Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

How Teachers Can Ease Homework Struggles

Homework is a hot topic for teachers. In fact, I get asked about this topic several times each week. The most common question is, “How do you encourage kids to do homework?” Many teachers reveal that they feel as if they are constantly chasing after students to do it. Additionally, they think it’s a reflection of their teaching if student don’t put forth the effort into doing homework. In order to differentiate between … [Read more...]

A Reflective Question to Change Your Thoughts

There are emotional challenges that all of us have, even children. One of the challenges pertains to worrying about the future. Worry is fear of the unknown. Even more important to realize is that worry is actually negative self-talk. Additionally, if you reflect on the things that you have worried about, you will conclude that they rarely occurred in reality. As with worry, some people live with past failures, with … [Read more...]

Prevent Student Dropout

This country has a serious dropout problem. Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s one student every 26 seconds, or 7,000 a day. Not returning to school is not an event; it is a process. Show me a school dropout, and I’ll show you a young person who has not established positive relationships at school. Many dropouts start negative self-talk early in their school … [Read more...]

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 children to reflect on their behavior. But it goes way beyond the classroom and home front. You can … [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 still operated at a low level. The teacher, extremely frustrated at this point, didn’t know what to do except … [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. Who am I becoming? Primary students can share their responses with each other. Older students can reflect on the … [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, tell the clerk that the hotel has three options: (1) give you one of the suites they reserve for their special … [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 this point, teachers can then shift to SUGGESTING that … [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 piobaireachd (pronounced pibroch). Approximately eight percent of pipers play this type of music, and this … [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 future whether the person is acting on Level D because it is the right thing to do OR simply to get the … [Read more...]