George Lucas Educational Foundation


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i have been a teacher for some ten years and i have always been amused that every school i taught at (and i did a lot of supply to 11-18 year old schools) had a discipline policy but not one had self-discipline system there are always attempts to promote good behaviour quoting various ideal behaviour inspiring quotes pillars of respect etc but nothing which constituted a system i developed self-organising techniques for my classes one of which was ABC-classes it's pretty simple if everyone has their self-discipline that's an A class if one or two people lose their self-discipline but another student or teacher helps them by drawing their attention to it that's a B class if a few people lose their self-discipline and they do not respond to attention from classmates or teacher that's a C class it is not a judgement or award merely a reflection on how the whole class has behaved the types of activities etc possible depend on the type of class so plenty of games for a B or A class and even 20% google time for an A class (i find the default teacher style is to teach a C-class and hence kids are all to eager to please;) it's to do with trust mainly between the students themselves do other teachers have anything like this? would you care to share?

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

I really like the idea of "self-discipline". No matter what approach teachers take, we should be teaching our students how to govern themselves. It's critical that they be able to monitor their own behavior to be successful.

I was just talking with a teacher yesterday about this. She is a wonderful teacher and her class is always wonderfully behaved. It's seamless for her - and she has a few "discipline problem" students as well. However, when she is not there, the students act a totally different way!

I covered for her for 2 periods. We co-teach two days a week for 2 periods so the kids are familiar with me and having me in their class. She left detailed instructions of what to do and informed them in advance that she would be leaving and I would be there. Their behavior was not at all what she would have expected and I let the students know.

The next morning, she asked me how it went and I was honest. She said that that is why she tries to "never be gone" because they behave better when she's there. Wow! I told her that they should be learning how to act no matter WHO is there!

I think some really wonderful teachers miss the mark with this. It's great to have strong classroom management with your class. But it's even better if we teach students to have self-discipline no matter who is teaching them.

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