A teacher's repertoire of classroom management techniques requires continual renewal in an effort to achieve and maintain a peaceable classroom. The renewal is possible through professional development sessions, which introduce functional ideas and practical techniques on managing student misbehavior, empowering the teacher to integrate and adjust new methods to his or her class.
There is no "one size fits all" classroom management approach. Teachers reluctant to alter their methods will probably resist:
- Â refining or changing classroom management and discipline approaches
- Â learning new discipline approaches to help modify the student referral process
- Â asking colleagues who possess exemplary discipline techniques to share useful ideas
It's true that some behavior management techniques are fads and trendy ideas. They work for a few days or until students find ways to undermine them. Teachers will have to try many techniques with the understanding that some will be effective and others will not. The most common technique in use, regardless of fads, is the obedience approach.
The recent no-nonsense discipline approach referred to as the zero-tolerance approach (U.S. Department of Education, 1993) is in-tended to discourage school violence through long-term suspension or expulsion. In some schools, this approach includes a parent-student contract in which students agree not to participate in violent activiÂ¬ties or cause disruptions. If students violate the contract by fighting or bringing deadly weapons or drugs to school, their enrollment is terminated immediately.
During the period of termination, students should not be home alone with free time to commit criminal or violent acts in the community. Although school districts handle terminations differently, special programs or provisions are needed to occupy the time of suspended or expelled students. An innovative idea might be a "no frill, no thrill" school where they study self-control and violence prevention.
Whatever approach is used, it should be appropriate for both the school and the community. For example, afterschool detention for misbehaved students would be inappropriate in a community where the school bus schedule does not include an afterschool bus route.
Sound discipline practices contribute to good conduct and academic achievement, as these elements go together in successful schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1986). For this reason, effective teaching and the enforcement of conduct codes by faculty are essential. The faculty and staff should feel satisfied making decisions to prevent, intervene, or resolve antisocial behavior. In addition, they need the assurance that administrators will support their classroom management decisions.