We over-punish students in school because it is just so darn easy.
Student does Infraction A. We administer Punishment Z. Problem solved. Next!
Except punishment doesn’t work (don’t argue against this fact, you will lose).
But the real world issue is that there needs to be some sort of consequence that reduces the frequency of infractions or the campus will devolve into a zoo. So, over the next four posts, I will share four simple, effective consequences that actually teach student more successful school behaviors.
We will start with this… The 80% solution to replacing punishment on your campus is to embrace the power of an apology.
With the first office referral, discuss with the student the issue and what they should do in the future. Then take the student back to class and have the student apologize to the teacher (or the offended student). On this first apology trip you are not overly concerned with eye contact, tone, etc. Instead, recognize that you are shaping behavior and teaching the student that when they offend someone, an apology goes a long way to repairing the relationship. After the apology, the teacher invites the student back into class.
With the second offense, take it up just a notch. Again, discuss with the student the issue and what they should do in the future. Then have them write a legible apology letter (you can provide a basic template). Proof the letter. Then have the student practice reading the letter, with good tone and eye contact. Take the student back to class. Have the student read the letter with appropriate tone and eye contact (this may take multiple attempts and require practice and cooling off time between attempts). After an acceptable apology, the teacher invites the student back into class.
Other posts in this series:
Think. Work. Achieve.
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