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Consequences

 

Disciplines > Teaching > Classroom management > Consequences

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Teach the class that there are consequences, both for bad and good behavior.

Decide on the consequences for different behaviors beforehand -- it is too easy to over-do it in the heat of the moment. Talk it over with other staff and adopt their methods. Where possible, adopt a clear school policy and guidelines.

Balance pleasant and unpleasant consequences. The middle point about which these balance will be different for more difficult and easy classes (otherwise the difficult class might be all punishment).

As appropriate, write this down in a clear chart and post it on the wall.

It is very important to apply the consequences consistently. There should be no favorites and no 'letting people off'. Consistency is more important even than the severity of punishment.

Example

Jonnie, you know the rule: when you arrive even a minute late, you stay behind twice that time up to the full break period. So you're going to be here for four minutes.

Discussion

If you apply the consequences unevenly, the students will consider it to be unfair and blame you. If you apply them consistently, then they will separate you from the punishment: it becomes a 'thing' that happens, rather than you being unkind.

Rather than talking about punishment and reward, if you talk about consequences, you can create an understanding of reliable cause and effect. Making such connections is a very human ability and, once made, is a strong driver of how we behave.

See also

Warn, then punish, Precision, The Need for Fairness

 

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