A Whole School Commitment to Learning – An Integrated Approach to Behavior Management Featured

10 January 2018, 4:24 am Written by 
Published in Principal's Blog
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Our promise is to protect the rights of every student to learn and enjoy school.

Introduction

It should come as no surprise that excellent teachers employ very few behavior management strategies. Quite simply, they engage students through their relationship building and their powerful and authentic teaching and learning strategies. Their relationship is built upon mutual respect, trust, care, humor and, of course, professional skills.

Our approach is built on the same premise: Highly effective and powerful teachers teach by engaging students. There is no separate behavior management system at the class level. The overarching philosophy of the plan is to shift 100% of responsibility for learning and behaving to your students—where it belongs—but in a way that motivates them to eagerly take this responsibility.

The approach is underpinned by a COMMITMENT TO LEARNING PLAN – (CLP) which will be explained below.

Highly Effective and Powerful Teachers

Powerful teachers exude authority and presence. They:

  • Dress professionally
  • Stand tall
  • Follow through on all aspects
  • Honor the truth
  • Are pleasant
  • Set high standards
  • Demand high standards and do not praise behavior that is expected
  • Are extremely well prepared.

In simplified and practical terms, they:

  • Talk less
  • Lower their voice so students develop active listening skills
  • Do not repeat instructions
  • Never give second chances
  • Demand that students articulate the rule that they broke and the consequence
  • They seamlessly employ the ‘one step removed ‘ approach when required and focus on the student behavior and consequence
  • Never argue with students.

They always follow the whole CLP in every way. They understand that time, effort and commitment to the plan is an absolute necessity.

They build quality relationships; they ‘go the extra mile for students and colleagues; they never cease to be learners.

Powerful teachers are communicators: They:

  • Use the school diary regularly and without fail
  • Advise and/or meet with parents as and when necessary
  • Focus on the student’s work and behavior with parents. They develop a strong sense of teamwork and extended family
  • Involve the following personnel appropriately: Home Room Tutors, House Parents, Supervisors, Parent Liaison Coordinator, Guidance Counsellor, Special Needs Coordinator, EAL Coordinator and VP (Pastoral)
  • Keep meticulous records
  • Write accurate, empowering and useful student reports
  • Communicate in a timely manner.

Importantly, there is no place for:

  • Complacency
  • Inconsistency
  • Resentment

THERE IS NO PLACE FOR NOT USING THE CLP 100% OF THE TIME.

THE CLP

Powerful teachers use the CLP which is absolutely non-negotiable. The plan is inextricably underpinned by both learning and relationship building behaviors, the components of which are as follows. Students’:

  • ATTITUDE TOWARDS LEARNING
  • COOPERATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • HOMEWORK
  • ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS OTHERS
  • ORGANISATION

Importantly, every teacher is committed to a whole school system (modified for the different areas of the School), so that students learn and enjoy school. Success depends on whole school staff, student and family support and commitment.

What does the whole school system CLP look like? How does it work? What is: A Whole School Commitment to Learning – An Integrated Approach to Behavior Management?

As stated in the introduction, the approach is built on the following premise: Highly effective teachers teach by engaging students. There is no separate behavior management system at the class level. The overarching philosophy of the plan is to shift 100% of responsibility for learning and behaving to your students—where it belongs—but in a way that motivates them to eagerly take this responsibility.

Both teachers and students must be committed to achieving excellence in the above 6 components, some of which are more learning dominated while others have a more behavioral emphasis. Importantly, these components are underpinned by 3 very powerful behaviors. They are:

  • Listening
  • Participation
  • Attitude

How do we commit to the approach in practical terms in Term 1, 2017?

At first, the workload (recordkeeping) may take a little more time. However, teachers’ commitment to following the approach 100% of the time is absolutely essential. The positive aspect about the approach is that, when used effectively, very little time is dedicated to the recordkeeping aspect. By doing nothing, the system is working perfectly. An explanation of the system will clarify this.

The driving force behind the approach are the 6 components which will be prominently displayed in the classroom and around the school. Following discussion and explanation at the beginning of the year (and at appropriate times throughout the year), students and teachers gain a common understanding of both the components and the system.

How it works. The teacher has copies of the following CLP in his/her folder. The hard copy (A3) covers 4 or 5 weeks.

Teacher’s name……………………………….. Class………………………………… x times per week

Week……………………………….. Term…….

Student

Att (L)

Cooperation

Behavior

HW

Attitude towards others

Organisation

Total

Comment or Action taken where applicable

1

24

2

X

X

22

3

XX

XX

20

4

24

5

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

0

                                      

6

66  

24

Each student starts with 2 points for each component for each lesson. The above example shows a subject taught twice a week. Each time the student’s behavior for the component does not meet the standard, the teacher records an X in the appropriate box. This data will firstly be entered on an A3 sheet which the teachers will take in a folder to each to each lesson. At the end of the week (before 4pm each Thursday) the data will be entered into a spreadsheet which will tally the scores for the term. These will be used as the basis for the EFFORT grade.

In the table above:

Student 1, having no X’s, is a model student scoring 24 points

Student 2 had an incident with Attitude in lesson 1 and HW while attempted, was not completed to the best of his ability. It is important to note that if no HW had been attempted, 2 points would have been lost. He improved considerably in lesson 2 following a ‘brief talk’ with the teacher.

Student 3 displayed poor Cooperation skills on more than 1 occasion and did not even attempt his HW or did not bring it to school. He improved considerably in lesson 2 following a ‘a brief talk’ with the teacher.

Student 5. Following a ‘a brief talk’ the student did not improve. Teacher organizes a ‘lower level conference’ (teacher and student). If there is no improvement, teacher records this and organizes a meeting with the student, HRT.

Students 4 and 6-7, having no X’s, are model students scoring 24 points.

The results will be available to students on a weekly or monthly basis (yet to be determined). Ideally, parents will have access to these same results. The term’s total will determine the EFFORT Grade.

Those students who attain:

  1. 1.An excellent score in each subject, will be presented with a GOLD certificate which recognizes the following: Outstanding Commitment to Learning.

Communication Process

  1. 1St incident (Stage 1): Teacher deals with the situation (a brief talk) - Stage 1
  2. 2nd incident (Stage 2): Teacher deals with the incident (‘lower level conference’) – Stage 2
  3. 3rd incident (Stage 3): Teacher organizes meeting with the Home Room Teacher (HRT). This is recorded on the CLP. The student’s case is brought up at the Thursday Family Meeting to determine a pattern. If there is concern in more than 1 class, the HRT or supervisor (there may be a language barrier) will contact the parents at this stage. Alternatively, the VP Student Affairs (cc Supervisor) recommending detention. The VP Student Affairs will determine the course of action which may include a detention. In this case, he will notify the supervisor who will call the parents. If the student is experiencing difficulty with only 1 teacher, the HRT, the teacher involved and the student will meet. The teacher should discuss the case with the other relevant teachers during the family meeting to determine how the student’s commitment to learning is being managed successfully. Action is recorded on the CLP. Consequences may include detention.
  4. Stage 4: If the student’s commitment to learning does not improve following the above process, the House Parent contacts the Supervisor who contacts the parent advising them of the behavior and consequences (usually a detention). A meeting with the parents may be arranged by the Supervisor or Parent Liaison Coordinator if deemed necessary.
  5. Stage 5: If there is no improvement during the next week, VP Student Services and the Parent Liaison Coordinator will be responsible for the next stage. This may include: detention, suspension, a Daily Behavior Management Contract (Individual Commitment to Learning Plan) will be determined. The process may include:
  • Contacting the parents and student advising them of the continued inappropriate behavior.
  • Explaining the Individual Commitment to Learning Plan
  • Organising other meetings as applicable.

Where a student’s behavior shows no sign of improvement across the different subjects, the VP Student Affairs will become involved. He will request a meeting with the parents which will be organised by Parent Liaison Coordinator.

Note 1: TEACHERS CANNOT SEND STUDENTS OUT OF THE ROOM.

Note 2: AN INCIDENT OF A SERIOUS NATURE MAY OCCUR WHERE THE STUDENT NEEDS TO BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY FROM THE CLASSROOM. IN THESE CASES, THE TEACHER WILL CONTACT THE SUPERVISOR OR VP STUDENTS AFFIARS BY MOBILE. THE SUPERVISOR WILL AND VP STUDENT SERVICES WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILTY FOR THIS STAGE.

Individual Commitment to Learning Plan

This list will be prepared no later than Week 5 of Semester 1. The Family House Parent in conjunction with the team, will determine whether a student’s name is entered. Reference will be made to the CLP. In other words, if a student’s behavior shows little or no improvement despite various teachers’ advice and intervention, s/he will be placed on the list. Parents will attend a meeting organized by the school. A student can be removed from the list (as it is in Draft form) by demonstrating a very good commitment to the CLP through to 13 December. If an improvement in behavior is not recorded, the student will remain on the list and will meet with the VP on a monthly basis or when required. If the CLP shows significant improvement, s/he will be removed from the list. In saying this, if the student reverts to his/her previous behavior, s/he will be placed on the Individual Commitment to Learning Plan once again. From April onwards, students can be enlisted on the permanent Black List. This means that the student will not be able to re-register at DMES the following year.

How do we commit to the approach in practical terms in Term 2, 2018?

Teachers will continue to work with the Individual Commitment to Learning Plan (formerly known as the Draft Black List). However, scores will not be kept for other students on a daily basis. Rather, teachers will keep records of students’ commitment to learning, give them feedback and record their overall grade at the end of term. Stages 1-5 in the Communication Process still apply.

Other Organisation Matters

  1. Students in Grades 5 onwards generally should use the bathrooms ONLY during break or between classes. If an exception is made, students must wear a badge issued by the teacher.
  2. If sick, students may be sent to medical. The student must be accompanied by trustworthy class student. Both are to wear badges. A student may be so sick or may have sustained an injury whereby s/he should not be moved. In this case, medical assistance must be brought to the classroom.
  3. Students are greeted outside the classroom before each lesson by the teacher. They enter and exit only on the teacher’s request. They do so quietly and in an orderly fashion.
  4. Students tidy the room and straighten desks and chairs to perfection!

NB: ON SOME OCCASIONS, STUDENTS WILL WANT TO VISIT MEDICAL AS THEY HAVE NOT COMPLETED THEIR HOMEWORK OR THERE IS A TEST THAT THEY HAVE NOT PREPARED FOR.

The Playground, Canteen and Corridors

Our promise is to protect the rights of every student to enjoy break time.

The teacher must be an active supervisor. His/her role is to prevent misbehavior by keeping a very watchful eye on students’ actions.

Rules

Playground

Students must not:

  • Fight or play fight including with water
  • Litter (including canteen)
  • Be out of bounds
  • Be late returning to class
  • Play in a rough manner
  • Bully (physical or psychological)

Canteen

Students must:

  • Queue correctly
  • Be polite
  • Walk
  • Only eat at the tables
  • Keep the areas spotless
  • Order food/drinks ahead of time so as they can be punctual to assembly lines at the end of break.

Corridors

Students must not:

  • Fight or play fight
  • Talk loudly
  • Run

Students must walk on the right-hand side of the corridors.

Managing Behavior

Playground

Students who break any playground rule must spend the remainder of the time with the teacher on duty. Serious misbehavior will be reported to the Supervisor.

Corridors

All teachers are responsible for monitoring behavior. Teachers must always take immediate action when a corridor rule is broken. This action may include a quick conversation with the student. If the misbehavior is serious (fighting), the Class Teacher MUST be notified. If this behavior continues, the Class Teacher will contact the Supervisor who will discuss the matter with the VP Student Services.

First Aid

Playground

  • Level 1. The level of the injury is such that a student can be sent to the medical room accompanied by a responsible student.
  • Level 2. A student may be so sick or may have sustained an injury whereby s/he should not be moved. In this case, medical assistance must be brought to the classroom.
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