Consequences and Punishment

Gary Rubinstein wrote another gem about not posting your consequences for misbehavior. Here’s why it’s bad:

  • students know what’s coming, which isn’t very scary
  • no room for the teacher to address worse problems and skip steps
  • students more likely to manipulate the system
  • it shows you’re assuming there will be problems rather than assuming that there will be none (although we all know problems will arise but we’ll pretend like we’re not expecting it)
  • also – don’t say you’ll use or actually use a verbal warning because it’s a free pass

Gary also has a video of a Teach for America training in which he teaches to not use the old system of giving students a verbal warning, then writing their name on the board for the second offense, putting a check by the name for the third offense, adding another check, etc. How can the teacher keep track of who’s got a warning? And having a kid’s name on the board really isn’t a punishment.

Instead, he suggests perfecting the “teacher look” and using surprise parent calls. He also mentions winning the students over by gaining their respect and by preventing problems to begin with.


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