Weekly Tribes 2019 – 2020: Classroom Management Techniques that Work

Here are two easy to remember techniques to live by in your classroom or AfterSchool setting when managing behavior.  These words of wisdom come from Laura Stern, Associate Director of Quality and Innovation at Clayton Youth Enrichment in Texas.



1.)  What you permit, you promote.


Redos, Choices, Compromises, Consequences

In Laura’s own words:  A life value sequence we teach our children is actually redos, choices, compromises and consequences. So when we meet a situation where we are trying to guide decision making or in times of reflection we…

  1. Offer a child or a group the chance to do a redo if they break an agreement. We stop the child or group and playfully and respectfully say, “WOW we are having a tough time listening attentively, let’s do a redo, starting now show me how we listen attentively.
  2. If we don’t understand how to redo the agreement or keep getting off track than staff can offer choices. So if a child took a pencil without asking permission, not showing mutual respect, from another student and they don’t know what was wrong with that. We offer two choices. You can ask your friend for the pencil by showing mutual respect and saying please and thank you, or you can ask me for a pencil respectfully to borrow from our classroom bin saying please and thank you. Which do you choose?
  3. If the child does not like either of those choices, they can ask for a compromise. They might say, “I have an extra pencil in my bag, can I say sorry and give this pencil back and get my own from my bag?” We would say, “sure that sounds like an awesome compromise, thanks for showing respect and coming up with an awesome compromise.”
  4. If a child is refusing all options or a group just can’t get it together. Then we say, okay we aren’t following our agreements. We can’t decide on choices and you have no other ideas to ask for a compromise, so now you can choose a consequence. So if a group can’t agree on how to start a project and relationships are breaking down, we can say, “Alright, you all can choose to break apart and not participate in the activity at all sitting quietly until everyone else is done, or I will give you 5 more minutes to work together respectfully and develop a plan, however, because we have spent so much time trying to get along, you will have 15 minutes less than every other group and no extra time will be given.”

That is the progression. And the goal is to have the kids have voice no matter what stage they are at, but the agreements anchor every stage and their level of decision making guides how high or low we set the bar for them.