Freedom and Responsibility: Classroom Management That Works!

For years I've been trying to put into words my philosophy of classroom management. It isn't an easy task. Rather, it isn't easy to do when the person asking for my classroom management plan expects me to respond with a litany of posted rules and their corresponding punishments, a description of my portable behavior-tracking checklists, or a list of rewards for students who are observed "being good". Behavior-monitor clips, stop signs, traffic lights, silent lunch, missed recess, isolation, writing lines, earning/losing tickets--you name it, teachers have tried it. Anything to get Johnny to do what he's freakin' supposed to do! (WHY isn't there a "pulling your hair out" emoji?!? Oh, well. Insert that non-existent emoji here.) But for reasons I'm only just now beginning to understand, I've never been one of those teachers. What can I say? I'm a rebel. #shockandawe Now, before I delve any further into this topic, allow me to say that I've seen all of the above and more be implemented by fellow teachers, and I'm not knocking such strategies (notice that I do not include yelling, sarcasm, or any other such tactic as these should not be a go-to in any teacher's repertoire). Educating other people's children is a daunting challenge in the extreme, and every teacher has to do what works for him/her and his or her students. What I AM saying is that (IMHO) there IS an alternative.

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