Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Don't Send Students to the Office

I don't send students to the office. This statement can have a couple of implications in the teaching world:

  1. Wow.. you must have crappy classroom management (I don't!)
  2. This must be the easiest class ever (It's not!)
  3. Your administrators must suck and not do anything (Which they do not!)
 Discipline is part of the student relationship building.  I have always handled classroom discipline myself. But I couldn't explain why until I heard @gcouros talk about it at a the #TIE16 conference in South Dakota. When I send a student to the office, I lose an opportunity to build a better relationship with my students. Students mess up. My job is to help them work through those moments and come out the other-side better for it. Why would I involve the principal in my relationship building with my students? It would be like involving my mother-in-law every-time my husband leaves the toilet seat up. That is a part of marriage. Discipline is a part of teaching. If I don't think the behavior problem is worth my time to correct, then why is it worth anyone else's time? 

Discipline also provides a great opportunity to collaborate with parents. Every-time I call home about a concern, it provides an opportunity for me to grow as a teacher. I ask them what I can do to better help their student learn. The answers won't just help their child, but expands my toolbox so I can help other students in the future. Don't let an opportunity to improve yourself slip through your fingers by letting your administration handle your discipline! 

This post is inspired by this article from Edutopia:
The Dances of Student Discipline

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