I usually do mailbag questions from ones that I receive by email or Twitter, but I thought I would share some of the questions that I received at a conference where I spoke recently (along with my answers).
*What do you do when a class is picking on students with disabilities? You have to catch this problem as early as possible. Many students with disabilities often have no control over some of their behavior. Have an administrator call out the disabled student at the end of class one day and tell the class that you will not put up with that kind of behavior. Assign formal consequences if necessary for that specific situation.
*What if I don't want to have a ton of rules?--I am known at my school for having a lot of rules, but my main advice for teachers is to do what you want as much as possible--have as few or as many rules as works for you. Don't get hung up on worrying about some set maximum or minimum number.
What if the students don't care about my 'small" level consequences--The point of smaller consequences is not to scare students into behaving. The point is to give them a chance to change their behavior before the consequences get bigger. Works almost every time for me when dealing with less severe misbehaviors.
*What about administrators who say that rules shouldn't be negative? (ie not using the word "don't" in your rules)--Life is hard sometimes. Students need to learn to deal with it. Protecting them from every little possible problem or negativity sounds nice, but it is actually weakening them.
*What about a teacher who calls a parent too much? My answer would be to ask them to email instead of call whenever possible. Most teachers don't have the time for helicoptering parents.
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