to whine, she must go to the time-out area. The positive outcome is that she can return to the class when she chooses to stop whining and ask for what she wants in an appropriate manner.

The important aspect of a Teaching Time-out is that there is no arbitrary time assigned for time-out. This gives Jessica the responsibility of deciding when she is ready to return to class.

Whining is an attempt to get attention. Instead of giving children that attention by punishing them, tell them that you care for them but you cannot stand the whining. Tell them that if they whine, they will have to go to the time-out area. They can come back as soon as they have stopped whining and are ready to talk about what they want. Also, when they stop whining, sit down with them and listen to their concerns and needs. Your kind, firm actions will teach the child that there are better ways to get your attention than by whining.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: As you work your way through a whining problem, remember that it will not last forever. Children go through good times and bad times. Don't get frustrated and stop your good efforts. And by all means, do not stop encouraging students when you see them being patient or asking for something in a polite, proper manner. All children need unconditional love and acceptance. The proper use of recognition and encouragement for appropriate behavior will help student learn how to get their needs met in a responsible manner.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity


I was confident that I had the caring, the patience, and the persistence to be a good teacher and handle all discipline problems in a loving, constructive manner. Then I stepped into a classroom and everything changed.


In their book Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking, Dr. Jerry Wyckoff and Barbara Unell observe that in order to manage adequately the problems of children's behavior, adults themselves need to become more disciplined (where discipline is defined as a teaching-learning process that leads to orderliness and self-control). I mention this here because adults (parents and teachers) must continually remind themselves that the goal is not to control children's behavior. The goal must be "to teach" children how to behave.

In the book mentioned above, the authors suggest seven steps that adults can take toward being disciplined.

  1. Decide on the specific behavior you would like a child to change. If you avoid dealing in generalities, your discipline efforts will be much more effective. If you want a child to keep her desk neat, then you had better decide just exactly what you mean by neat.

  2. Tell children exactly what you want them to do and show them how to do it. If you want a child to ask nicely instead of whining, explain exactly to him what nicely means. If you want a child to finish his work before he goes out to play, explain what finish means. If you do not explain what you mean, then chances are children will not know how to behave.

  3. Recognize children's good behavior. Don't praise the child; praise what the child is doing. "Thank you for sitting so quietly," is much better than, "You are a good girl for sitting so quietly."

  4. Continue to recognize a child's good behavior. If you want the child to continue acting responsibly, then you have to continue your recognition and encouragement efforts. Simply praising a child's good work the first time that she follows a boundary is probably not going to be enough to keep the good behavior going. If you want children to keep up the good work, tell them so.

  5. Avoid power struggles with children. This is accomplished naturally when you avoid controlling statements such as, "Stop that whining this very instant!" Rather, presenting choices and boundaries with positive outcomes will have much better results and will avoid confrontations and power struggles.

  6. Avoid being a historian. Let bygones be bygones and don't keep bringing up past misdeeds. If you constantly remind children of their past mistakes, it will only cause anger and resentment. You can't change the past and you can only hope for a better future. The only thing you can positively influence is the present.

  7. Be there. Give your children the attention they need and deserve. Be there for them when they are upset. Be there to guide them when they are undecided or uncertain. Be there for them when they just need a smile or a kind word.

Following these steps will not prevent or solve all discipline problems. But they are steps that teachers can take toward changing their own behavior in order to positively influence the behavior of their students.

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Lesson 7 Quiz

  1. What psychological needs could motivate a student to be an apple-polisher?

Power and belonging.

Freedom and fun.

Power and freedom.

Fun and power.

  1. Which of the following accurately reflects whining?

It is a learned behavior.

It is an uncontrollable behavior.

It is a natural behavior.

It is a child's attempt to meet his or her need for freedom.

  1. If you punish a child every single time he or she whines, what will be the result?

Whining will stop occurring in the long term.

Children will find other ways to express their feelings.

Whining will cease being a problem.

The whining will continue, if not increase.

  1. What will being a historian do when teaching children to behave responsibly?

It will cause anger and resentment.

It will help students be on guard against their weak areas.

It will make them feel good that they've come so far.

It will teach them to be more responsible in the future.

  1. What do adults need to do to change children's behavior?

Be more strict.

Be more permissive.

Use tougher punishments.

Change their own behavior.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Chapter 1.docx

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hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 2. Lesson 8: Problems with Others

The Arguer or Excuse Maker

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. —George Washington Carver

It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them. —Caron de Beaumarchais

Some children love to argue, make excuses, and do anything but take responsibility for their own actions. Some students argue simply because they enjoy the interaction with the teacher, and this exercise satisfies their need for love and belonging. For other students, arguing and excuse making are simply ploys to avoid doing something that they would rather not do.

For instance, a student might choose to go out and play rather than do her homework. Then rather than take responsibility for her choice, she argues or makes excuses for not having the work. It is easy to fall into these arguments rather than deal with the real problem.

Here's an example. This dialogue took place after school between a very bright fifth-grade student and a very frustrated teacher. The teacher has been having problems with Alexis for some time. She is continually off task and is always (it seems) talking with her neighbors. This is not the first time that the teacher and Alexis have had a discussion like this one.

TEACHER: Alexis, you have to stay after school because you were talking in class again today. Instead of paying attention to what I am saying or doing your work, you are always talking with the other people at your table.

(In his classroom, the teacher has students seated at tables in groups of six. The groups are self-selected by the students.)

ALEXIS: It's not fair; it wasn't just me.

TEACHER: I had already given you two warnings, and you knew that the next consequence was staying after school. That is why you are here.

ALEXIS: It's not my fault. They're always doing something to distract me.

TEACHER: What are they doing to distract you?

ALEXIS: Well, today, Serena wanted to play this pencil game with me.

TEACHER: And what did you do?

ALEXIS: I told her that we're not supposed to play games in class. And that's when you saw me talking.

TEACHER: So that's all you talked about?

ALEXIS: She wanted to know why I didn't want to play the game, and then I had to tell her why.

TEACHER: Then what happened after that?

ALEXIS: I guess somebody else asked me a question about what you were teaching, and I had to answer her.

TEACHER: So this wasn't your fault.

ALEXIS: Oh, no. I am the only good one at the table.

TEACHER: Then what can you do to do your work and not be distracted?

ALEXIS: I don't know, because you see it's the other kids who are always getting me in trouble.

TEACHER: Then I should talk to them about the problem.

ALEXIS: Well, maybe, because I'm not really doing anything, it's the other kids.

TEACHER: Remember that I let you select your own tables on the condition that you are all able to get your work done. This isn't working, so how about I move you to another table tomorrow.

ALEXIS: But that wouldn't be fair, because I didn't do anything.

TEACHER: Then I should move the other five students and leave you at a table by yourself.

ALEXIS: But I don't want to be the only person by myself.

TEACHER: Then what can you do to help the situation?

ALEXIS: Well, I guess could try to ignore them.

TEACHER: Okay, do you think that you could try that tomorrow?

ALEXIS: I guess so.

TEACHER: Okay, let's see how it goes tomorrow.

Alexis is obviously a very intelligent student who is used to getting her way. In the dialogue above, the teacher never succeeds in getting Alexis to take responsibility for her actions. Alexis succeeds in deflecting his inquiries and suggestions until she gets her way, which is to leave everything just the way it is. You can be sure that the teacher is going to have this same problem again.

Now, let's look at the problem more closely and explore alternative solutions.

The problem: Alexis' off-task behavior is keeping her and her neighbors from learning.

Boundaries and outcomes: The teacher has a discipline plan based on rules, negative consequences, and rewards. This approach to discipline relies on the mistaken belief that teachers can control students' behavior with external rewards and punishments. Alexis' continuing misbehavior is testimony to the ineffectiveness of this approach to classroom management and discipline.

  1. Rules:

    • No talking during lecture.

    • Keep hands and feet to yourself.

    • No name-calling or put-downs.

    • No eating in class.

  1. Consequences:

    • 1st infraction = Warning.

    • 2nd infraction = Second warning.

    • 3rd infraction = Ten minutes after school.

    • 4th infraction = Call parents.

    • 5th infraction = In-school suspension.

  1. Rewards:

    • Free time.

    • Listen to music.

    • Positive notes home.

    • Pizza party.

Problem analysis: Alexis' behavior could be motivated by her needs for fun or for power (or a combination of both). Her need for fun is obviously being met by talking with her neighbors rather than paying attention to the teacher. Her need for power could be met by the recognition she receives from her peers for continually getting away with breaking the rules.

The discipline plan that's in place will be of little help to the teacher. The two warnings seem to have no effect, nor does keeping her after school (which he has done several times in the past). Perhaps Alexis will respond to a call to her parents or in-school suspension, but that response will be short-lived.

This type of discipline plan is directed toward controlling students' behavior rather than teaching them how to control their own behavior. Alexis is not going to start paying attention in class until Alexis decides that's what she wants to do.

Solutions: The solution to this problem lies in the answer to this question: How does the teacher get his needs met while still allowing Alexis to get her needs met? Punishment is not the answer. Punishment (calling parents, in-school suspension) may get the teacher's needs met short term. It does not, however, teach Alexis about how to behave responsibly.

One way of dealing with a student who wants to argue is to keep refocusing the conversation back to the student's behavior. Here's an example of that approach.

TEACHER: Alexis, do you know why I asked you to stay after school for this talk?

ALEXIS: Not really.

TEACHER: It's because I want to talk to you about not paying attention in class.

ALEXIS: It's not fair; it wasn't just me.

TEACHER: I saw you talking with Serena during the history lesson.

ALEXIS: Well, it's not my fault. They are always doing something to distract me.

TEACHER: I want to talk about your behavior.

ALEXIS: But Serena wanted to play this pencil game with me.

TEACHER: I understand what you are saying, but I want to talk about what you did.

ALEXIS: Well, I told her that we're not supposed to play games in class. And that's when you saw me talking.

TEACHER: Is talking with Serena helping you or her to get your work done in class?

ALEXIS: But she wanted to know why I didn't want to play the game, and then I had to tell her why.

TEACHER: I understand. Was your talking with Serena helping you or her to get your work done?


TEACHER: Would you like to continue sitting at the same table with your friends?


TEACHER: I can understand how you like sitting near your friends, but it is also important that you and your friends get your work done in class.

ALEXIS: But it's the other kids who are always getting me in trouble.

TEACHER: If you would like to stay at the same table, what could you do tomorrow if they try to talk to you?

ALEXIS: Well, maybe I could ignore them.

TEACHER: And what would you be doing instead of talking with them?

ALEXIS: Listening to you or doing my work.

TEACHER: That's a good plan.

ALEXIS: But what if they keep trying to talk to me?

TEACHER: I don't know. What could you do?

ALEXIS: I guess just not talk to them.

TEACHER: Okay. Now explain to me what you are going to do tomorrow.

ALEXIS: I am not going to talk, and I am going to pay attention and do my work.

TEACHER: Okay, let's see how it goes tomorrow. If it works, you can stay at the same table.


In this example, the teacher does not have a discipline plan based on punishments and rewards. There are boundaries and positive outcomes. In this case the boundary is that students can sit at tables of their choice so long as they do their work and do not stop others from doing their work.

An excellent strategy for avoiding arguments is to stick to the facts. Focus on what happened and what the student was doing. Don't allow the student to divert the conversation into value judgments and an examination of what other people were doing.

Some teachers might allow Alexis to turn the focus toward others with the implication that Alexis' behavior is at the mercy of her neighbors. The more Alexis is successful in deflecting rather than accepting responsibility, the more her inappropriate behavior will continue to occur.

In this example, the teacher also avoids placing blame for the incident. He places this responsibility on Alexis' shoulders with this exchange:

TEACHER: Is talking with Serena helping you or her to get your work done in class?

ALEXIS: But she wanted to know why didn't I want to play the game, and then I had to tell her why.

TEACHER: I understand. Was your talking with Serena helping you or her to get your work done?


When Alexis presents an excuse, the teacher simply acknowledges it with, "I understand." Then he redirects Alexis back to the value judgment by asking again if her behavior is helping her or Serena. The teacher's focus throughout the conversation is on getting Alexis to accept responsibility for her behavior and then making a plan to change that behavior.

The teacher could have reacted emotionally to Alexis' excuses with a statement such as, "Stop making excuses; you know darn well who is responsible for your behavior—and that's you!" Alexis would no doubt have become defensive and continued blaming others for her behavior. With both the teacher and Alexis in an irrational mode, no constructive results would be possible.

With students who want to argue or make excuses, focus on the facts and work toward a plan for improved behavior with which both you and the student can agree.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: A discipline system based on reward and punishment often encourages arguing and making excuses. When a child is caught breaking a rule, his or her first thought is, How do I avoid being punished? Avoiding pain and discomfort is very natural. Therefore, if the teacher's focus is on punishment for misbehavior, the students' focus is going to be on avoiding being caught or, if caught, avoiding being punished.

With this approach to classroom discipline, everyone's focus is on unwanted behavior rather than on wanted behavior. A classroom discipline plan built on boundaries and positive consequences will go a long way toward preventing arguing and excuse making.

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Chapter 3. Lesson 8: Problems with Others

The Bully

Bullying is about power and control. The rules of engagement are sometimes learned in the home at an early age and taken into the preschool classroom in the form of exclusionary behavior. —Lorraine Passchier

When people of any age don't feel like they have a sense of power and control in some aspect of their life, they will go out and look for it. That's why we find that kids who are bullies are typically being bullied in a different arena. —Cindi Seddon

Bullying is about power. A bully's need for power has been frustrated either in school or in his or her personal life. The bully gets a feeling of power and control by demonstrating an ability to hurt others, either physically or emotionally.

There is a difference between bullying and the day-to-day fooling around, name-calling, and harmless horseplay. These playful activities normally take place among friends and are not directed toward hurting the other person.

Bullying, on the other hand, usually occurs between students who are not friends. In a bullying situation, there is a power imbalance between the bully and his or her victim. The bully may be bigger, tougher, and physically stronger; be able to intimidate others; or have the power to exclude others from their social group.

The intention of bullying is to put the victim in distress in some way. Bullies seek power over their victims.

Bullying can happen anywhere in any school in any neighborhood. Bullying has no financial, cultural, or social bounds. Even though bullying may not look exactly the same everywhere, it has the same devastating effect on everyone. The effects of bullying last a lifetime. It causes misery for the bully's victims and leaves a lasting impression on all those who witness repeated bullying incidents.

Bullying is bad not only for the victim but for the bully as well. I found the following information at the Bully B'ware Web site (I've provided their link for you in the Supplementary Material section of this lesson), and it's reprinted here with permission:

The lifelong outlook for bullies is not good. If bullies don't learn how to change their behavior, the pattern of bullying behavior often becomes a habit as the bully gets older.

Bullies have average social popularity up to approximately age 14 or 15. In fact, some children even look up to bullies in some ways because they are powerful and do what they want to, or have to, to get their way with their peers. However,by late adolescence, the bully's popularity begins to wane. By senior high school, if a bully is still attending school, his or her peer group includes other bullies, or more seriously, he or she has developed or is developing gang alliances. By late high school, schoolyard bullying is a rare occurrence, but what takes its place is more serious.

By age 24, up to 60% of people who are identified as childhood bullies have at least one criminal conviction. A study spanning 35 years by psychologist E. Eron at the University of Michigan found that children who were named by their schoolmates, at age eight, as the bullies of the school were often bullies throughout their lives. In this longitudinal study of bullies, many of these children, as adults, required more support from government agencies (Psychology Today, Sept. 1995). For example, these children later had more court convictions, more alcoholism, more antisocial personality disorders, and used more of the mental health services than the other children. criminal

Unless new behaviors are learned and adopted, bullies continue to bully throughout their lifetime. They bully their mates, their children, and possibly their underlings in their place of business. Bullying gets them what they want, and although some bullies learn to refine the art of bullying in their professional lives and use it in situations where there is a power imbalance, it creates less than harmonious relations in the workplace.

I direct your attention to the first sentence in the preceding paragraph: "Unless new behaviors are learned and adopted, bullies continue to bully throughout their lifetime." The solution to the bullying problem involves teaching new behaviors, both to the bully and to the victim. The bully needs to be taught that bullying behavior is not acceptable in school (or in life). Realizing the terrible effects bullying can have on children, many schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for bullying.

Because bullying often takes place outside of the classroom (in the yard, cafeteria, halls, and so on), a schoolwide approach to bullying is most effective. This approach is advocated by Dan Olweus in his book Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. He recommends taking the following actions:

  1. Conducting a parental awareness campaign through newsletters, parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings, and publicizing the results of the questionnaire.

  2. Intervening individually with bullies and victims, implementing cooperative learning activities, and stepping up adult supervision at recess and lunch (opportune times for bully behavior).

  3. Working with students in role-playing exercises and related assignments that teach alternative methods of interaction, and developing strong antibullying rules, such as, "We won't bully other kids," and, "We'll include other kids who are easily left out." Such messages repeated on a regular basis can have a lasting positive effect.

Antibullying campaigns make a difference. Schools in Norway and in South Carolina that adopted Olweus' program reported incidents of bullying dropped by 50%. For anybody who has ever felt the sting of a schoolmate's punch or caustic words, that's very good news.

In addition to a schoolwide campaign, individual teachers need to take steps to deal with bullying. In his article "What Schools Can Do About Bullying," Ken Rigby of the University of South Australia says teachers can have a significant impact on the problem by specifically:

  1. Expressing disapproval of bullying whenever it occurs, not only in the classroom but also on the school playground.

  2. Listening sympathetically to students who need support when they are victimized, and then initiating or taking action according to procedures approved by the school.

  3. Encouraging cooperative learning in the classroom and not setting a bad example with their own behavior. (Assess yourself honestly: Do you use sarcasm or mean-spirited humor?)

  4. Talking with groups of students about bullying, and mobilizing student support for action to reduce bullying—for example, by including victimized students in their activities. "Most students are in fact against bullying," Rigby says, "and, given the chance, can provide not only active support for the school policy but also make positive proposals and undertake constructive actions to counter bullying."

Let's now look at a specific problem to see how each can best be handled at both the classroom and schoolwide levels.

The problem: Michaela teaches in a middle school. Her school has adopted a zero-tolerance policy on bullying. Teachers have been instructed to watch for bullying incidents and to intervene immediately. The school has also established a "safe place" in the office where any student can seek refuge if he or she feels threatened or bullied. While the schoolwide program has eliminated most problems, Michaela wants to make further efforts to prevent this type of harmful behavior in her classroom.

Boundaries and outcomes: Access to the common areas of the school is contingent upon appropriate behavior. A student who bullies or threatens another student has this privilege withdrawn until he or she can come up with a plan for improved behavior. Classroom incidents are handled in a similar manner. A student who bullies or threatens another student is removed from the classroom to create a plan for improvement.

Because the school has a schoolwide campaign, a teacher on free period is always available to talk with students and help them work on their plans.

Problem analysis: The best way to deal with bullying is to teach students alternative behaviors for both the bully and the victim. Simply outlawing bullying may stop the unwanted behavior but does little to encourage the development of responsible behaviors that will prevent the problem.

Solutions: Michaela has decided to use the class meeting as a means of teaching students social skills that can prevent bullying incidents. The key to successful class meetings is keeping them open forums in which all students can participate. Michaela decided to hold a series of meetings that first focused on defining bullying and talking about why it is harmful.

The meetings then moved to developing a series of social skills that students could use if confronted with a bully. These skills include verbal ("You are trying to bully me and I do not like it.") and nonverbal responses (walking away from the bully).

Michaela also decided to have her class consider forming a peer mediation group that would intervene if they saw a bullying incident.

Her final meetings dealt with how the class could make sure that all students are included in activities. As she worked with her students in the meetings, Michaela found that the great majority of them did not like bullying and were most willing to help eliminate the problem.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: Involving students in finding a solution to the bullying problem empowers them and teaches them about both personal and social responsibility. In her book Creating Emotionally Safe Schools, Dr. Jane Bluestein observes:

One of the resources most often overlooked in dealing with aggression is the large group of students who are not directly involved in incidents of peer aggression. There is value in the idea of "mobilizing the masses" or utilizing this "caring majority of students" to take action—sometimes by simply setting a tone that says, "We treat others kindly here." These are the students who can refuse to watch or encourage bullying incidents . . . they are the ones who can intervene to support the children being targeted, the ones who can distract the bully, the ones who can discharge the tension in a threatening situation, the ones who can bear witness and report incidents—strategies that can make a difference in the school climate.

Unchecked bullying can produce disastrous consequences. It can produce revengeful, violent students. It's a problem that needs to be addressed in the classroom, in the entire school, in homes, and in the community. You will find useful Web site links in the Supplementary Material section for this lesson that can help you and your colleagues mount an effective antibullying campaign.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 8: Problems with Others


It is important to note that a child's kicking, hitting, and spitting isn't any different than the emotional outburst of an adult. There are times when adults would like to kick, hit, and spit, but they are wise enough to know this is socially unacceptable.

—Dr. Don Fleming

As children mature, the meaning of the word fighting is likely to go through a number of changes. With younger children, fighting usually refers to hitting, kicking, and biting. As children get older and their language skills improve, fighting turns into teasing, name-calling, and other forms of verbal combat. Then, when children reach their teens, many times the fighting escalates to the physical form.

It's difficult to cover all of the forms of fighting in one chapter. So I'll suggest a number of ideas, but you'll have to use your own judgment as to which ideas are most appropriate for your students. As a matter of fact, I have tried to avoid assigning ages to any of the students in my hypothetical problems. I would rather that you imagine yourself and your student in the same situation, no matter what age he or she happens to be.

It's not pleasant to see children engage in a fight in which they might suffer hurt, rejection, or humiliation. However, this is also part of the growing-up experience and learning how to get along with others. When you see your students in a disagreement, your first instinct may be to intervene immediately, before someone gets hurt. If there is a possibility of serious injury, you should follow that instinct.

Otherwise, it might be a good idea to see if the students can find their own way out of the situation. Children need to learn to deal with all life experiences in a productive manner—experiences that are unpleasant as well as pleasant.

One of the reasons that dealing with fighting is difficult is because understanding why children choose to fight is not easy. Are children fighting just to have fun and entertain themselves? Are they fighting because they are bored and fighting is something to do? Are they fighting because they feel that their standing in the class is threatened? Are they fighting because they were treated unfairly and they are looking for justice? Are they fighting just because they are very angry and know no other way to act?

Let's look at a specific situation about fighting and learn more abut how to solve this problem.

The problem: Andrea has a short temper. She loves playing games at recess and lunch—it's her most favorite thing to do. However, she has had some trouble fighting with her friends. Her teacher has talked to her about other ways to deal with her anger, but it doesn't seem to be working. On this particular day, Andrea was fighting with one of her friends. Her teacher stopped the fight and asked Andrea to go to her classroom until she had time to speak with her.

Boundaries and outcomes: The boundary in place is that Andrea can enjoy recess and lunch playtime as long as she does not get into a fight.

Problem analysis: Fighting is normally not a rational, conscious decision (unless the motivation is revenge). So children are not choosing to fight to satisfy one of their basic psychological needs. Fighting is an emotional response to a problem. If there is a threat of physical harm, the self-defense response is automatic and fight, flight or freeze are the only options. Andrea has so far been unable to override her emotions and handle her problems thoughtfully. It is the teacher's job to help her explore some new options.

Solutions: It would be best if the teacher brainstormed alternatives to fighting with Andrea. Her teacher should listen to her problem and her suggested solutions. The teacher should be empathetic without trying to rescue Andrea and solve her problem for her. If Andrea has trouble coming up with alternative behaviors, her teacher should suggest some, such as expressing her feelings with statements like, "I don't like it when you call me names. Don't do that."

The teacher should acknowledge Andrea's hurt feelings without saying something like, "I know how you feel." Chances are, Andrea's reaction to that statement will be thinking, "Oh no you don't." If the teacher hasn't done so already, he or she should offer walking away from a fight as an option.

Once an alternative way of dealing with anger is agreed upon, the teacher should, if appropriate, have Andrea practice what she is going to do or say next time. If Andrea suggests not seeing a particular friend for a while as a way of avoiding fighting, her teacher should listen to her. She may have very sound reasons for suggesting this.

As far as the rule and outcome, there is no reason to change them. The rule can remain the same: no fighting. The positive outcome can remain the same as well: Andrea can continue going out to play as long as she does not fight.

Her teacher should also express confidence in Andrea's ability to handle the situation. Finally, the teacher should say that he or she is going to let Andrea try this new plan. If it doesn't work, then they will try something else. The emphasis remains on solving the problem, on teaching Andrea how to deal with her anger, and not on punishing inappropriate behavior.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: Perhaps the most important action teachers can take to prevent their children from fighting is by modeling. When children see their adults lose their tempers and be unable to control their emotions, they are likely to adopt that same way of reacting to problems. If, on the other hand, children see adults control their anger and avoid confrontations, they are likely to choose that type of behavior. Modeling is a very powerful teaching tool.

It is also a good idea for teachers to talk with children about problem solving. This would be a good time to share some of your own experiences. Explain how you have felt angry, how you felt during a fight and after a fight. It's always a good idea to let children know that it is okay to have feelings.

But children must be taught that feelings do not determine actions. Feelings tell us whether what is happening is good or bad. Then it is our job to use our brains to decide how to act. You cannot tell children too often that they are in control of their own behavior. They may not believe you at first, but as they gain experience with choices and consequences, they will learn that they can indeed be in control.

Finally, never use violence as a consequence for violence. When corporal punishment is the consequence for fighting, children are taught that hitting is an acceptable way to solve a problem. When adults model violent, hurtful behavior, they can expect children to mirror that same type of behavior back to them.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 8: Problems with Others


Spanking and other forms of physical punishment teach children that it is all right to hit people who are smaller and weaker. Physical punishment causes parents to lose an opportunity to teach children alternative behaviors that are socially acceptable. Its use sometimes leads to physical abuse, and it contributes to the cycle of child abuse. Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famous pediatrician and writer, said, "If we are to ever turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion of physical punishment would be a great way to start!"

—Center for Effective Discipline

By now you have probably noticed that there is one recurring theme in this course: Corporal punishment (spanking) is wrong because it hurts children and teaches them nothing about responsible behavior. If you take just one idea away from this course, please take this one!

That corporal punishment is both ineffective and harmful is not just my opinion; a great deal of research confirms this position. Organizations throughout the world favor abolition of corporal punishment. Here are just a few:

American Academy of Pediatrics (U.S.)
American Bar Association (U.S.)
American Medical Association (U.S.)
American Psychiatric Association (U.S.)
American Psychological Association (U.S.)
Anglican Kindergarten Council (Victoria, Australia)
Australian Childhood Foundation (formerly Australians Against Child Abuse)
Australian Psychological Society
BC Institute Against Family Violence (Canada)
Borneradet—National Council for Children in Denmark
Canadian Child Care Federation
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law
Canadian Paediatric Society
Canadian Public Health Association
CECODAP, CRC Coalition (Venezuela)
Central Union for Child Welfare (Finland)
Centre for Human Rights (Republic of Macedonia)
Child Welfare League of Canada
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Canada)
Children's Rights Alliance for England
Coalition Against Child Labor (Pakistan)
Czech Society for Child Protection
End Physical Punishment of Children (New Zealand)
Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights
Human Rights Without Borders (Chad)
Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Korea Welfare Foundation
Laboratory of Child Studies (Brazil)
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (Austria)
National Association of Elementary School Principals (U.S.)
National Association of School Psychologists (U.S.)
National Association of State Boards of Education (U.S.)
National Association of Social Workers (U.S.)
National Children's Rights Committee (South Africa)
National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (U.S.)
National Council for the Child (Israel)
National Mental Health Association (U.S.)
National Task Fore for Children (Jordan)
Polish Forum for Child's Rights
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Australia)
Save the Children (Sweden)
Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights
Somaliland Children Assistance Organization
Uganda Girl Guides Association
Yugoslav Child Rights Centre

Since we must teach children to consider alternatives to hitting, we as teachers must also consider the same thing. How do we do this? The Center for Effective Discipline offers the following suggestions.

  1. Whenever possible, teach rather than punish. The goal of discipline is to teach children acceptable behavior. Hitting children only teaches children that "might makes right" and that hitting is a way to solve problems.

  2. Look at children's misbehavior as a mistake in judgment. This will make it easier to think of ways to teach more acceptable behavior.

  3. Whenever possible, make consequences relate to misbehavior. If a child makes a mess, he or she should clean it up.

  4. Have behavior boundaries—but make sure they are few in number, reasonable, and appropriate to the child's age and development.

  5. Don't argue or nag children about boundaries. If a boundary is not observed, simply withdraw the positive consequence.

  6. If a child has many behaviors that concern you, don't try to change all of them at once. Choose one behavior of concern.

  7. Use good manners when talking to children about their behavior. Be sure to use "I'm sorry," "May I?" and "Excuse me" when they are appropriate. Be a good model for your children in your speech and actions.

  8. Encourage appropriate behavior at every opportunity.

I mentioned that there is research showing that spanking is not effective. Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff at Columbia University examined all available research about corporal punishment in an article published by the American Psychological Association's Bulletin. Dr. Gershoff states that all of this research shows only one positive outcome of corporal punishment: short-term compliance.

However, the research also shows that corporal punishment is associated with 10 negative outcomes, including higher aggression, lack of moral internalization, delinquency, and risk of physical child abuse.

If you would like further information about the dangers of corporal punishment, I suggest that you visit the Center for Effective Discipline Web site. The site is listed in the Supplementary Material section for this lesson.

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Lesson 8 Quiz

  1. What amount of time should an 8-year-old spend in a Teaching Time-out?

Eight minutes.

Ten minutes.

Sixteen minutes.

Until the child finds a solution to the problem.

  1. What can be expected of children who were bullies by the time they reach 24 years of age?

They will have had at least one criminal conviction.

They will have grown to be good citizens.

They will be no different from other adults.

They will outgrow bullying.

  1. What is the best way to prevent students from fighting?

Consistent use of longer time-outs each time students fight.

Making punishment for fighting less severe.

Telling students that fighting is not acceptable behavior.

Teaching students ways to handle anger, other than fighting.

  1. When is corporal punishment an acceptable discipline tool?


When the student is 8 or older.

When the student is 10 years old.

When you have no other alternative.

  1. What is the only possible positive outcome of corporal punishment?

Long-term compliance.


Students' respect for you.

Short-term compliance.

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Chapter 1. Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance


When I am upset or hurting, the last thing I want to hear is advice . . . but let someone really listen, let someone acknowledge my inner pain and give me a chance to talk more about what's troubling me, and I begin to feel less upset, less confused, more able to cope with my feelings and my problem.

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish in
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and
Listen So Kids Will Talk

Any effective approach to classroom discipline stresses preventing problems before they occur. This means seeing to it that students get their basic needs met in productive ways. If students do not get their needs met, they get frustrated and angry. This frustration and anger leads to inappropriate behavior and to discipline problems.

When I talk with teachers about helping students meet their basic psychological needs (for love, power, freedom, and fun), the need for power always draws much attention. Just what is this need for power? It's the need to feel some control over your own life. It is also the need to feel important. Adults as well as children have this need. Feelings of success and accomplishment fulfill this need. Teachers and parents help children satisfy this need by acknowledging their good efforts and successes.

There is also something that adults often overlook that can be very effective in helping children feel that they are valued and important. This is by talking with and listening to children.

There are three levels of talking: talking to someone, talking at someone, and talking with someone. Talking to someone means that your main objective is to convey information (hopefully, information the person wants). "Don't hit your neighbor. Hitting hurts. Hitting is not permitted."

Talking at someone is a demeaning form of communication. It is impersonal and hurtful. It does not acknowledge or require a response from the other person. "You know better than to hit someone. Stop acting like a baby."

Talking with someone, on the other hand, is a two-way communication. When you talk with someone, you not only expect, you invite a response. This is respectful communication. It shows that you care about the other person, how they feel, and what they have to say. "Jenna, hitting is not permitted. You look as though you are very upset. Can you tell me what's the matter, and I'll see if I can help."

If you constantly talk at (or to, for that matter) children, they will eventually get bored and stop listening. Talking at someone will make him or her angry. Neither talking to or at is going to gain cooperation or teach anything that will be remembered. Talking with children meets their need for power because it shows that they and what they say are important.

Besides learning how to talk with students, it is equally important to learn how to listen. Nothing wins over children (or adults) more than conveying that you value their viewpoint.

Two types of listening can meet students' need for power, love, and belonging: reflective listening and active listening. With reflective listening, you reflect back to the student what you hear. It is best to rephrase what the students have said and put it into different words so that it doesn't sound like you are parroting or patronizing them. This type of listening shows that you are hearing what your students are trying to tell you and keeps the communication open.

STUDENT: I am never going to talk to Billy again. He is hateful, and I don't want to talk to him ever again.

TEACHER: You never want to talk to Billy again.

STUDENT: He told Susan that I was stupid. I hate him. I hate him!

TEACHER: You are angry with Billy because he called you stupid.

STUDENT: He shouldn't have said it.

TEACHER: You are right. Calling people names is very unkind.

STUDENT: I don't want to talk to him ever again.

TEACHER: I understand.

Active listening is one step better than reflective listening. With active listening, you acknowledge the student's feelings without trying to explain them away or fix them. Again, this lets the student know that it is all right to have feelings—sad feelings as well as happy feelings.

STUDENT: I am never going to talk to Billy again. He is hateful, and I don't want to talk to him ever again.

TEACHER: You are angry with Billy?

STUDENT: He told Susan that I was stupid. I hate him. I hate him!

TEACHER: It really hurts when someone calls you a name.

STUDENT: He shouldn't have said it.

TEACHER: You're right. I feel really bad when someone says bad things about me.

STUDENT: I don't want to talk to him ever again.

TEACHER: I understand.

This is as far as active listening has to go. The teacher doesn't have to rescue the student and confront Billy. At this point, the teacher should let the student attempt to work out a solution. If the problem is not resolved in a day or so, the teacher could offer to help. But for the present, simply acknowledging the student's feelings is enough.

When students are upset, they are not relying on the thinking part of their brains. Therefore, your judgments or advice will fall on deaf ears. And, if you react with anger, you will only feed the student's emotional upset and make matters worse.

Avoid the following types of statements that either ignore a student's feelings or, worse, express your anger or resentment.

  • "Stop that crying!"

  • "That is nothing to be upset about."

  • "You should have known better."

  • "You are being a baby."

  • "I'm sure it didn't hurt that bad."

Instead, acknowledge a student's feelings with statements such as:

  • "That really made you angry."

  • "That must have hurt."

  • "You are really sad."

  • "Being called a name hurts."

  • "That really hurt your feelings, didn't it?"

If you have trouble listening without giving some sort of advice, saying nothing is a better choice. Simply listen to the student without saying anything. Nodding and saying, "Hmmm," will work a lot better than any form of advice.

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Chapter 2. Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance

The Defiant

If you say, "Do this" and the student says "No," and you say "Do this, or else" and the student says "No," you have a problem.

—Dr. William Glasser

The more you try to force your will on a child, the more she will defy you and the more deeply discouraged you will both become.

—Dr. Jane Nelsen

I have heard teaching described as a constant power struggle between the teachers and the students. The more I think about it, the more accurate I think that description is.

Children under any type of adult supervision are constantly weighing their options, thinking about how far they can go, considering how much they can get away with, and for what price. You have heard statements like, "Give students an inch and they'll take a mile," or, "Students will test every limit you set." Well, those statements are true. You see, that's what children do. That's their job: testing adults to see how serious they are about their limits.

Once you understand this, you can see the value of stating limits as boundaries instead of negative rules. If you tell students, "You can go this far and still enjoy all of the privileges," they can then think, "Okay, this is how far I can go." But if you say, "You cannot go beyond this point," they then might be invited to think, "Oh, yes I can." Telling students what they can do will have much better results than telling them what they cannot do.speed limit

When it comes to testing teachers' tolerance and patience, defiant students are particularly challenging. For them, punishment will definitely be ineffective. Defiant students dare teachers to punish them. And if they are successful in gaining a punishment, they will use the situation to further their cause as being the unjustly accused, unfairly treated victim of teacher abuse.

Dealing effectively with defiant students is hard because these students' goal is to get an emotional reaction from the teacher. If they are successful in getting teachers to lose their tempers and rant and rave, they have attained their goal. With the teacher out of control, they are in control. And they have gained what they desperately need: power and attention.

With defiant students, the temptation is to try even harder to force them to do what they are refusing to do. The more you try to force, the more they resist. And if a teacher is successful in finding a punishment severe and scary enough to turn a defier's behavior, you can be sure that this student will be out for revenge at the earliest opportunity.student standing on desk

Some children have a natural tendency to view life optimistically. Other students, unfortunately, view life with pessimism. Some children find a sense of belonging and importance in class by being the problem student, especially if the other students are angels. Being defiant makes them stand out. It gives them a status in the class and fulfills their needs for power and belonging.

Defiant students often come from families that are either overly permissive or overly controlling. Their defiance is a reaction against being manipulated or controlled. It is their way of expressing their need to have control over their own lives. This is good news. Deep down, these defiant students want the same thing that teachers want. They want to learn how to take control of their own behavior and their own lives. Therefore, defiant students are normally very receptive to a teacher's efforts to teach them self-control and responsibility.

Defiant students will not respond to punishment, threats, scolding, or pleading. Since you cannot force them to do what you need them to do, you must gain their cooperation. You may have to start by giving the student a limited number of choices and asking questions instead of giving lectures.

Remember that these students are desperately seeking power. Choices give them power.

Let's look at an example of how to reach out to a defiant student.

The problem: Omar is a 9th grader and has his difficult days. On these days, for whatever reason, Omar refuses to follow any directions. This usually provokes an argument, much to the delight of the rest of the class. In this situation, Omar has refused to follow a direction and used abusive language in his response to the teacher. The teacher told Omar to report to the vice principal's office and he has refused to move. His last remark was, "Make me."

Boundaries and outcomes: There is a school and district policy stating that students who use abusive language with a teacher are to be removed from the classroom and sent to the vice principal's office. They are not allowed to return to class until they have a plan for improved behavior approved by the teacher and vice principal.

Problem analysis: All schools should have a procedure in place for removing disruptive, defiant students. More than anything else, this is a matter of safety. This is not a time to talk with the student or offer choices. No student has the right to stop you from teaching or other students from learning.

Solutions: I know of a teacher who had a problem similar to this. His first action was to call the office and ask for assistance. He then asked the rest of the class to step into the hallway. He then stood at the door where he could keep an eye on Omar and still supervise the class in the hallway. When help arrived Omar found himself without his audience and facing the vice principal and two football coaches. Without his victim and without his audience, he was powerless. He decided to go with the vice principal without causing further problems.

The important points in this example are:

  • Choices are not appropriate in all situations.

  • No student should be allowed to stop you from teaching or others from learning.

  • You must have a means of removing a disruptive or defiant student from your classroom. If you cannot get the support of your adminstration, then team up with a colleague and form a mutual aid pact so you can send students with problems to each other's rooms. This, of course, works best when both teachers are using this approach to discipline so that problems are handled with teaching responsibilities as the goal.

  • Defiant students are looking for power. If you are confrontational, if you argue, if you lose your temper, you are putting them in charge of the situation and meeting their need for power.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: Defiant students act the way they do because that behavior has been successful in the past. They have gotten away with being defiant with other adults and fully expect that same behavior to work in all situations. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have clearly communicated your rules and boundaries and then immediately follow through on whatever action is called for. Do not get upset; do not take it personally. Just calmly follow through and enforce your boundaries. It is the only way defiant students will learn that their defiance is not going to get their needs met.

In situations such as this one, the teaching of alternative behavior and the offering of choices do not happen in the classroom. They happen in the vice principal's office, when the defiant student and the vice principal are in the thinking rather than emotional parts of their brain and are ready to deal with the problem rationally.

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Chapter 3. Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance

The Disrespectful

Always remember that disrespect is never given without reason. The reason may or may not have to do with the teacher. Yet, student disrespect will never be resolved unless we realize this fact—and do something about it.

—Robert DeBruyn

Students learn to be disrespectful by watching others be disrespectful of each other. Students also learn to be disrespectful when they are treated with disrespect. However, recognizing that disrespect may have been learned outside of the classroom will not in itself help you deal with it. Once you encounter a student who is disrespectful, you need to establish and enforce firm boundaries. Disrespect, whether aimed at you or at other students, is poisonous to a productive classroom atmosphere and must be dealt with.

Disrespect from students can take many forms in the classroom: a frown, a pointed look, a sigh, a sneer, a lack of courtesy, a swearword, or even violence. Disrespect is a form of arrogance. It is a statement that "I am worthy and you are not" or "I am important and you are not" or "My needs are more important than yours."

I am often accused of stating the obvious. One of my favorites is, "If you want children to act like adults, then stop treating them like children." Another one of my favorites is, "If you want children to respect you, then treat them with respect."

Using disrespectful or defiant language is often students' attempt to act older. They use language they have heard someone older than themselves say because they think that it will give them power, recognition, make them seem more mature than their years. They are attempting to fulfill their need for power because they have witnessed other people with power use this language.

The best way to encourage and teach students to use proper and respectful language is to use that type of language yourself. It's easy to lapse into using inappropriate language when you are tired or upset and you say something without thinking. The best advice is to pay attention to what you say and how you say it. Avoid yelling, barking orders, or talking at children. This will encourage children to, at best, become "teacher deaf" and, at worst, to begin talking that way themselves.

There is a technique recommended by some experts that I would like to warn you about. It is called the broken-record technique. Supposedly, this is a way to deal with a student who wants to argue or talk back to you. The technique calls for you to just keep repeating your request (like a broken record) until the student stops trying to argue with you. This is a very uncaring, unsympathetic and disrespectful way to treat a child.

By using the broken record, you are telling students that whatever they have to say has no value, and you are refusing to hear what they have to say. Taking this position with students will seriously damage your trusting relationship with them. When you discount what students have to say, they will feel that you are discounting them as well. Do not use the broken record technique. It will not help.

Let's now examine a problem and explore some solutions.

The problem: Cathy likes to talk back and use language that she knows is inappropriate. She is a middle school student, is the youngest of three children, and has had ample time to pick up bad words from her older siblings. Her parents and her teachers have explained to her that certain words are not acceptable. They have also made a concerted effort not to use bad language themselves. However, with the influence of her friends and her experience with her older siblings, Cathy easily lapses into disrespectful language when she is upset.

Boundaries and outcomes: Unfortunately, Cathy's school has adopted a corporal punishment approach to discipline. They defend it as the last resort because it's reserved for only repeat offenders. For the first three infractions of rules, the classroom teachers impose increasing amounts of time-out. The fourth infraction means a trip to the vice principal's office and three swats.

Problem analysis: The first step is to eliminate the corporal punishment. Some proponents of corporal punishment say that it is necessary to teach children a lesson. It does teach them about how to solve problems with violence, but it does not teach them respect and responsibility. Children view punishment as payment for a misdeed. Once they have paid the price, they feel they are free to misbehave again if they feel like it. Punishment looks backward at past mistakes. Teaching responsibility looks forward to improved, appropriate, and successful behavior.

Solutions: Someone at her school needs to sit down with Cathy and explain that certain language is inappropriate because it is disrespectful. Cathy needs to understand exactly what is and is not acceptable language. If Cathy's use of bad language or talking back seems to be the result of anger or frustration, her teachers should help her find alternative ways to deal with those feelings.

They should also try to put themselves in her place to see what it is that is upsetting her. For example, "Are you upset with me because you think that I boss you around too much?" or, "Do you get mad because you think that I am not listening to you?" If her teachers can get to the root of the problem, they will be better able to help Cathy.

Cathy's teachers, if needed, should give her the words she can use instead of the ones that are not acceptable. Or they could suggest that if she is really angry to just say: "I am really, really mad at you." That statement is much preferable to the F-word, and it serves to get feelings out into the open.

In an effort to make their campuses emotionally safe, some schools establish a safe room where students can go if they are bullied or threatened or if they are emotionally upset and just need to get away from others. This safe place could also be used with students like Cathy as a place she could go, be by herself, and use her swear words. The boundary would be that she could stay in class as long as she uses appropriate language. If she feels she is losing control, she can go to the safe room and stay there until she has calmed down. This approach puts the responsibility for her behavior squarely where it should be: on Cathy's shoulders.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: A good way to deal with language problems is to talk about them in a class meeting. Here the teacher should remain nonjudgmental and encourage students to express their feelings about the subject at hand. Ask them to talk about disrespectful language and how that language affects them. Ask them to consider acceptable sounds and words that could be used when they are upset or angry.

If you feel a boundary is appropriate, ask the students for their ideas. Involving students in solving problems that concern them empowers them, heightens their self-esteem, and allows them to consider their needs as they relate to the needs and feelings of others.

Students' need for power is very strong. They will suffer through a good deal of punishment just to show that they are really in charge. To avoid this, don't make the situation win-lose. Make it win-win. Treating students with respect is the most effective way of teaching them to respect others.girl giving thumbs up gesture

And remember the key phrase, "We'll try again tomorrow." Many problems that you have to solve will take effort and persistence. There is always a tomorrow for both you and your students to try another solution.

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Chapter 4. Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance . The Disrupter

All behavior is motivated by needs. When facing different options, our choice is determined—consciously or unconsciously—by the strongest current need and the option that will best fulfill that need. —Dr. Jane Bluestein

Disruptive behavior stops the teacher from teaching and other students from learning. It disrupts the teaching/learning process.

Let's review each of the four basic needs to see how they might relate to disruptive behavior at school. First, let's look at how the need for power can be behind disruptive behavior.

The need for power is satisfied through accomplishment and success. Students who are succeeding in school seldom present discipline problems. However, when students are failing and do not gain power through learning, they seek to satisfy this need by disruptive behavior. Disrupting is their way of retaliating against a system that is frustrating their needs.
boy throwing paper airplane

The need for freedom can also be at the root of classroom problems. The need for freedom is the need to feel that you have some power over your own life, that you are able to make decisions and choices. Teachers can meet this need by offering students choices when it comes to assignments or how to study or even where to study. When children's need for freedom is frustrated, they become anxious, irritable, and disruptive.

The need for love and belonging is also a very strong need for students. This need is met through attention. Many times, children's clowning around in class or talking back to the teacher or breaking classroom rules is an effort to get the teacher's attention. I have told teachers that children are going to get your attention one way or another, and if they do not get it in positive ways, they will certainly get it in negative ways. The need for belonging is also the need to be accepted by their friends. Peer pressure can be a strong influence on student behavior.

Finally, the need for fun can also present problems. Dr. Glasser defines fun as the genetic reward for learning. If he is correct, then students who are succeeding in school are having fun. Teachers can also satisfy this need through the way they teach. Integrating enjoyable learning activities and games into instruction satisfies this need. Also, allowing children to work with others in groups can make learning fun. When children's need for fun is frustrated, when they are bored, when they are not succeeding, they are likely to present discipline problems.

Now, let's examine a typical problem and explore solutions.

The problem: Shawna has always been a bundle of energy, attacking every task put before her with enthusiasm. She has never been an outstanding student, but her grades have been consistently a little above average. Her teachers are confident that she is working at her own level and are not concerned about her school performance.

Lately, however, there has been a change in Shawna's attitude toward school. She puts off assignments until the last minute and says she doesn't like school anymore. The school vice principal recently contacted her parents and told them that Shawna has been disrupting the classroom by talking loudly when she is supposed to be working quietly, knocking things over, and picking fights with other girls. Shawna's parents are dumbfounded.

Rules and outcomes: Shawna's school uses the rules, negative consequences, and rewards approach to classroom discipline. Shawna has ignored any number of rules about working quietly, not bothering other students, talking only when called upon, and keeping her hands to herself. She has been timed-out, sent to other teachers' rooms, and sent to the vice principal. None of these punishments has had any effect on Shawna's behavior.

Problem analysis: It seems obvious that something has occurred in Shawna's life that changed her feeling about school. Before, Shawna found school a need-fulfilling place. Now, from her actions, it would appear that school has become uncomfortable and frustrating rather than satisfying.

One of Shawna's teachers needs to talk with her to identify the problem. It has been my experience that if the teachers have a good relationship with a student, the student will tell them what is bothering him or her. To ensure that this takes place, Shawna's teachers need to approach her in a nonthreatening way and express their concern about her well-being. A confrontational, "What is wrong with you?" approach is not going to open lines of communication. Also, trying to pressure Shawna into cooperating with threats such as, "Shape up or you're going to be suspended or expelled," is not going to make Shawna feel safe and ready to ask for help.

Solutions: Some of the time (not all of the time), the cause of problems at school can be traced to the teacher. I am going to use an incident that I know actually happened as Shawna's problem. Teachers are under a lot of pressure and can feel unappreciated. And, like anyone else, they can make mistakes. Let's say that Shawna recently turned in a written report of which she was very proud. She had put a lot of work into the paper, and her approach to the subject, she thought, was very creative. She felt that she had done a good job and was looking forward to the teacher's remarks.

But when she received her paper back it was covered with red ink and negative remarks. The teacher made no comment about the thinking that went into the writing. She concentrated instead on spelling and grammatical errors and gave the paper a failing grade.

Shawna was devastated. Some of her friends saw the marks on the paper when it was handed back, and she was mortified. She has been staying away from her friends for fear of their making fun of her. All of this made Shawna extremely angry. She felt that the teacher was unfair, that the failing grade was undeserved, and that her friends had deserted her. Her reaction was to strike out at both the teacher and the rest of the class with disruptive behavior. As to the various punishments given to her, she "didn't care."

Her parents were the first ones to discover the cause of her problems. After talking with Shawna, her parents requested a meeting with the teacher. When the teacher heard about what they had learned, she suggested that Shawna attend the meeting as well. Having Shawna present was an excellent move on the teacher's part. It demonstrated to Shawna that her parents and her teacher had confidence in her ability to attend the meeting, express her feelings, tell her side of the story and control her emotions.

Understandably, Shawna was reluctant at first, thinking that her parents and her teacher were ganging up on her. But after the meeting started, it was apparent that everyone was simply seeking a solution to the problem (rather than attempting to fix blame). The end result was that the teacher apologized to Shawna (yes, that's right, she apologized). This was perhaps the best thing that the teacher could have done to get Shawna back to liking school.

Shawna was given the opportunity to redo her assignment. Everyone came out of the meeting a winner. To help Shawna, both the teacher and the parents took some risks. The parents believed Shawna's side of the story and trusted her to be part of the meeting. The teacher swallowed her pride and admitted that she made a mistake. When a problem is approached in a respectful and caring manner, a solution can be found that can have long-term positive outcomes for everyone involved.

Proactivity, or preventing future problems: As to preventing problems, there is a lesson here for both parents and teachers. At the first sign of a problem at school, the teacher should contact the parents. The first time that parents suspect their child is having a problem at school, they should contact the teacher. It is only when teachers and parents work together that children can enjoy the full value of the educational process. And before you try to solve a problem, gathering information from the student's point of view is always a good place to start.

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Chapter 5. Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance


I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.

—Sugar Ray Robinson

I have met several teachers who are afraid of setting a negative tone in their classroom by using the word no too often. Their concern is a valid one.

Children need limits. Without limits it is impossible for children to learn self-control, to learn to say no to themselves. If you feel that you are using no too often, try some alternatives. With young children, distraction is a good substitute for just saying no. Yes, alternatives do take more of your time and effort, but it is worth it. If you say no too often, the word is eventually going to lose its meaning.

It is much more effective to strike a balance between using no and other alternatives. You can use gestures, facial expressions, or other words. But whatever means you use to communicate the message, no must be used politely and with respect. Mean looks or raised hands can be used as threats as well as guidance.

Teachers often ask me how to say no in a respectful manner. My answer is simple. Imagine that you are saying no to a friend who is about to do something that may cause him or her harm. Speak to the student as you would speak to an adult. This type of no communicates, "What you are about to do is bad for you, I care about you, and I don't want you to harm yourself." The tone of this use of no is very different from, "Don't do that because I said so." If you think about the difference and keep a positive intent in mind, your use of the word no will stop the unwanted behavior without damaging your relationship with the student.

As far as alternatives to no, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish give some excellent suggestions in their book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. They recommend the following:

  1. Give information, and leave out the no. For instance, if the student asks, "Can I play with the computer?" instead of saying no, say something like: "It is reading time." Let the student conclude that she can't go to the computer.

  2. Acknowledge a student's feelings. For instance, if a student is playing a game and it is time to clean up, but he or she says, "I don't want to clean up. I want to play." Instead of saying no, acknowledge the student's feelings by saying, "I like to play that game too. It is really fun. You can play with it again tomorrow." Letting the student know that you understand how he or she feels can reduce resistance.

  3. Describe the problem. For instance, a student asks, "Can I go out and get a drink of water?" Instead of just saying no, describe the reason. "No, recess is in 10 minutes and you can get a drink of water then."

  4. When possible, substitute a yes for a no. For instance, if a student asks, "Can we listen to music?" Instead, of saying no, substitute a positive outcome by saying, "Yes, you can turn on the radio during free time at the end of the day."

  5. Give yourself time to think. This is a good alternative, especially when you can't think of another alternative. For instance, if a child asks, "Tomorrow is a holiday. Can we have a no-homework night?" Instead of saying, "No, you have homework every night," say, "Let me think about it." This is a good alternative just so long as you are not using it to avoid answering the question.

Saying no in some form is a necessary part of effective classroom discipline. Helping students learn to live within limits is what teaching responsibility is all about.

Выбранный для просмотра документ Lesson 9 Quiz.docx


Lesson 9 Quiz

  1. Which of the following satisfies students' need for power?



Extended recess.


  1. What is the main objective of talking to someone?

To convey information.

To invite a response.

To get a reaction.

To embarrass.

  1. How can you gain the cooperation of defiant students?

By giving them choices.

By letting them choose their punishment.

By pleading with them.

By backing off and giving them freedom.

  1. What is the broken-record technique?

An effective way to deal with students who continually break things.

A strategy to prevent children from fighting by breaking a record over their heads.

A technique for dealing with defiant behavior.

An ineffective way to deal with children who are disrespectful.

  1. Which of the following is a good alternative to saying 'no'?

Giving a warning.


Giving a 10-minute time-out.

Giving yourself time to think.

Выбранный для просмотра документ British Council Teacher training.docx

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hello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 1

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Dorothy Law Nolte, "Children Learn What They Live"

We do not come into this world knowing how to behave. As I said in Lesson 1, we come into the world with a set of needs. The rest of our lives is spent in a struggle to learn how to best meet them.

Children must learn how to behave in a way that can get their needs met with responsible behavior—how to behave to get their needs met while not encroaching on the needs of others. If teachers can succeed at teaching students this lesson, both their lives and the lives of their students will be greatly enhanced.

In this lesson, we will examine needs more closely and look at how to go about teaching students how to best meet them.

The first thing to realize is that there is no such thing as a good student or a good child. Nor is there such a thing as a bad student or child. Children are children. Students are students. Period.happy child

However, some children have learned how to lead need-fulfilling lives without hurting others. As Dorothy Nolte might say, "If they live with responsibility, they learn to behave responsibly."

That sounds like an oversimplification, and it is. It's one thing to say that we need to teach students to be responsible. It's quite another thing to know exactly what to do.

I want to digress for a moment and talk about irresponsible parents. Unfortunately, some children are born into homes where irresponsible behavior is the norm. I am talking about an unloving environment in which children's needs are either ignored or are met in a negative, destructive manner.

In these negative home environments, children's behavior is controlled by emotional or physical abuse. Adults in these homes often suffer from alcohol or drug abuse and live their lives in ways that are harmful to both themselves and others around them.

Does this mean that children of dysfunctional families are condemned to lead irresponsible lives? Happily, the answer is no. Children learn that if they cannot get their needs met at home, they can seek out other places and relationships in an effort to satisfy their basic needs. Teachers can make school a secure, comforting place for these children.

The challenge for teachers, then, is to provide a classroom atmosphere in which students' needs are met and where they learn how to live responsibly. The question remains, how is this accomplished?

One way we teach students is by modeling the type of behavior we want our students to learn. Students learn by watching what we do. So we can teach them irresponsible as well as responsible behavior.

Let's look for a moment at what we do not want to do, at ways we can teach students to behave in an irresponsible way. The following list of things you can do to build irresponsibility in students was adapted from Dr. Jane Bluestein's The Parent's Little Book of Lists.

We teach our students to be irresponsible:

  • When we blame others for our own mistakes.

  • When we lie because telling the truth may be uncomfortable.

  • When we don't keep promises or follow through on commitments we have made.

  • When we do not say we are sorry when we make a mistake.

  • When we lose our temper and yell and call people names.

  • When we make excuses for our inappropriate behavior.

  • When we litter or do not pick up after ourselves.

  • When we make decisions based on what others may think rather than on what is right or wrong.

  • When we do not live the values that we ask of our students.

As for what we can do to model appropriate, responsible behavior, I direct you back to the quotation that began this chapter. Read it again, slowly and carefully. I can think of no better way of describing what teachers can do to help their students learn and grow and be happy, caring, and responsible people.

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Chapter 2

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave

Needs and Behavior

All behavior is motivated by needs. When facing different options, our choice is determined—consciously or not—by the strongest need.

Dr. Jane Bluestein

In this chapter, we will look more closely at how needs and behavior are linked. As Dr. Bluestein says in the above quotation, all of our behavior is motivated by needs.

To better understand how needs drive behavior, I will give you an example. Shari, a writer of magazine articles, works at home. I recently stopped by to visit her. It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon. Her teenage son was lying out in the backyard catching some rays. I found her husband watching a basketball game on television. Shari is a big basketball fan as well, but she wasn't there. Shari was upstairs sitting at her computer working on a new article. I asked her husband if she was working against some deadline. "No," he responded, "She just wanted to write."

Why did Shari choose to spend her Sunday writing? The answer is that writing was more need-fulfilling than any of the other options open to her. Her need for power was being met because she got a feeling of accomplishment in writing. Her need for freedom was being met because she was doing this because she wanted to, not because someone was making her do it. Her need for fun was being satisfied because she enjoyed writing.

Her need for love and belonging, to be downstairs with her family, was no doubt there. But at the moment, that need was not as strong as the other needs that were being satisfied by working.

Now, apply these same principles to yourself. Think about what you are doing right now. Why are you taking this course? Which of your own basic needs is being met by this activity?

Is taking this course meeting your need for love and belonging? This could be the case if you are taking the course with a friend or colleague. Perhaps your reason is that you care about your students and want to be closer to them.

Is this course meeting your need for power and achievement? The answer is most probably yes because you hope to gain new knowledge and skills in the process. And by completing the course, you will gain a feeling of accomplishment.

Is this course meeting your need for freedom? Perhaps this need is being frustrated by a lack of knowledge about how to deal with discipline problems. Dealing with the same problems over and over again is not only frustrating, it's very time-consuming. Or maybe you are taking this course because it was something you felt was important to do, and having the freedom to exercise that choice felt good.

Is this course meeting your need for fun? As the instructor, I certainly hope it is. Because if you aren't having fun, then you probably aren't learning anything, and I'm not doing a very good job teaching. After all, as Dr. Glasser has said, fun is the genetic reward for learning.

Now, let's apply these same principles to students and behavior.

Consider the following discipline problem, and see if you can determine which of his needs the student is attempting to satisfy with his defiant behavior.

SCENE: It is 1 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, time for recess. Andy, a fourth grader, did not bring his homework in that morning. His teacher said that he needed to stay in at recess to do the homework assignment. No one is left to supervise him, but Andy knows that if he disobeys the teacher, he will be sent to the principal's office. Nevertheless, Andy chooses to sneak out of the classroom to play basketball with his classmates. Of course, his teacher eventually sees him and does indeed send him to the office.

Think about Andy's behavior. Which of his needs directed him to disobey his teacher and go out and play? Remember, Andy's actions may only be directed toward satisfying one or two of his needs that are the strongest at the time. Which of his needs do you believe were the strongest?

Was he attempting to fulfill his need for love and belonging?

Was he attempting to fulfill his need for power and achievement?

Was he attempting to fulfill his need for freedom?

Was he attempting to fulfill his need for fun?

A way to analyze Andy's behavior is to compare the choices that he had. Choice #1: Stay in the classroom and do his homework. Choice #2: Go out and play with his friends.

Choice #1: Doing his homework.

  • Love and belonging. By doing his homework, he would have gained his teacher's approval.

  • Power and achievement. There would be some feeling of accomplishment by completing the homework assignments, but how strong would this have been?

  • Freedom. If Andy had been given a choice as to when to do the homework, there could have been some freedom satisfaction. But since his teacher gave him no choice, there was probably little freedom fulfillment in doing the homework.

  • Fun. Unless Andy has a very creative teacher, I doubt whether fun would enter into the homework choice.

Choice #2: Playing with his friends.

  • Love and belonging. This need is definitely being met by choosing to play with friends. Could his need to play with his friends have been stronger than his need to please his teacher?

  • Power and achievement. If Andy is good at basketball, he certainly could satisfy his need for achievement with skillful play. Also, could Andy be meeting a power need by deliberately disobeying his teacher?

  • Freedom. By choosing to play, he is choosing to do what he wants to do, not what someone else wants him to do. Freedom from the control of others is part of the need for freedom.

  • Fun. By definition, playing basketball with your friends is more fun than doing homework assignments.

What do you think?

Which needs were stronger?

Which needs motivated Andy's behavior?

Since this is a hypothetical situation, there's no real answer. As a matter of fact, as you will see in this course, there are seldom simple, clear answers. But there are hints, clues, and indications that can help us better understand why students choose certain behavior. Once we understand this, we can help them by offering alternative choices.

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Chapter 3

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave

All Behavior Is Learned

The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.

King Edward VIII

We are not born knowing how to behave, responsibly or irresponsibly. We do, however, have needs. For a newborn, the most pressing need is the need for survival—food. The only behavior a baby knows is to cry. The baby soon learns that this crying behavior is a good thing. "I cry. I get food. Crying is good."

Unfortunately, babies attempt to take this one learned behavior and try it out in other situations. For instance, it doesn't take long for a baby's need for love and belonging to emerge.

The higher-order psychological need for love and belonging appears as the need for survival is satisfied. If the need for survival is not met, other needs are suppressed and slow to develop. The physical need to survive takes precedence. When survival is threatened, nothing else matters.

Back to our growing baby. The baby, being well-fed and having her physical needs met, now feels the need for love and belonging. Bedtime comes along, but her psychological need for love and belonging is more pressing than the physical need for sleep. So, when she is put into the crib, she applies the only behavior she knows: crying.crying baby

Now, most well-meaning but gullible parents fall right into the trap set by the baby. They feel sorry for the crying baby and pick her up. Guess what? She stops crying. Her need for love and belonging is being met. She's satisfied. Her need is met. She's happy.

As I said before, all behavior is learned. What did the baby learn from the above situation? Yes, that if she cries, she can get attention. This is a behavior lesson well-learned by the baby. Unfortunately, it will stay with her for some time. She'll find this behavior a particularly interesting tool as soon as she turns 2 years old.

How do I know that this explanation of crying behavior is true? For one thing, my personal experience confirms it. When we had our first child, my wife and I were living in an apartment. Being first-time parents, we were very concerned about doing the right thing. We were also sensitive about not disturbing our neighbors.

So, when she cried at night, we held her and walked her and rocked her. Night after night, my wife or I would be up at least once during the night. I remember wondering if it was colic. She didn't have colic; she was lonesome. Little did I know that I was teaching that her crying was a very effective attention-getter.

Now, you might ask, how do you know that the crying isn't because she's hungry or needs burping or changing or, heaven forbid, really is sick? That's a very good question, and I don't remember exactly how we dealt with that. I can tell you that, after five children, our copy of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Carewas dog-eared and frayed from constant use.

Back to crying. Crying is such an effective behavior that older children often fall back on it when their needs are not being met. When she reached 2, my daughter took crying a step further when she was not getting her way. She would throw a tantrum. This usually involved banging her head on the floor to get our attention.

Here is another trap into which many well-meaning parents fall: saving children from the consequences of their choices. With my daughter, my first reaction was to run and pick her up before she hurt herself. Wrong. If I do this, what is it going to teach her? ";background: #ffffff; line-height: 0.18in"> What did we do? I have to hand it to my wife. She had the answer. She put a pillow under our daughter's head so that she could bang away without hurting herself. This behavior, my daughter soon learned, was not productive, so she stopped it. Thank goodness.

Dealing with children at home or at school is not easy. It's especially hard when you realize that every time you react to a child's behavior, you are teaching him or her something. Consciously or subconsciously, children learn, "If I choose to do this, I will get this result."

It is the job of parents and teachers to guide children to make the best choices with the most positive outcomes.

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hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 4

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave

Needs and Discipline Problems

If you say, "Do this," and the student says, "No," and you say, "Do this or else," and the student says, "No," then you have a problem.

Dr. William Glasser

As children mature, they are continually trying new behaviors to satisfy their ever-changing needs. By the time children are in grade school, most of them have decided that their survival needs are being met. So they turn to their psychological needs.

Let's look at some common discipline problems, and see if we can identify the need that's driving the behavior.

  1. Two first-graders who are fighting over the same toy.

  2. A second-grader who doesn't want to go to school and cries all day at school.

  3. A third-grade boy teasing a younger student.

  4. A fifth-grader who talks back to you whenever you ask him to do anything.

  5. A sixth-grade girl pouting for hours if she doesn't get her way.

  6. A teenager who continually cuts class to go off campus with her friends.

What needs do you think these students might be trying to satisfy with their behavior? There are no right or wrong answers. The objective is just to get you thinking about students' needs, common behaviors, and how they are linked.

Okay, fair is fair. I'll share my answers with you. Again, these are not the right answers; these are just my thoughts. See how they compare with yours.

  1. Two first-graders who are fighting over the same toy. My guess is that this is a power struggle. "My needs are more important than your needs." Or, "I am older, and I should be in control." Or, "You are older, you always get your way. It's my turn!" Of course, if there is crying involved, there is always the need for attention (love and belonging).toy

  2. A second-grader who doesn't want to go to school and cries all day at school. This could be a number of things. It could be the need for love and belonging. The student has few friends at school and feels abandoned, unloved. The crying could be an expression of the pain of loneliness, or it could be a cry for attention. Also, real fear is possible, and that is a survival need and must be dealt with before trying to reason with the child. If the child is genuinely afraid (maybe other kids are picking on him), then you must first see that this need for safety is met.

  3. A third-grade boy teasing a younger student. This is probably a student trying to fulfill an unsatisfied need for power. The third-grader may be having trouble in school or is being teased by someone else or is being constantly put down by adults. Therefore, he teases the younger student to prove to himself that he is still better and stronger than somebody—that he still has some power.

  4. A fifth-grader who talks back to you whenever you ask him to do anything. This, I believe, involves a power struggle. Who is really in charge—the student or the teacher? The student is saying, "When I talk back to you, I can make you angry. I can make you lose your temper. I am in control. You are not."

  5. A sixth-grade girl pouting for hours if she doesn't get her way. Students who pout usually come from homes where children are either pampered or tightly controlled. In either situation, the child's need for power is frustrated. Pampered children pout because they usually get attention this way. Controlled children pout because their need for power is frustrated and they believe the only way to get their way is to pout, whine, and complain, which gives them a sense of power.

  6. A teenager who continually cuts class to go off campus with her friends. As I have said, different needs are stronger at different times in a student's life. In the teenage years, the need for friendship (love and belonging) and the need for freedom are very strong. This teenager's behavior could be an attempt to satisfy a need for belonging—to be with her friends. It could be an effort to show that she is capable of making decisions about the value of school—freedom. It could also be a need for power, a demonstration that she, not her teacher, is in control of her own life.

Later in this course, we will look at what to do once you have identified the need that is motivating your child's behavior. For now, the point is to realize the impact needs have on behavior.

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hello_html_648175e3.gifhello_html_648175e3.gifChapter 5

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave


Having faith in children does not mean having faith that they will always do the right thing. . . . Having faith in children means having faith that with your love, support, and the life skills you are teaching, they will grow up to be responsible, caring people.

Dr. Jane Nelsen

Let's review what you have learned so far about discipline. Discipline is defined in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary as "to inflict suffering on or to penalize for the sake of discipline, regularity, order, or rule; . . . to punish or penalize in any way often by infliction of extra tasks or loss of privileges."

This definition fits the commonly held belief that discipline is something that you do to somebody. You discipline your students.

This historical view of discipline makes sense if you believe that human behavior can be modified or controlled by external force. But if you believe that motivation comes from within, from a desire to meet internal needs, then a new definition of discipline is in order.

Take a moment to reflect on what you have learned so far in this course. How would you now define discipline?

Because it is so often misunderstood, I don't like to use the word discipline. However, since traditionally it is such a significant part of a teacher's vocabulary, I feel it would be wrong to try to avoid it. Rather, I'd like to use the word, but in a redefined version.

Compare your definition of discipline with the ones that I have written:

Discipline: Teaching students how to meet their needs while respecting the needs of others.

Discipline: Teaching students how to make choices and then accept the consequences of those choices.

Discipline: Teaching students that they are in control of their own behavior.

In my research, I have not discovered a definition of discipline that I fully embrace. Perhaps this is because behavior experts like Dr. Glasser don't even use the word. They feel that it has such negative connotations that its use might suggest that it is possible to control the behavior of others.

Once you redefine discipline, other words are affected. For instance, all of a sudden, obedience has a lesser role in effective discipline. We don't teach students responsibility by demanding obedience. We teach responsibility by giving students, whenever possible, a choice between at least two acceptable behaviors. This is a very important statement. Let's look at it more closely.

Whenever possible is important. There are times when giving choices is not appropriate, especially for very young children. It is not appropriate to give choices when you see students hurt themselves or someone else, when students are putting themselves or others in danger, or when they are refusing to do something they must do (play in the yard, not the street).

A choice between two acceptable behaviors means that you are willing to accept either option the students choose. Here are two examples:

"You need to finish your homework before lunchtime tomorrow. You can do it at home tonight or at recess time tomorrow morning."

"You need to work on this assignment without disturbing others. You can work alone or with your study group and talk quietly with a library voice."

Notice that in these examples, the teacher is still in charge, even though the child gets a choice. In the first example, whether or not to finish homework is not in question. In the second scenario, students are given two acceptable ways of working without disturbing others.

Here is an example from my personal experience of letting the child choose. Recently, my teenage son chose some very irresponsible behavior. My first thought was to immediately ground him for the weekend. However, he said that on that Saturday there was an event he had been planning on for weeks. Ah, some parents would say, the perfect punishment.

Instead, I resisted temptation and listened to my son and asked what he would suggest. He said he knew what he did was wrong and suggested that if we let him go out that Saturday night, he would ground himself for a month. We agreed.

Two weeks later, my son observed, "You know, Dad, a month's a long time." I replied, "Yes, it is." That was the end of the conversation. He did not complain about being grounded for so long. He couldn't. It was his choice.

By giving choices, you are not being authoritarian, nor are you being permissive. You have taken the middle, more reasonable ground. You are teaching students to be responsible by giving them some control over their own lives rather than demanding obedience.

Let's examine obedience and why it is not appropriate in an internal-motivation view of discipline. Dr. Jane Bluestein, in her book The Parent's Little Book of Lists, identifies some of the dangers in encouraging obedience in students:

Obedient kids have a hard time seeing the connection between their behavior and the consequences of their behavior. Their sense of responsibility may be limited: He made me do it," "Everyone else was doing it," "She started it."

Obedient kids are likely to blame their choices on someone else. They don't have to take responsibility for their choices (or how their lives turn out) because they were just doing what someone else told them to do.

Obedient kids may have a hard time functioning in the absence of authority. They lack initiative and would just as soon wait for someone to tell them what to do. They often depend on others to make decision for them or their choices simply to impress someone else.

They believe that their ability to influence or control their own lives depends on their ability to keep others happy, even if doing so inconveniences them, compromises their boundaries or principles or, in some instances, even jeopardizes their safety.

Needless to say, the dangers of encouraging obedience are enough to cause us to rethink the meaning of true discipline.

I want to take a moment to clarify the difference between cooperation and obedience. Cooperation is a thoughtful act. Children who choose to cooperate and do what we ask evaluate the request and have thoughts like "I will do that because I trust her" or "I will do that because I know he has my best interests at heart" or "I will do that because I know it is the right thing to do."

Obedience on the other hand is not a thoughtful act. It is simply doing what one is told, usually without evaluating the request, to avoid disapproval, rejection, abandonment, or some other negative, hurtful, or punitive outcome. Contrast that form of compliance with cooperation, which will look about the same in terms of how the child is acting, but which is motivated by something besides the reaction or approval of another person.

My point is that I believe that our goals as teachers and parents should focus on building responsibility and encouraging cooperation rather than demanding obedience. In doing so, we can achieve the same behavior results without compromising the child's emotional safety or ability to act on his or her own behalf.

This does not deny that there are times when you just need children to follow your directions, which they will do if you have a trusting relationship with them. I much prefer using cooperation to a "do this or I will hurt you" or "do this or I will not like you" way of dealing with children.

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Course FAQs

Lesson 1: I've Got a Secret!

Q: Doesn't punishment work for some students?

A: Punishment may seem to work. Nobody likes being hurt. So to avoid being hurt (physically or emotionally), the child will comply in the short term. The need for survival is taking control here. But even though the child may obey, he or she learns nothing about how to behave in the future.

Q: What about rewards? Are they good motivators for students?

A: No. First of all, children are internally motivated. An external reward, such as a small piece of candy, may succeed in getting compliance for the moment (like punishment), but there is no internal reward to motivate the child to continue the positive behavior.

Lesson 2: Children Need to Behave

Q: What can I do when a student is upset, crying, and unwilling to listen to any choices I might offer?

A: You cannot reason with an emotional child. Give the child a time-out. (I'll cover this term in detail later in the course.) However, still offer a choice ("Go to the time-out desk until you are ready to talk to me about what you did."). Let the student decide how long to stay in the time-out area. This stops the defiant, emotional behavior but still meets the student's need for power.

Q: Figuring out choices and offering them is going to take a lot of my time. Is it worth it?

A: If you do not take the time to deal effectively with misbehavior, you will spend much more time facing the same problems over and over and over. Also, the long-term results for your students are well worth your efforts. Both your life and your students lives will be the better for it.

Lesson 3: Now You're Going to Get It

Q: My teachers demanded obedience, and it worked for them and for me. Why doesn't it work with my students?

A: Your teachers were properly preparing you for a society that valued obedience and the ability to follow orders. Today's society values self-reliance, initiative, and cooperation. Your students see this on television and in the world around them. If society does not value obedience, your students will not embrace it either. You may want to reread Chapter 2 of Lesson 1.

Q: Won't my students do what I ask because they know that I care for them and that I want only what is best for them?

A: To a point, yes. Students will comply with your directions just to please you. Their strongest need is for belonging, and you are meeting that need with your caring. However, students must learn that there's more to responsible behavior than just pleasing someone else. Your care and concern for your students does not diminish when you give them choices. Teaching them to make decisions and accept the responsibility for those decisions is perhaps the most caring, considerate thing you can do for them.

Lesson 4: And the Winner Is . . .

Q: What if I offer one of my students a choice ("You can write your story now or after recess."), and she does not want to choose either one?

A: If the student does not like the options you present, then ask her if she has a suggestion. But getting the work done is not negotiable. If she persists in refusing to work, then offer the option of going to a time-out area until she figures out how she can get her work done. The key is to keep the responsibility for doing the work with the student. Remember that it will take a little time for this to start working.

Q: What if a teenage student refuses to listen to me when I try to offer a choice?

A: This can happen if teenagers are not used to making choices. But that's okay. You can turn that situation into another offer of choices. For instance, "Do you want talk about how you can make up your missed assignments, or would you like me to decide for you?" This usually gets their attention. Teenagers will respond to this approach when they discover that you are interested in what they have to say and that you will listen to them. Giving teenagers a chance to state their position is very need-fulfilling for them, and listening will strengthen the trust between you and your students.

Lesson 5: You've Got to Have a Plan

Q: I don't understand why you are so against punishment. My teachers punished me, and I turned out just fine. What is wrong with that?

A: There is nothing wrong with your turning out just fine. Some children learn about responsibility and develop into well-adjusted persons in spite of punishment. But while punishment may not harm some children, it does hurt the majority that have to suffer through it. 

This is the problem: You don't know if your students are going to be strong enough to overcome the negative effects of punishment. So why take the chance? It is much better for both you and your students if you use positive boundaries instead of punishment. With positive boundaries, you get your needs met and so do your students. Most important, there is no chance of the severe emotional harm that may result from punishment.

Q: What about rewarding good behavior? Is that wrong?

A: In the next lesson, you will learn more about recognition versus rewards. The problem with rewards is that they are under the control of the teacher: "If you do this, if you please me, I will give you this." Students do not learn about responsible behavior by finding ways to please others. Teachers who are afraid of an authoritarian approach to discipline often resort to rewards as a way of controlling students' behavior. Remember that the object is to teach students how to control their own life, not find ways for us to control them either through punishment or rewards.

Lesson 6: What to Do When

Q: Are you saying that it is wrong to praise my students when they behave appropriately?

A: Praise normally contains a conditional statement, such as "I like the way you . . . ," or, "You are such a good girl when you . . . ." When praise is contingent upon your approval of the student, it is wrong. Praise is okay if it does not include conditions. 

I use the term 
encouragement for unconditional praise, just to differentiate between the two. Whether it is called praise, encouragement, or positive reinforcement does not matter. What does matter is that your good words are not tied to your approval of your students' behavior. "You did a great job," and, "You finished your work on time and it looks terrific," are examples of the best ways to encourage continued responsible behavior.

Q: What if a misbehaving student will not listen to me even after a time-out?

A: Time-outs have to be used it properly. Just stopping the misbehavior and telling the student that she must have a 10-minute time-out may stop the misbehavior, but it does not teach her anything. 

A better use of a time-out is to combine it with problem solving. For instance, if she is yelling and screaming and calling another student names, send her to the time-out area and tell her she can come out when she can think of a better way to talk with others when she is upset. She will come out when she is ready. Then talk to her about her behavior and other options for when she's upset.

Lesson 7: Problems and Maturity

Q: What if I send a child to the time-out area and tell him he can come back to class when he stops whining and talks appropriately, but he chooses to stay there and not come out?

A: You'll need to talk with the student to find out what's wrong. One possibility is that he does not understand what talking appropriately means. If that is the case, then go over with him exactly what options he can choose besides whining. Remember, the whiner is seeking attention. Tell him that you care about him and you miss him in class. Ask if you can help him figure out what he needs to do to return to the class. When students feel that you are genuinely concerned about them and want to help, they will cooperate.

Q: Can you give me an example of what you mean by adults having to change their behavior in order to help children?

A: One example is modeling. If you want children to control their anger, then you have to model that behavior. When you lose your temper and yell and scream, you are communicating to students that this is an acceptable form of behavior. If you want to teach children to behave responsibly, your first step is to make sure that you are modeling responsible behavior for them.

Lesson 8: Problems with Others

Q: Are you saying that logical or natural consequences are wrong?

A: No. I am arguing for stating them in the positive. For instance, a logical consequence of not doing class work is the loss of the privilege of free time. The consequence is logical because free time can be used to finish the incomplete work. This could be stated, "Do your work, or you will lose your free time." Or it could be stated with a focus on the positive outcome: "Do your work, and you can have 15 minutes free time before lunch." The consequence is the same, but the focus and the energy are very different when the rule is stated in the positive.

Q: Do you follow your own advice? And how have your children turned out?

A: I try to follow my own advice, but I'm not always successful. Nobody's perfect. All anyone can do is try his or her best. As far as my kids, they have all graduated from universities and are enjoying success in their chosen fields.  My youngest son is an attorney at a Hollywood studio. My youngest daughter is vice president of an educational materials company. My middle daughter works as a threat-assessment manager for a company that protects public figures. My oldest son is also an attorney and is a partner in a law firm. And my oldest daughter (the one who wanted to be a duck) is a psychologist, research scientist, and professor at a large university.

Lesson 9: Problems and Defiance

Q: I have heard that if you asked children how they'd like to be punished, many would choose corporal punishment. Is this true?

A: Yes, it's probably true, and that's a good reason not to use it! Why would they choose this? Some children may say that they prefer to be physically punished because it's quick. This is true in one sense, in that a swat can quickly be shrugged off or can bring esteem from peers. This underlines how very ineffective it is as a method of discipline.

In another sense, physical punishment is not quick, because its hidden effects—humiliation, loss of self-esteem, encouragement of aggression and bullying—can be long lasting. And sadly, children sometimes seek a beating as a means of gaining the attention of an adult who otherwise ignores them.

Q: You recommend using alternatives to the word no. Isn't this being permissive?

A: Not at all. I am not saying to let the student have his or her way. I am just suggesting that you use another word (or action) in place of the word no. Becoming permissive and letting students have their way all of the time, no matter what the consequences, will not teach them about being responsible.

Lesson 10: Problems and Schoolwork

Q: I need to speak with the parents of one of my students, but they work during the day and I can't reach them by phone until evening. Then, if I call after dinner, they are tired and don't want to talk. Weekends are hard because I am busy and so are they. What do you suggest?

A: This is a very difficult and, unfortunately, common problem. I would suggest writing a letter and offering several options. You could suggest specific days or times. If the parents do not read English, the office should be able to help you. The very best solution would be a home visit. This would be an imposition on you, but if the problem is severe enough, it might be your best alternative. If you haven't already done so, ask your colleagues what they have done. If all else fails, try again in the evening. If you explain that you are concerned about their child, they should want to listen.

Q: The administration wants to suspend one of my students, but I am concerned because both of her parents work. She is 14, and I don't think this is a good idea. Do you agree?

A: I absolutely agree. This is inviting additional problems. A child who is at home alone at the age of 14 is enjoying a privilege, not suffering a consequence. Perhaps the school could substitute an in-school suspension. If this is not possible, maybe she could act as a tutor that day to help students in a lower grade. If the school wants to help the student, a way should be found to keep her in school.

Lesson 11: Problems and Independence

Q: I'm not sure that I understand the difference between mistakes and failure. How are they different?

A: If someone points out to you that you have made a mistake, the focus is on the mistake, not on you ("Your answer was bad."). If someone calls you a failure, the focus is on you personally ("You are bad."). Labeling a child (or anyone) as a failure can be devastating. It erodes self-esteem and self-confidence. It can cause children to give up on themselves. I would be happy if the word failure were forever erased from the English language.

Q: How does giving choices encourage individuality?

A: Individuality is the feeling that you have worth as a distinct person, not as compared to someone else. This feeling comes from confidence and self-concept, both of which are enhanced when students feel that they have control over their own lives. They learn that they can control their own lives through making choices, experiencing the consequences of choices, and learning that they can control the consequences through the choices that they make. Choices give students the confidence they need to be strong individuals even in the face of peer pressure.

Lesson 12: Let's Try Again Tomorrow

Q: With all of your years being involved with students and discipline, what do you believe is the most important concept that you learned?

A: I am certain that the most valuable thing that I have learned over the years is that you cannot force anyone to do anything that he or she does not want to do. This applies to children, to spouses, to colleagues, to parents, to in-laws, to everyone. Understanding that one concept has changed the way I lead my life and the way that I treat people in my life. It is something that I think about every single day.

Q: If a teacher asked you to give one piece of advice regarding teaching students responsible behavior, what would that be?

A: Teach by example. Modeling is one of the most effective ways of teaching students about responsible behavior.

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Course Index

Resources > Course Index


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Accomplishment, Lesson 1, Chapter 4 
Advice, Lesson 6, Chapter 5 
Angel, Lesson 7, Chapter 3 
Apple-polishing, Lesson 7, Chapter 3 
Arguing, Lesson 8, Chapter 2 
Attention-demanding, Lesson 7, Chapter 2 
Authoritarian approach, Lesson 3, Chapter 5


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Basic needs, Lesson 1, Chapter 4Lesson 2, Chapter 2 
Behavior, learned, 
Lesson 2, Chapter 3 
Bluestein, Dr. Jane, 
Lesson 2, Chapter 1; Lesson 12, Chapter 5 
Boundaries, Lesson 5, Chapters 3-4 
Brain, three basic parts, Lesson 3, Chapter 1 
Broken-record technique, Lesson 9, Chapter 3 
Bullying, Lesson 8, Chapter 3


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Cheating, Lesson 10, Chapter 3 
Children Learn What They Live (poem), 
Lesson 2, Chapter 1 
Choice theory, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 3 
Choices, Lesson 4, Chapter 1 
Class meetings, Lesson 12, Chapter 3 
Classroom discipline plans, Lesson 5, Chapter 1 
Complaining, Lesson 7, Chapter 4 
Conditional approval, Lesson 6, Chapter 3 
Consistency, Lesson 5, Chapter 5 
Corporal punishment, organizations against, Lesson 8, Chapter 5 
Covey, Stephen, Lesson 4, Chapter 4 
Criticism, Lesson 6, Chapter 5


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Dangerous behavior, Lesson 6, Chapter 1 
Defiance, Lesson 9, Chapter 2 
Destructive behavior, Lesson 11, Chapter 4 
Discipline, definition of, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 1Lesson 2, Chapter 5 
Disrespect, Lesson 9, Chapter 3 
Disruptive behavior, Lesson 9, Chapter 4 
Do-nothing behavior, Lesson 10, Chapter 2 
Dysfunctional families, 
Lesson 2, Chapter 1


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Emotional deposits and withdrawals, Lesson 4, Chapter 4 
Encouragement, Lesson 6, Chapter 3 
Excuse-making, Lesson 8, Chapter 2 
Expectations, Lesson 5, Chapter 2


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Fear, Lesson 3, Chapter 1 
Fighting, Lesson 8, Chapter 4 
Five-step approach to solving discipline problems, Lesson 7, Chapter 1; Lesson 12, Chapter 2 
Follow-through, Lesson 6, Chapter 4 
Lesson 1, Chapter 4Lesson 2, Chapters 2, 4 
Lesson 1, Chapter 4Lesson 2, Chapters 2, 4


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Glasser, Dr. William, Lesson 1, Chapters 2-4


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Homework-hating, Lesson 10, Chapter 4


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Independence, Lesson 6, Chapter 5; Lesson 11, Chapters 1–5 
Industrial age, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 2 
Information age, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 2 
Internal motivation, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 3 
Irresponsibility, teaching our children, 
Lesson 2, Chapter 1


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Key sentences, Lesson 12, Chapter 1


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Learned behavior, Lesson 2, Chapter 3 
Limbic system (emotional brain), Lesson 3, Chapter 1 
Listening, active, Lesson 9, Chapter 1 
Listening, reflective, Lesson 9, Chapter 1 
Love and belonging, 
Lesson 1, Chapter 4


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Misbehavior, responding to, Lesson 6, Chapter 2 
Mistakes, Lesson 11, Chapter 1 
Modeling responsibility, 
Lesson 2, Chapter 1 
Lesson 1, Chapter 3Lesson 2, Chapters 3-5


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Needs and behavior, Lesson 2, Chapter 2 
Negotiation, Lesson 4, Chapters 1, 5; Lesson 6, Chapter 4 
No, alternatives to, Lesson 9, Chapter 5


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Obedience, Lesson 2, Chapter 5 
Outcomes, Lesson 6, Chapter 2


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Patience, Lesson 12, Chapter 1 
Permissive approach, Lesson 3, Chapter 5 
Plans, discipline, Lesson 5, Chapter 1 
Positive consequences (outcomes), Lesson 5, Chapter 3 
Positive statements, Lesson 12, Chapter 4 
Lesson 1, Chapter 4Lesson 2, Chapters 2-4; Lesson 9, Chapter 1 
Praise, dangers of, Lesson 6, Chapter 3 
Procrastination, Lesson 11, Chapter 2 
Protective brain (brain stem), Lesson 3, Chapter 1 
Lesson 1, Chapter 3Lesson 2, Chapters 1, 5; Lesson 3, Chapters 2-4; Lesson 5, Chapter 3


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Rational brain (cerebral cortex), Lesson 3, Chapter 1 
Rebellious behavior, Lesson 11, Chapter 3 
Recognition, Lesson 6, Chapter 3 
Reinforcement, Lesson 6, Chapter 3 
Responsibility, Lesson 11, Chapters 1-5