Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

One Question to Improve Effectiveness

Parents and teachers often want to know, “How can I get my children/students to try harder?” The answer is simple: ask them. The best question to ask is: “Can you do better?” This question will prompt students to increase their effort and improve their quality of work. Asked by parents, this question will prompt their… Read More »

Give Students the Opportunity to be Responsible

A teacher recounted one of her tough discipline experiences: She asked a misbehaving student (middle school) on which level he was choosing to behave, and he answered, “On a lower level.” The student did this a few more times, so the teacher gave him the reflection form. But even after filling it out, the student… Read More »

Daily Questions for Students and Teachers

If you want to help your students improve their performance (and also improve your own), make these questions a part of your classroom culture. Create (or have a student create) a large poster with the following questions clearly visible: 1. What am I learning? 2. How am I learning? 3. Why am I learning? 4.… Read More »

Options and Discipline

Giving three options works wonders in just about any situation. For example, let’s assume your airline flight has been delayed and you finally get to your hotel room at midnight. But because it is so late, the hotel clerk informs you that your hotel room has been given to another guest. Rather than get angry,… Read More »

Advanced Concepts for Using the Raise Responsibility System

Here are some advanced concepts for using the Raise Responsibility System (RRSystem) for discipline, for encouragement, and for promoting learning and academic achievement. RRSystem for Discipline: After teachers are well into the mode of ASKING students (instead of telling them) to identify a level of chosen behavior, asking for a response may seem coercive. At… Read More »

Using Perks as Motivators

Is there an appropriate time to use a “perk” as a motivator? Certainly! But realize that the underlying drive is often not the perk but the competition. Just look at the Olympic Games. Competition and recognition are basic to humankind. In my own case, I play the classic music of the Great Highland Bagpipe called… Read More »

Rewards and Behavior

Is public recognition for good behavior or attitudes a good practice? Not in my opinion! I expect good behavior, and I don’t know how to assess one’s attitude aside from one’s behavior. As I have stated in many times in the past, the problem with rewards is that the reward-giver will never know in the… Read More »

Dealing with Homework Resistance

Teachers often ask me how they can convince students to do their homework. Many reveal that they have several students who don’t care about homework and refuse to do it. When it comes to homework, remember that you cannot force learning. In fact, there are thousands of capable, mature, responsible adults who rarely did their… Read More »

Discipline and Decision Making

Just as young children don’t want to be carried while they are learning to walk, adolescents don’t want adults making decisions for them. In fact, the more the adult tries to exert control over the youth, the more the adolescent will resist, resulting in increased discipline challenges. Remember, the only way a child can learn… Read More »

Motivating Students to Learn

If you want students to take an interest in what you’re teaching, begin each lesson by giving students a problem to solve. Grappling with a problem creates interest and curiosity, both of which are great motivators. Students can then share how they solved or attempted to solve the problem. After this discussion, use direct instruction… Read More »