We are now finished with quarter one of this school year. My goodness, where does the time go? I want to share what happened twenty minutes after the bell rang on the first day of school. Otis, a student from last year, asked if he needed to get his “Time Card”. I informed him we would start the system we use in our class the next day. Henry, another student from last year, noted it took fifteen days for them to be promoted to the next level and asked if it would count as one of their fifteen days if they started now. Of course, I said, “Absolutely!!” Every student got up, got their “Time Cards” and thirty minutes into the school year we were ready to go. Wow, what a well-trained group of students. How cool is that?
At that time, everyone in my class was here last year; however, I still did the two weeks of training with them. I have a highly structured system in place and consistency is critical. I now have four more students and we did the two weeks of training with them, too. The seasoned students can tell the newer students about the system almost better than I can. In short, the system is called The No Bull Method™. While it’s gone through many evolutions, the basics have remained the same. It’s helped me and other teachers I’ve mentored to be in charge of the classroom while empowering children to be in charge of themselves. Isn’t that what it’s about? I’ve seen children go from being completely out of control to being happy and productive young citizens (remember Cloie from last week?) who give me powerful reasons for hope (see The Hope Strategy post)! I have many past students who are able to hold jobs, stay out of jail, own their own business, be in productive relationships, actively rear their children, and have good lives. Some of these past students have asked me if I still use the system I used when they were in my classes. They remember what it felt like to gain control of their behavior and ultimately, their lives.
The most common question teachers and administrators ask me after watching me implement The No Bull Method™ in my classroom is, “What does your program look like on the first day?” What they are really asking is, “How do I begin implementing this or any other system?” To say, “You just begin,” isn’t enough. Begin with what? My small (6-8 page) document that I send home with students to explain the system to their parents? It doesn’t give all the extra information; the tips and tricks I’ve learned through the years. It doesn’t include copies of things for you to use. And, it doesn’t come with training and mentoring to help you and your students succeed!
There are many wonderful, informative books on behavior management, lots of ideas of how to effectively discipline, and great data collection programs, but there are few complete multiple-tiered level systems that teachers can start implementing in their classroom on day one, or whenever they decide to start. Often, teachers find themselves taking the information available out there and coming up with their own system. However, it can be a daunting task and one that can take months, if not years to accomplish. Good news! I already have that complete multiple-tiered level system in The No Bull Method™ and will be making it available to you. Better yet, I want you to have training with follow-up consulting and mentoring once you implement the system. Therefore, I’m now writing my system into a workbook and DVD to share with you when it is completed. I’m very excited!!
In the meantime, BEGIN with something. Decide what the most important behaviors are for your students to exhibit in order for them to succeed. Think about how you will administer positive and negative consequences consistently. Note, an important discussion to have with students at the beginning of a new system, or any other time, is the difference between Rights and Privileges. Come back next week for ideas on how to conduct that discussion.
Remember to be kinder than necessary and make it a grateful and peace-filled week,