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Behavior Academy 2: Discipline That Restores:Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation and Responsibilty in the ClassroomRon & Roxanne Claassen

Book Study


Key Points:


  • "A basic question all teachers must ask is whether they are going to control students through fear of punishment (which adds stress) or by creating a cooperative community based on the development and maintenance of right relationships (which decreases stress)." p 2
  • "...while our schools have a well- developed academic curriculum the social curriculum receives less atteantion in teacher training and at the school and state levels." p 4
  • "the punishment paradigm" " In fact, punishment structures are so embedded in our way of thinking that they usually just happen with out anyone giving them a great deal of thought and attention." p 4

What are the implications for the classroom, school, education as a whole? What are your thoughts?

Chapter 1: Preparation

Key Points:

  • " The best way to ensure a constructive response to misbehavior is to have our social curriculum as well planned as our academic curriculum." p 11
  • For example, the prevailing social structure is{ ...} The difference is that the students experience this as "power with" rather than "power over." p 15
  • "It calls me to value the student who is misbehaving as much as the one who is cooperating. These values are driven by a choice, not just by doing what comes naturally." p 15

"In all siutations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-esclated, and a child humanized or dehumanized."

How is "preparation" reflected in your daily practice?

Chapter 2: Student/Teacher Conflict

Key Points:

  • "Student/teacher conflict is normal."p 23
  • "What is taught during these times of conflict is what students need as they prepare for their future independent life." p 23
  • "Many relationships are damaged, severed, or become ongoing abusive power struggles, due to conflicts or injustices that are ignored or managed poorly. Many families, classrooms, and communities, experience high stress and low effectiveness due to unresolved conflict." p 23
  • "Conflict that is not effecitvely managed follows a very predictable escalation pattern." p29

Discipline That Restores Flowchart: Follow the Flow

Chapter 3: Usual Constructive Reminders

Key Points:

  • "These usual constructve reminders will be carried out respectfully only if we as teachers have prepared ourselves to be constructive, even if a student doesn't reciprocate." p 37
  • "Usual constructive reminders include being super aware and monitoring things..." p 38
  • "It is very important to devleop this skill because you do not want to be permissive about behavior that will keep students from learning." p 38
  • " There is a common belief that we get what we expect from students, so expecting positive constructive behavior is likely to elicit, that kind of behavior." p 38

  • What is one of your "go-to" UCRs?
  • How has it been effective in your work with students?

Chapter 4: Respect Agreement

Key Points:

  • The Respect Agreement is critical to "creating a constructive, cooperative, classroom community {...} central to beginning to institute restorative practices" p 41
  • "We often learn the most from our mistakes. If we can make our mistakes in an atmosphere of respect, we are much more likely to learn positive things from them." p 42
  • "If they wonder why we are doing this each day, I tell them the process of developing the agreement is helpful in establishing a climate of respect, but it is not magical." p 49

  • What are some respect statments you can use or have used in your classrooms/campus?

Chapter 5: Active Listening/I-Messages

Key Points:

  • "The formal Acrive Listening/I-Messages stop is rarely used with the 80% who are generally cooperative,occasioanlly used with the 15% who need more guidance, and support, and most often used with the 5% who otherwise consume wignificant class instruction and teacher time almost daily." p 55 (Tier 3)
  • "Both of these skills can be used for the life-giving purpose of utilizing cooperative processes to resolve conflicts and misbehaviors while building teacher/student relationships. It is also important to recognize that they also can be used to hurt and manipulate. This is why values, such as respecting and deciding to be constructive, must always be discuseed when teachign these skills as prerequisites for their use." p 57
  • "I-messages are usually responded to with more I-messages that either resolve the situation or provide additional information necessary for problem solving. I-messages can also suggest an alternative preference that might be acceptable or might lead to collaborative problem solving." p 66

  • What do you think? "One reason control and coercive responses are utilized so much in schools to handle conflict or misbehavior situations is that teachers and administrators lack the essential skills required for cooperative problem solving."

Chapter 6: Four Options Model

Key Points:

  • "DTR is not permissive in that it does not allow a student's bad behavior to disrupt the learning environment, and it also does not give up quickly on the idea of cooperation. " p 73
  • "The Four- Options Model is an invitation to copperate that also requires the student to think consciously about the alternatives to non cooperation." p74
  • "A model (visual) makes it possible to communicate with fewer words and at the same time with greater clarity." p 75
  • "The Four Options Model is a tool (verbal and visual) to help the teacher continue the constructive escalation while inviting the student to choose to copperate." p 80

  • How can you explictly teach conflict resolution to your students?

Chapter 7: Student/Teacher Meeting

Key Points:

  • "Trust grows when agreements are made and kept, and trust diminishes if we are unwilling to make agreements or if agreements are made and not kept". - Ron Claassen
  • "When a student has been disruptive and disrepectful and has rehected numerous invitations to cooperate, and when you, the teacher, and that student have agreed to use Option # 4, the student/teacher meeting is a reliable process to help you and the student recognize the violations, restore equity between you , and for you both to create a plan for a better future." p 87
  • "The other students will also experience more comfort. Students who are on task do not like the constant interruption and misbehavior by a few." p 88

Points to Consider:

  • Time
  • Come to an agreement
  • Follow-Up Meeting
  • Power Struggle? Avoid or Encourage?
  • Power With Versus Power Over

Chapter8: Follow-Up Meeting(s):

Key Points:

  • "Follow- Up Metings (one or more) provide the opportunity for accountability and celebration, both of which are diminshed if the teacher leaves out this crucial step." p 121
  • "As we all know, a habit is difficult to change. If follow-up is not practiced, the student does not experience the support and accountability needed for change. In fact, lack of follow-up may be part of the pattern they have had with adults that actually reinforces the old habit." p125
  • "...follow-up is a time to keep inviting cooperation and to keep valuing each other as problems are encountered and addressed. {...} brings the focus back to the values of support, responsibility, and accountability." p130
  • "Rather than just "doing their time," they were learning and practicing significant life social skills. The consequences of the changes are enormous." p 130"

What are the benefits of Follow-Up Meetings?

Chapter 9: Thinkery:

Key Points:

  • " We want being sent out of the room to be something that helps students realize we are into some very serious territory here." p 134
  • "We have found the Thinkery to be a constructive way to give the teacher, the other students in the class, and the uncooperative student a chance to continue a constructive escalation so that the problem will not be ignored and others are not kept from learning." p 135
  • " There are some things we do have to ignore in order to get other important things done." p 136 (BOOM!)

How can you implement the concept of the Thinkery in your classroom or campus?

Chapter 10:Family Conference:

Key Points:

  • "The Family Conference, as described on the Flowchart, is not intended to suggest that a teacher shouldn't have contact with a student's family outside this formal structure. We think that it is very valuable for a teacher to develop a positive relationship with a family. When there is a prior positive relationship between the teacher and the family, it will serve to make this formal family conference even more effective." p 143
  • " Other types of structures take time as well, not to mention the emotional stress that is caused when sending when a child out of the room ar away from school for a while, but do not deal with any of the issues or learning the child needs to experience." p 150

  • We know the impact of family relationships. What have your experiences been?
  • How can including the family in the behavioral or discipline process be beneficial in your experience?

Chapter 11 School Authority Structure:

Key Points:

  • "The school rules and authority structure are necessary for the purpose of keeping students as safe as possible while they are at school." p 153
  • "Refusal to cooperate presents dangers for the uncooperative student as well as for others on a school campus. These dangers can include physical, academic, and psychological harm. When the school authority structure is utilized, it should still only be in ways that are respectful, reasonable, and restorative and when possible, reintegrative." p 153

How effective is the current school authority structure in changing student behavior?

Chapter 12: Conclusion: Obstacles and Opportunities:

Key Points:

  • Change:
    • "Most of us have a natural resistance to change." p 161
    • " Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are often the points at which the most learning occurs." p 161
  • Time:
    • " Time will be spent in figuring out what to do in a classroom community when there is misbehavior and then working on what with students whether you practice this structure or some other structure." p 162
  • Sharing Power and The Fear of Permisiveness:
    • " When issues are negotiated, like the respect agreement the group or an individual is far more willingto carry out the decisions that have been made." p 163
  • Teaching:
    • " A goal of education is to help students develop into mature young people who are responsible and able to make good decisions." p 167

Final Thoughts