Taking Control of the Classroom
In last week’s blog, we shared some of Love and Logic’s classroom intervention strategies for teachers. This week, I want to discuss what I believe to be the two most important strategies that Love and Logic teachers can use to help them keep control of the classroom. In a nutshell, Love and Logic teachers know how to Keep on Trucking and Save the Consequences for the Big Stuff.
Keep on Trucking
Have you noticed there seem to be two types of parents when you go to a store? Now this question may not seem to have anything to do with classroom discipline and the intervention strategies that we went over in the previous blog post, but I think you’ll begin to see the relevance.
Let’s look at the first type of parent.
Sarah: What do I get if I’m good?
Mom: If you’re really good, I’ll get you an ice cream cone.
Sarah (screaming): I don’t want ice cream! I want a toy! You never buy me a toy!
Mom (stooping down to make eye contact): You have so many toys already. How about I buy you a Coke if you are really good?
Sarah (still screaming): I want a toy!
Mom now kneeling on the floor!
Now let’s look at the second type of parent.
Patrick (trying to keep up with mom): What do I get if I’m good?
Mom (heading around the end cap): A happy life.
Patrick: But I want a…
Mom (continuing to shop, giving Patrick zero fuel for the fire): Try to keep up, and try not to get lost. It’s always better when I leave the store with the same number of kids I brought in.
In each of these situations, who is leading? Who is setting the tone? Who is in charge?
One common behavior that I see with ineffective teachers is that they too frequently stop teaching. Ineffective teachers stop to have a lengthy discussion with a student about their inappropriate behavior or even to provide rewards for good behavior. Take note of the following:
If students can get us to stop teaching,
they will always get us to stop teaching.
Highly effective teachers, such as Love and Logic teachers, apply their quick and easy classroom intervention strategies as described in last week’s blog. After they are applied, they keep on teaching. They stop for no longer than ten to fifteen seconds.
Save the Consequences for the Big Stuff
Some classroom management systems believe that every time a student misbehaves, an immediate consequence must follow. How realistic is this belief? Trying to meet this standard leaves little time for teaching and can become overwhelming very quickly. I was having a conversation with a teacher at one of my events recently. She described to me how she gradually came to realize how taxing her classroom management system was.
“I was taught in my behavior management classes that I had to provide a logical consequence every time a student misbehaved. As a young teacher I was ready and willing to meet this challenge. I carefully devised a rewards/consequences system based on points. It soon became evident that there wasn’t enough time in the day to both teach and to implement my behavior management system. Besides, it seemed as if many of my most challenging students constantly argued with me about their points or didn’t care about the consequences or rewards they received. Something had to give!”
I felt overwhelmed for this teacher. She continued to tell me she even tried using a few of our strategies. After continuing to struggle to get any teaching done, she attended an event where my dad, Jim, was speaking. He told her something that transformed her classroom.
Save the consequences for the big stuff.
Use your quick and easy classroom intervention strategies
for the little stuff.
This teacher realized that while she was using Love and Logic techniques, she was still providing a consequence for everything. After implementing this important piece, she is now able to teach without making every problem bigger than it needs to be. She also noted a strange phenomenon, “Now that I’m not so worried about providing consequences for everything, my students are actually better behaved.”
We hope that this week’s blog, as well as last week’s blog, will help teachers take control of the classroom during this unusually challenging school year.
On Tuesday, August 24, we held our FREE special event, The Single Greatest Gift Parents Can Give: A Love and Logic Back to School Event. If you missed this informative event, you can watch the replay here.
Thanks for reading!