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Comments

NYC Educator

Very good advice, and very well-written.

Actually, I think teachers who behave like you can overcome the disadvantages of a badly-run school. I've taught in schools like that, and when the good teachers closed their doors, it was they who prevailed.

Until they opened them again, unfortunately.

chaz

Great article, I do many of the things you do. I like your "pick your battle" comment. I think I will use that pholosiphy a little more often after reading this article.

Frumteacher

Thank your for your nice, informative blog! I especially enjoy this post, because as a starting teacher there is one class that TOTALLY drives me crazy. I believe I have tried anything, but so far I haven't been able to create a positive relationship with them. Especially step nr. 3, coming up with a good penalty and doing what you told them you would, is still a weak point in my 'classroom management'. looking forward to your next post on the subject!

Debby

Tim: I definitely agree with your comment about a good lesson being important! But also, it is important to have the students involved and interactive in the lesson. ( Larivee, 2005). I also agree that we should be polite and respectful to students. (ascd.org) Yes, we should have high expectations for learning. (nncc.org) debby

ajlyon

I sub in an elementary school. I see so many teachers yelling at students. I don't really understand it because students don't behave differently afterwards. It is almost like they get yelled at so much that it has no effect on them. I've found it more effective for me to simply say, that is not appropriate behavior, please sit back down. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Number four backed up my feelings that you can ask students politely and respectfully to do something and have no more troubles.

cutimlen

I really believe that us teachers can change our own behaviors towards building more productive classroom relationships. For example, as teachers, we can change our approach to students' behavior by differentiating between discipline and punishment. Discipline is seen as a more positive approach in helping students become responsible, whereas punishment has a negative affect and results in students making excuses, blaming others, or denying what happened. Us teachers need to give reasonable consequences with the belief that students can be persuaded by principles of reason, justice, mutual consideration, fair play, and social responsibility. However, obtaining desirable student behavior is in large part dependent on the teacher's manner of delivery. The teacher's message should show that he/she trusts the student to make a choice, to act responsibly, and to learn from experience (Larrivee, 2005. pp.202-3). You have definitely taken a positive approach to discipline by politely and respectfully asking your student to correct his/her behavior.

Reference:
Larrivee, B. (2005). Authentic Classroom Management: Creating a Learning Community and Building Reflective Practice (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson.

MEC

Your statement that you cannot change your students behavior, but you can change your own emphasizes an important point. When we strive to develop classroom relationships, we need to remember that a relationship involves at least two people, both of whose imput is important. My point being, don't forget that the students behavior is only half of the equation.

KJ

I really found your statments encouraging and well thought out. I'm going into my first year of teaching so I need all the advice I can get! One of the first things I will do with my class is go over the rules and consequences. It is important that students know what is expected of them and what will happen if they don't do it. As you pointed out it's also important to make your word your bond and do what you said you would do. Great Advice! Thanks.

lynn

I really liked these tips. I found them to be simple, straight forward, and useful. Many of them I have seen in other literature. I liked the way you use a hierarchy of requests/demands when students misbehave (www.iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu). Showing respect and giving chances pays off. I also like that you emphasize that the consequence needs to be something you are prepared to follow up on and are in regards to repeated misbehavior (Authentic Classroom Management, Larrivee).
I liked how you stated that we need to first change our own behavior (rather than the student's directly). Ideally I think we need to challenge and show our students ways to take responsibility to change their own behaviors.
thanks

DBean

I really got a lot out of your statement about asking studnets politely. I think that is the key to growing relationships with students from the beginning of the school year. If we can manage our emotions in a way that we can talk to the studnets like human beings, and not like the animals that they sometimes act like, then we will have a chance to make a difference in their lives.

Amber Murphy

I liked that you broke it down into steps. The whole feeling of not being in control is hard and breaking down the process into manageable steps helps mediate that feeling.

Joseph D.

I really enjoyed this article. I believe building positive student relationships is essential to success in the classroom. I have pride myself on doing such. It's amazing how few classroom discipline problems you have when you have created a meaningful relationship with your students. When I think back to my days as a public school student, the classes in which I behaved the best in were those classes in which the teacher and I had formed a relationhsip. He/she knew a little something about me or my family. They took time to get to know me personally. I didn't misbehave in these teachers' classes because I didn't want to disappoint them. It was those teachers failed to learn much more than my name, location in the seating chart and class grade that I seemed to misbehave for.

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Special Kay

Good work! I am at present doing a course in classroom management and found this article to be a good reflection of building a good relationship with your class.

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Building productive classroom relationships is really hard but it worts the effort.

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