Discipline in the Classroom

Synopsis prepared by Lee Risley
Discipline seems to be what you use (or crave), when student behavior is interfering with the operations in the classroom. In a sense, negative student behavior of this type gives us a clear indication that our classroom management is proving inadequate (in at least this one case).

Thus we see classroom management as the positive framework we lay down in the effort to pro-mote student behavior that is conducive to (or even furthers) the learning goals of the class. Our concerns with discipline as such mean that we are in search of an effective mending process.

Naturally the subject of student motivation is subtly entwined with both discipline and classroom management. To a great extent these three must be taken into account. Focusing on any one of these areas in search of an answer to a problem is quite likely to be looking at just one facet of the solution.


A. Maintaining Control While Still Teaching (and Having Fun!)
B. Basic Approach to Discipline For the Entire Year
C. Student Violence and You, the Teacher
D. Why Do We Work So Hard At This Job, When It Can Be Such A Pain?
E. The Magic of the Telephone (and Other Useful Strategies and Devices)
F. Teacher Attitude and Approach Can Make A Difference
G. Tardiness To Class
H. A Few Outside Resources on Discipline
I. Discipline and Management Techniques, etc. (Especially Music)
J. Some Consequences for Negative Behavior
One of the earliest mentions of classroom discipline on FLTeach is this rather quiet approach to a student exhibiting problem behavior. Note that the contact ideally results with a “handle” which can be used to gently remind the student of what s/he affirmed by way of future behavior.

95/11 From-> Maryann Pelletier <BBANDMAP@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Theory of discipline

A strategy that has worked well for me, if I have to speak to a student
privately about his/her behavior, is to ask questions rather than

For example, "What do you think I'm going to say to you?" "Why do you
think you are here?" "What kind of behavior do you think will assist you
in getting the most out of this class?" And so on... I find that if I
can elicit from the student what the problem is, he/she is more likely
to pay attention to this "attitude adjustment". I usually wind up with,
"What can I expect from you from now on?" The usual response becomes an
informal contract and allows me to remind them of it in a very brief,
but nevertheless effective, way in any future repetition of such

Maryann Pelletier

A. Maintaining Control While Still Teaching (and Having Fun!)

Ideally this statement should be the worst situation needing remediation. Sad to say, student behavior takes situations far deeper than this. Still, this IS a genuine problem for the teacher: How can you rein in fun-loving kids who are doing what you want them to, but have learned to push it past the point of language learning?

96/09 From-> Carmen Alvarez    <ALVAREZ_C@SCSUD.CTSTATEU.EDU>
Subject: control vs. having fun in Spanish

Hello all. I am teaching 7 and 8 in Spanish. Since they need to learn in
a more relaxed environment that encourages language expression and
experimentation.....how do I achieve that and still maintain order and
control in the class?

Many times, as they are truly having fun and trying out new expressions
they get loud, talk about other things, and just cut up. My call to stay
on task isn't always heeded. Is it this age group? Are there any songs
or short sayings we can do as a sign to come back down to planet earth?
Any exercises? All suggestions would be most appreciated. Thank you.

Carmen Alvarez

96/09 From-> Nancy Frumkin <NFrumkin@aol.com>
Subject: Re: control vs. teaching


Give them short time limits --you may even want to use a stop watch. "We
are going to do this for 3 minutes. Go!" Then stop them and have them be
completely quiet. At first, you will be mainly training them to "Stop"
and "Go". They will be geeked, and so will not be able to maintain
"completely quiet" for very long. Sequencing is important. Wildest stuff
just before the bell rings to send them somewhere else. But the very
last thing I want to hear in my classroom is the humming of the
fluorescent lights, which tells me that I have completely lost control
because they are asleep or brain-dead. Might as well teach rocks to



96/09 From-> Shannon Fineout <sfineout@scnc.holt.k12.mi.us>
Subject: Re: control vs. fun?


I learned this trick in a cooperative learning workshop: When students
are doing a speaking activity and you want to stop the activity and get
their attention, raise your hand. Teach them to do 3 things when they
see your hand raised. 1) stop talking immediately, 2) SILENTLY signal
their partners to stop talking (without touching, shoving, hitting,
etc.), and 3) raise their hand. You have stopped the activity without
trying to yell over their voices. It also helps to give them a time
limit--it keeps them on task. Hope it helps--it works with high
schoolers, too.

Shannon Fineout

96/09 From-> "Robert @ Carey" <killen@teleport.com>
Subject: Re: control vs. having fun in Spanish

Here's one idea from past years at the middle school. This may seem to
reach back to elementary school, but if it works for you it could help.
Teach the kids that when it is time to come back together you will give
them a countdown and everyone will need to join in. You will put one
hand in the air and call out the numbers from five to zero backwards in
the target language (counting off by show of fingers). Students are to
join in with you as soon as they catch on. At 'zero' there should be
complete silence. Any student still talking could be required to do
something (serious or light-hearted, you decide).

Robert Carey

B. Basic Approach to Discipline For the Entire Year

I suppose you can say that we’ve quickly come back to “classroom management.”  These contributions attempt to head off trouble before it ever can think of beginning.

96/09 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <mbarruet@pen.k12.va.us>
Subject: Classroom discipline

The beginning of the year is the best time to practice getting things
started in a positive manner. Surely others on the list have some
suggestions as well.

1. If you really need to "call roll", make it an active, productive thing
-- students must respond promptly with something in the L2. This can be
around a particular topic to review vocabulary, such as items of
clothing or food; making it a rule that none can be repeated forces them
to listen to those going before; requiring the article and giving an
extra check/point to anyone who corrects a previous error also makes
them listen.

2. This may be old-fashioned, but a seating chart prepared by the
teacher still works! It breaks up the little cliques of friends who
cluster together and want to chat. Intermingling carefully the boys and
the girls also helps. It also means that you probably don't have to call
roll, since an empty seat tells you immediately.

3. Overplan, with a variety of activities. Students who are busy doing
productive work don't have the inclination (or at least the time) to act

4. At least the first time, make clear what the purpose of each activity
is, so that they know how it will benefit them and support their
learning. Otherwise they see some activities as just "busy work" and
don't take them seriously.

5. Have an immediate activity ready to start class. If it's a
particularly rambunctious class, make it a written activity for a
clearly limited time, so that they have to get to it and get it done.
Each class has its own personality -- some need calming down at the
beginning, some toward the end as they get tired. (And some, always!)

6. Always have on hand some kind of extra quiet activity that you can
turn to in an emergency -- when you have to take some student out in the
hall to talk to them, or when your head is exploding and you just can't
take any more!

7. If you have planned an activity that requires something in the way of
technology -- even as simple as the overhead projector -- try to have on
hand a backup in case of tech failure: an extra bulb; the same material
on the board or on a poster, etc. If that's not possible, see #6.

8. This is a personal decision, but I generally don't want information
about the behavior of any student from a previous teacher, as it subtly
changes my attitude toward that student from the beginning and can
becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

9. Assume that your students want to learn and that they will behave.
(It may sound strange to state that, but I've known teachers to go into
new classes with the opposite attitude and invite misbehavior.) Have
*few* rules, state them clearly, and enforce them kindly but firmly,
with clearly stated consequences. NEVER threaten, and even more so, not
with threats you probably can't enforce. As Tony said, positive
reinforcement is the key.

10. NEVER get into an exchange with a difficult student in front of the
class! An audience is what they often crave. Take them out into the hall
if you absolutely have to resolve the issue, or insist that they come by
after school or whenever.

11. Related to that, don't feel you have to justify absolutely
everything -- you are the adult and the professional in charge of that
room, and some things just ARE! (O.K., call me old-fashioned again; the
current rage is for us to be "facilitators" -- I think we can and should
be both that and clearly in charge!) There will often be the (usually
very intelligent but offbeat) student who loves to match wits with you,
and a lot of the class time can be wasted in empty argument.

12. If you should have one or more real troublemakers, one strategy that
has worked for us is to arrange with (an)other FL teacher(s) (of a
different language) who teach(es) nearby that period to send the
offender(s) to them with written work to do. You've removed their known
audience; put them in an unfamiliar environment with a language they
don't know (in itself a little intimidating). You've kept the problem
within the department, rather than turning to what may be your last
resort -- the administration -- something you don't want to do lightly.

13. If you've planned carefully (and of course you have), don't let
yourself get distracted and off the track by unrelated questions
(Señora, what do you think about X?) designed to do just that --
unless, of course, you see here an opportunity to do so in the L2 about
a topic of genuine interest to all. Which leads to #12...

14. Planning carefully doesn't mean that you don't pick up on
spontaneous leads that present themselves as a good learning opportunity
-- ignoring a comment or a question that, although not on the topic at
hand, is clearly an avenue of interest and practice in the L2, sends the
message that this language isn't really meant for meaningful

15. Be very careful about personal jokes and humor, unless you know your
students extremely well -- feelings are easily hurt at this age, and an
innocent joke that is felt to be at someone's expense can cause trouble.

16. Move around the room -- don't teach sitting behind your desk, or
always standing in front. This not only changes the focal point, but
allows students to continually move around a bit in their chairs even
when the activity isn't physical -- and that releases some extra energy.
It also allows you to see better who's trying to do their homework in
class, etc.!

17. Physical proximity to a student is also a controlling factor. I'm
not talking about a threatening type posture -- just that it's generally
easier for someone to act out from a distance. (Tony also referred to
this as the "sphere of influence.")

18. There used to be a saying "Don't smile until Thanksgiving." That's
obviously an exaggeration -- but it is true that it is better to start
out somewhat strict -- you can always loosen up, whereas it's often very
hard to tighten up. All of us often have our "favorite" classes -- but
I've found in the past that my favorites at the end of the year are
often not the same ones, and sometimes I've been the cause of the change
by not holding the line with some.

19. Avoid empty praise. In these days of the emphasis on "self-esteem"
it is easy to fall into the trap of constant praise for very little.
Students aren't fools, and they know when it's empty. True self-esteem
is raised when the praise is clearly deserved, and when it isn't just
given for everything.

20. And finally, remember why you're here -- because you love your
subject and think it's important, and because you like kids! If you
present a decently organized class and let those two qualities shine
through, you probably won't have to worry about any of the above!

Marilyn V.J. Barrueta


96/10 From-> "Cindy A. Kendall" <af848@detroit.freenet.org>
Subject: Re: Classroom Management Ideas

On the high school side, a good classroom management trick to eliminate
an unwanted behavior:

After the student has committed the behavior and has not ceased after
being spoken to one-on-one, in class, indirectly, directly, and any
other way possible, I ask the student to stay with me after school. When
the student arrives, I give a sheet with three questions:

1. What behavior did you demonstrate in the classroom which caused you
to have detention here with me, Sra K., on (this date)?

2. Why is this behavior unacceptable in this classroom?

3. What is your plan to improve your behavior? How can I, Sra. K., help
you to improve your behavior?

After the student answers the three questions, and we discuss each, then
I inform the student that I will keep the writing on file for the
remainder of the school year. If the problem persists, then we will call
a conference with the student, student's parents, and myself to review
the plan and make modifications to the plan.

Amazing - I've only had to have one conference with parents!

Cindy A. Kendall


97/10 From->     Cherice Montgomery <montgomery@feist.com>
Subject: Discipline in the classroom


>By this time next week I will be student teaching. I know there will
>be times when I'll have to discipline a student, whether the student is
>chewing gum or cheating on a test. Can anyone give me some examples on
>how you would discipline a student for misbehaving. Could you please
>state the situation and how you would discipline them.

My best advice is PREVENTION. Think through your lesson plans and try to
minimize opportunities for misbehavior--pay particular attention to how
you have structured student movement and transitions between activities.
Try to alternate seat time with structured opportunities for moving

For everything else--I have found that humor is the key. Say it with a
smile, empathize, and emphasize the fact that the student made a
choice--you are not inflicting the punishment: I know how frustrating it
is when one forgets things, but I'll bet you'll remember next time. I'm
sorry that you chose to socialize instead of visiting the restroom, but
I know that you can make it and that you'll remember to take care of
your business first next time. (I don't give passes).

As to misbehavior--give the student a choice: You can either work
quietly or sit here with me/in the hall. You can either stop punching
Jimmy or you can spend lunchtime with me. Make sure that you've thought
through possible consequences in advance so that the choice you offer is
one you can live with. Generate a list of possible consequences in your
mind (or on paper) so that when a situation occurs, you are not caught
off guard--you know exactly how you will handle it. Obviously, you have
to "read" the situation and be somewhat flexible. However, just having a
bag of tricks from which you can draw will make things much easier.

As to cheating--Before the first test or quiz, I post a list of
"test-taking rules" and go through them as though I were an airline

-Please face forward at all times.
-Keep your eyes on your own paper at all times. No talking or lip-moving.
-You may not use books, notes, dictionaries, or electronic devices (including translators).
-No cheating.
-Remain seated and quiet until I call for the tests.

Then, I tell them that if they break one of the rules (on purpose or
inadvertently) during testing time, I will walk quietly to their desk,
pick up their test booklet and answer sheet, and that they will not be
allowed to finish the exam. I emphasize that this does not mean that I
am accusing them of cheating, but simply that I saw them break one of
the test-taking rules. I explain that they will receive a zero and that
the subject will not be open for discussion.

The amazing thing about this is that I RARELY have confrontations with
students--ALMOST NEVER. (When I do, I simply tell them that I will be
happy to discuss it with them after class or during Seminar). I guess it
goes back to the old idea that if you say something to them, everything
just escalates. By walking over and picking up the paper silently, I am
putting them in the position of having to make the first move (which
would call even MORE attention to them) so most choose not to do so.

When I return to my desk, I mark a zero on the paper and write a brief
explanation of the reason--not just cheating, but an explanation of how
(book open on the floor, looked at Mary's paper (and list the times I
observed it), used a cheat sheet (which I staple to the test). That way,
if a parent confronts me about a grade, I have the explanation right

Above all else--BE CONSISTENT and FOLLOW THROUGH. If you
threaten/promise it, be sure that you act on it. Don't be afraid to say
no and don't worry about trying to get the students to like you. They
need to respect you first!

Cherice Montgomery


97/10 From-> "Pamela Green (Lee HS)" <pgreen@LEEHS.FCPS.k12.va.us>
Subject: Discipline in the Classroom

I agree that the best method is prevention. Take some time to think
through in detail exactly what you want your classroom to be like. Just
what is it that you can and cannot tolerate? After you have a clear
picture of your ideal classroom (hopefully tempered with a little
realism), develop five or six rules (no more) which would help maintain
that atmosphere, as well as a list of consequences for violating them.

Teach them to your students. (You will probably have to follow your
cooperating teacher's lead during student teaching, but you need your
own personal rules for your own classroom.) Many discipline "experts"
advocate involving students in setting up the rules. I'm not comfortable
with that, but some people swear by that method. My favorite writers in
the field of classroom management are Lee Canter (Assertive Discipline)
and Harry K. Wong (The First Days of School).

Pamela Green

C. Student Violence and You, the Teacher

These insights about student violence are important. I found those that seem more helpful to me were the ones that spoke to conditions that I myself have control of --- especially the way I act vis-a-vis the student(s)!

As for that sense of humor, get it! Develop it! Don’t use it for put-downs, of course. But if you really keep your mind awake and have your eyes open, this is a crazy, funny world AND our clientele are indeed some of the craziest and funniest people on the planet. (Also the nicest!)


96/09 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <mbarruet@pen.k12.va.us>
Subject: Re: violence/discipline

>What do you all think of this? How often are teachers threatened or harmed?
What advice to you have for me?

Beth Ann -- In 40 years I have been threatened once; we have had a
drive-by shooting penetrating the outside walls and lodging in the
classroom -- but that could happen anywhere. Obviously a lot depends
upon your school and school district.

The fact that you are young and petite shouldn't necessarily be a factor
-- some of the teachers that I know of that have been threatened have
been very large strapping males! Females probably have other concerns --
and it is prudent to avoid possible situations. Use common sense --
don't stay late when no one is around, walk with someone out to your car
if it's late or a problem area, don't shut yourself in your room with a
problem student, etc.

Marilyn V.J. Barrueta


96/09 From-> Kathy Gilbert <GILBERK4427@uni.edu>
Subject: Re: violence/discipline

Beth Ann,
You were asking about violence in the high schools and how safe it is
for a young, petite woman.
Well, I have taught for the last five years (I just went back to grad
school) in probably one of the "toughest" environments there is and I
lived to tell about it.

The answer to your question about safety has a lot to do with where you
teach. We did have one incident in which a teacher was injured, so it
does happen. But I found that being absolutely consistent, having
clearly defined classroom rules and procedures and treating the students
with respect (even when they didn't treat me the same way) kept me out
of trouble.

The only time I ever felt unsafe was when my temper "got away with me".
There was a certain amount of culture shock my first year, especially
since I attended a suburban high school, but by the time I got to know
the kids and they knew I genuinely cared about them as people, they were
very respectful of me as a person (although they didn't necessarily feel
like doing what I had planned for them in class.)

If you want some specific guideline (my own, so not "professional") and
just a few personal stories, write me off-line. I loved my job and I
loved my kids, and I taught plenty of gang members and drug dealers. We
managed because somehow I convinced them to leave that outside the

Kathy Gilbert

96/09 From-> janice dirmeitis <janiced@injersey.com>
Subject: Re: violence/discipline

Dear BethAnn,
>How often are teachers threatened or harmed? What advice do you have for me?
First of all certain schools in certain areas are bound to have more
violence than others. If you feel uncomfortable in a certain area then
don't apply for a position in that type of school. From my 26 years of
experience in a suburban school I can say that some students have become
more argumentative but that physically I have never been threatened or

A lot depends on the atmosphere of the school and the amount of support
from your administration. Mine will not tolerate verbal abuse or cursing
of teachers by students. They will be given in school suspension as the
very minimum.

I agree that you have to have fair and have consistent rules, be
well-prepared and be caring but professional!  I found that attending a
Lee Cantor course "Succeeding with Difficult Students" was also quite
helpful 3 years ago.



96/09 From-> Michele Back <WmOutOfBnd@aol.com>
Subject: Re: violence/discpline

Hi BethAnn---

I'm a new teacher and I've been working in an inner city high school for
about three weeks now. First the bad news: The first school fight that I
heard of happened a week into the term, and apparently a gun was
involved. A Spanish teacher in the department was beaten up by his
students last term and now refuses to teach first year Spanish. He was a
very strict, traditional (and boring) teacher who worked on a punishment
system of "red dots" (accumulated red dots equaled detention). One day
some kids got fed up and beat the crap out of him.

These are tragic things, but they don't have to happen, and they
especially don't have to happen in your class. I was worried about this
issue when I started teaching, but I quickly realized that no matter how
tough some of these students looked, most of them have very sweet
personalities and just want someone to respect them and their ideas
while providing an interesting and MEANINGFUL learning environment while
maintaining some semblance of control at the same time.

Don't think you're going to get everyone in their seats, quiet as mice,
diligently taking notes, all the time. If you try to get that
environment, you'll never have time to teach anything. I'm also petite
and young (26), but I think those things are in your favor. A sense of
humor is essential, because once you get annoyed or irritated (and they
will try to see how far they can push you, believe me) that's when
situations can escalate.

Also, don't confront a student in front of the class. Take them out in
the hall when everyone else is working and ask them why they think
they're out there with you instead of lecturing at them. Have the class
generate the expectations (e.g., "do...") not rules (e.g.,
"don't...")---they need something to strive for---and have them figure
out what they think the consequences should be. I've been using a
rewards system and it's been fairly successful so far---if you want more
details, I'd be happy to provide.

Above all, remain calm and confident in voice and manner. The other day,
two very tall, bulky boys started pushing each other around in front of
my door, and without a second thought I got right between them, got my
student into my class, and sent the other student on his way. Some of
these kids come from nightmare backgrounds, but I don't feel threatened
around any of them. Once you do feel threatened, they'll sense it and

Okay, now that I've probably repeated what everyone else said, I'll
stop. Good luck to you.

Michele Back

96/09 From-> vaughn williams <vaughn59@idt.vivid.net>
Subject: Re: violence/discipline

>>What do you all think of this? How often are teachers threatened or harmed?
What advice do you have for me?

Beth Ann- I have now been teaching since 1978 and have never been
threatened. I began teaching Spanish as a fluke, at that time I thought
I wanted to be a regular second grade teacher. I walked into my first
class at 90 pounds, 5'2-1/4" . Two students were older that I, four were
the same age. I am a smiler but I am known to be fair, firm, and

I must be fair and tell you that I am not in an inner city school. I was
in a school on the outskirts of Atlanta (20-25 minutes away), Georgia.
It had a fair number of problems but wasn't bad.

I stayed late more times then I care to admit. I had even been in the
school past midnight. The custodians and security guards always kept
check on me.

I avoided confrontations but was upfront with the students from day one.
Letting them know what I expected and what I accepted. I gave them
respect and in turn was respected. I always invite those who are new to
not go in looking to be friends when respect is what you really need and
want. Sometimes once the respect is earned we get lucky and find a

This year I hired a young lady who is under 4'10" about 90-95 pounds.
She is top notch. I had been following her closely knowing that she was
new, hadn't student taught, was small, etc. Boy, was I glad the
instincts I felt when I recruited her from her college was right. She is
on top of things. She doesn't take any mess, she is well respected,
efficient, effective, and respectable. Everyone has great things to say
about her. From day one the kids knew what to expect from the first
thirty minutes of not hearing English to the twenty minutes of hearing
about rules, regulations, expectations, etc.

vaughn williams

D. Why Do We Work So Hard At This Job, When It Can Be Such A Pain?

What is this category doing under student discipline? Once again, it’s
healthy and smart for teachers to have a look within.

96/10 From-> Susan George <sgeorge@southwind.net>
Subject: why do we knock ourselves out for angry students?

i thought i was the only teacher in the world who spends way too much
time/ energy/ tears over the students who are unwilling to listen /
cooperate / learn / be civil, etc. it makes me ignore the good kids and
my husband suffers, too.

seeing all of the responses to "upset" makes me realize its not just my
problem. many of us react to the "squeaky wheel" while not appreciating
the other "wheels" that make our lives pretty good.

i have 5 really good hours of happy, cooperative, learning students, but
its my 6th hour...snotty, mean, argumentative kids who make me not want
to go to work in the morning. i'm trying to ignore them...if they don't
want what i and my course have to offer, its their problem, not mine.

can all kids learn? sure. do they all want to? get real.

Susan George


96/10 From-> "D. B. Christian" <dchristi@badlands.NoDak.edu>
Subject: Re: why do we knock ourselves out for angry students?

Susan raises two good questions: Can all kids learn? Do all kids want to

The answer, as we all know, is yes to the first and no to the second. We
all have that "sixth hour from the bowels of hell" class (mine is the 2
to 3 lab...though they aren't angry, just apathetic). And we all deal
with them in different manners.

Do we write these students off? Of course not. Because no matter how bad
the class is as a whole, there is most likely at least one student that
is learning, and more importantly, wants to learn. I don't mind
preaching to the choir if that's where my audience is. And who knows,
the students on the periphery may learn something while they sit there
and stare with their slack jaws and bored-to-tears expressions.

David Christian, MA (aka Bjorn)

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease
to be amused.


96/10 From-> Heather MacLean <hmaclean@kent.edu>
Subject: Re: why do we knock ourselves out for angry students?

Because we care.
Because we want them to be happy.
Because we want them to become productive citizens. Because it's our job
to motivate them.
Because if we don't do all of the above, or *try* to do it, why bother

We shouldn't let ourselves be hurt by the reactions of an angry student.
We shouldn't let hir sorrow and anger and hurt at the world become our
own. We shouldn't allow hir anger to communicate itself, to infest
others (except to spur someone to a higher achievement--some learners
work that way), to gnaw at the social fabric of the classroom.

But we cannot afford to remain cold. We should always *try*.

Yours in idealism (which yes, has its own problems, hurts, and angers),

Heather MacLean

E. The Magic of the Telephone (and Other Useful Strategies and Devices)

I taught over thirty years and made quite a few telephone calls. Maybe one or two per cent were negative. Calling (to me) was a pain, yet I rarely failed to come away refreshed (and relieved!).

From: Bob Hall bobhall@pcisys.net
Subject: Discipline in the Classroom

Do you know enough about your students' parents to have a sense of the
kind of support you might expect from them? If so, I'd suggest a call
home following this type of scenario:

1. Seek the aid of your disciplinary administrator by asking him/her to
sit in on the phone call home.

2. During a time that you can access the student(s) have him/her/them
report to you in the administrator's office.

3. Explain to the student that you are not happy with his/her behavior.

4. Hand him/her the phone and ask him/her to call one of his/her parents
to explain why his/her French teacher would like to speak with the
parent. 5. Once his/her explanation is given speak with the parent
indicating specifics of the inappropriate behavior.

For a couple of years I was a Teacher on Special Assignment in the
Assistant Principals Office and used this. The Junior High School
students that I dealt with during those years really didn't like to call

By the way, I spent 31 years in a Junior High School and, like you,
taught my Spanish classes in English classrooms, metal shops, cooking
rooms, sewing rooms, and, finally, in my own classroom.


97/09 From-> Bob Hall <bobhall@pcisys.net>


How about:

A private discussion/warning “Next infraction, a trip with you to the
nearest phone where the student calls the parent to explain why the
teacher felt the need to talk to the parent.”

Bob Hall


97/09 From-> Michael Kaprelian <kaprelian@sprynet.com>

My administrator finds me more valuable supervising in the cafeteria
than teaching Spanish. I have large classes so that during one period I
get to police the cafeteria. The upside is that I assign lunch detention
to discipline problems. Also take my cellular phone to school. When
Johnny tells a classmate to do something physically impossible, we call
mama right then, during class, and let him repeat it to her. He better
not lie either, because there's a room full of witnesses.(tee hee)

Michael Kaprelian


97/09 From-> Willis Ray <wray@tiger.lsu.edu>

A couple of things that have helped me greatly:

1) Have an explicit discipline plan and post it in the classroom.

2) Follow the plan.

#2 sounds easy, but I find that a lot of teachers have trouble with it.
If your plan says that you'll send a nasty letter home when Johnny
swings from the ceiling, send the letter. If the plan says that you'll
call Suzy's mom and tell her what a wonderful child she reared because
Suzy's conduct grade stayed on A all week, call her. If the plan says
that it's time for Johnny to go to the office, send him. And send him
with no expectations. It's out of your hands. Let the administration
handle it.

This probably won't be popular, but most discipline problems should
Be handled in the classroom. A friend of mine -- and former administrator
-- says discipline referrals that came to him 1) from teachers only
occasionally and 2) with the words "Plan followed" scrawled on the
bottom were more likely to be taken seriously. The teachers who sent
five kids a class and wrote lengthy explanations of their
transgressions were often taken very lightly.

Willis Ray


97/09 From-> Melanie L Glaser <mlgst35+@pitt.edu>


If a child is disrupting the class and other students, he/she should be
seated away from the group. I think there should also be motivation
provided. For example, in my class we have a treasure chest that
children can pick from when they behave well. If unacceptable behavior
continues, the teacher should take privileges away - recess etc.

Melanie Glaser (elementary Spanish teacher)


97/10 From-> Jennifer Colbert <JColb30432@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Discipline in the classroom

On the issue of gum chewing.... I don't allow it during Spanish class
because I expect them to be using the language with nothing getting in
the way (like a big wad of gum!). If we're watching a video or having a
celebration day I allow them to have gum or other candy. But I try to
make the no gum rule known from day one, to try to get them in the habit
of going straight to the wastebasket when they come in!

J. Colbert


97/10 From-> BuckBuck11@aol.com
Subject: Re: Discipline and Gum Chewing

In a message dated 10/2/97 2:26:01 PM, you wrote:

>Hola gum chewers, I always did wonder what the big deal was about
>chewing gum??? Aren't there more important things to focus on in the
>Bob Raymond

This is one of those "hot button" topics for me. Gum chewing would
probably not be a problem if students knew how to discreetly chew
without making snapping noises, playing with it, depositing it under
seats when it is stale, and chewing with their mouth open. It is
unsanitary, unsightly and obnoxious.

Learning to pronounce and speak clearly, whether it be in L1 or in L31,
is impeded when one has a gob of goo in one's mouth. I do not allow my
students to chew gum in my room. I usually simply say the word,
"chicle," point to the offending student and point to the basket, and
that is it.

I also do not approve when folks who are waiting on me in restaurants,
clothing stores or supermarkets are chewing gum noisily, snapping the
gum or chewing like a Jersey cow. I have spoken to managers to point out
the unfavorable impression it creates of their enterprise.

The school in which I teach has outstanding discipline because things
like gum chewing, hats worn indoors, obscene or druggie messages on
shirts, and other behaviors are pointed out and corrected. Students have
plenty of other ways to express themselves without having to be rude,
anti-social slobs. I still believe that we DO teach character and values
and our silence about such behavior is often interpreted by students as

Bill Heller


97/10 From-> BuckBuck11@aol.com
Subject: Re: no talking

>What can I do to enforce the “no talking while the teacher is talking” policy?

Here are a few ideas.

1. Walk and stand by one of the offending parties.

2. Stop talking. Make significant eye contact. (=use "the evil eye"). Do
not begin again until it is absolutely silent.

3. Never try to shout over student noise with directions or content.

4. Firmly tell students the expectation that, "When I'm talking, you are
not. I am not able or willing to shout above noise." You can appeal to
their sense of fairness, too. "Excuse me, but there's 30 of you and one
of me." This can be a follow up to #2 if you feel it necessary.

5. Do not repeat directions a gazillion times. Do not answer questions
from students who were talking while you were explaining an activity.
Let them "stew in their juices." There must be consequences for not
listening when you are talking.

6. I have some students who feel that they are an exception to all rules
and expectations. Sometimes I have to break it to them that, "Nothing
you could possibly be saying is more important than what I am saying
right now." This is real "toughlove". Obviously, use with discretion.

Bill Heller


97/10 From-> Todd D3troiter@aol.com
Subject: Re: no talking

I like the old elementary style NAME ON THE BOARD.

Posted rules, posted consequences.
name = warning
name + 1 check = sentences or something else name + 2 checks = more
sentences or detention and/ or parental phone call name + 3 checks = you
are outta here

I make the kids sign the backs of their index cards, that they fill out
at the beginning of the year, that they have heard, read and understood
my rules and agree to live by them. So when I have a parental conference
regarding discipline it is all there - on the wall and a signature on

The main point is - writing names on the board is a silent, unobtrusive
way to send a message. I am still teaching and did not let the motor
mouth stop instruction.

I have used this with 7th graders and seniors and have used it



97/10 From-> "Kim Harter" <KimHarter@aol.com>
Subject: Re: no talking

I'm doing my practicum with a teacher who uses a very effective
technique--to get students' attention at the beginning of class or
whenever they get too talkative he stops whatever he's doing and raises
his hand. He waits until everyone is quiet and also raising a hand (some
of the kids feel they are too cool to raise their hand, but as long as
they get quiet the goal is accomplished). He usually only has to do this
once or twice at the most during a block.


97/10 From-> Kim Rosen <Lozania@aol.com>
Subject: Reply to discipline problem--real solution

Here's what I do....

Have a point system that you keep track of daily on a big sign up in the
classroom. I set up three criteria for the kids to earn points.

Mine are set up with High schoolers, so I have a 50 point goal. It takes
them a while to achieve. Then there is a reward for them, something
worthwhile, so that they feel like working toward this goal. In my class
it is usually a "Culture day" where we bring in foods from the target
language.  (or a pinata... or a movie day....)

1) staying on task
2) using QUIET voices
3) speaking in target language

Unless EVERY kid follows through with those 3 criteria, I don't give the
points that day. When one of the boys doesn't use target language make a
point of telling the class WHY they are not receiving the points for
speaking in target language...because "you all heard 'Johnny' speaking
English today.

I evaluate the points every single day in ENGLISH after the class is
done....so that EVERY kid understands WHY they are or aren't getting the
points. Pretty soon the others start to tell the trouble makers to be
quiet ....PEER PRESSURE is a wonderful thing!!!

Kim Rosen

F. Teacher Attitude and Approach Can Make A Difference

From: Jean Bodle

Other teachers have written with great suggestions for discipline, and I
hope you will try some of them. However, I waited to see if anyone else
would mention another important thing: You have to let your students see
that you like them, and that you enjoy some of the things they do. (And
you have to show it, even if you don't much right then.) The worst
classes I've ever taught in 20 years of teaching middle school were when
I started fighting with a class, and saw them as an enemy to be
conquered--or at least a group to be controlled.

Guiding and leading work much better. Do NOT talk down to them. Treat
them with respect, and most of them will respond with respect. Middle
school kids are a real work in progress, and will have bad days--but
they want to grow up, so it helps to treat them as if they are--as much
as possible.

Try to enjoy them. Be interested in their lives out of school. Let them
know you saw their name in the paper, or congratulate them on their play
in the game. Change activities often. Be over-prepared. Try to do some
active things to get them out of their seats at least once every day or
two. Try activities that let non-academic kids shine: art projects,
music . . . I've had kids make paper puppets and then use them to put on
a skit. Some of the puppets were very creative.

Middle school kids are a challenge--but they really can be fun. Hang in

Jean Bodle
Ryan Middle School
Fairbanks, Alaska

*Ryan is a 7/8 middle school with around 800 kids of varied ethnic


97/11 From-> Catalina Maley   clmaley <clmaley@inlink.com>
Subject: Teaching and Discipline

I teach in an urban high school in a neighborhood infested with drugs,
gangs and gun violence and where Special Education is our largest
Department. Many times counselors use foreign language classes as
"dumping grounds" because they don't have another slot to put students.
Having students who in no way want to be in my class is not unusual.
Last year I had a kid tell me, "leave me alone. I didn't want this
d---class." "I can't leave you alone, I said, you're my kid." About
three weeks later, the student said, "I'm so glad your my teacher" and
we hugged.

I have found that having wall charts for each class: listing names and
posting oral/written learning goals achieved do much to motivate my
students. They come in early in the morning to count their stars/smile
faces on the charts. I employ many cooperative learning tasks with my

I also make my own version of Spanish pesetas. When the students use the
language in class (this works well for reluctant students and for
students who prefer to be "non-involved") they receive pesetas.
Sometimes I do spot checks to see if they are bringing their materials
in class. I had many who would not bring a book, notebook or even a
pencil to class and those who were chronically tardy. So I do an "early
bird special" now and then and they fly down the halls to get to my
class on time hoping to earn extra pesetas.

At the beginning of the second semester and in late May I hold a class
auction for each class. They must bid for the new items they purchase.
(I buy items the kids would like and sometimes merchants will donate
items.) They write their names on the reverse side of the money. Any
erased and rewritten names indicate a counterfeit (to eliminate taking
each other's money) and they cannot purchase with counterfeit bills.

We also have a penalty box for anyone who ridicules or uses profanity.
The penalty box is made up of suggestions from the students: some are
silly like kiss the chalkboard, stand in front of the class and say a
particular phrase in the language). If the student refuses, he/she
forfeits pesetas. The students love it!

Another thing I have found: in classes where teachers do not respect the
students or listen to them, this is where most discipline problems lie.
If I have a confrontational student, I will tell them to discuss the
issue or problem with me outside of class. The public forum is not
always appropriate. I try to let kids know that we all make mistakes and
that I expect them to keep me on guard. If I have to correct a student
on a serious issue I take the student out of the room. I don't want to
embarrass the student.

Over the years I have see teachers in "power struggles" with the
students. Twice a year the students have a chance to give me a "report
card" where I ask them to critique my teaching, fairness, projects we
have done and elicit suggestions from them how to make it better). The
students love it. They do not have to sign their names.

This year all my students signed "Partners In Learning Contracts". When
this was done, they took the "activation" portion of the contract home
for their parents to sign. I also started a Working Smarter Center after
school in the Library to help and them where they are able to also
access the Internet for research. We have put together a team of
teachers from other disciplines who also volunteer for specific days.

I don't allow them to eat in the room. We have "standards" not rules. I
discuss standards with the students at the beginning of each term and
the kids are involved in standards. We also spend time focusing on
"working smarter strategies" for each student. When students do
something inappropriate, I tell them, "this is what I want you to do and
why". I don't say, "Don't do that". As a teacher it is imperative to
model what you wish your students to do.

Whatever you decide necessary for your situation, the follow-through is
essential. Don't threaten. Use a positive approach and it will make a
difference and the students learn to have pride in themselves and each
other. I hope this helps a bit.

Sumner High School
St. Louis, Missouri


97/10 From-> Michelle Moyer <mmoyer@mto.infi.net>
Subject: Re: Discipline in the Classroom

When I student-taught, I had two different cooperating teachers, because
of some scheduling problems (all the Spanish teachers at the school I
was sent to who were qualified to have student teachers were
part-timers). One of them tolerated a lot more chaos than I
did/could/can; the other doesn't believe in background noise at all.
(They are both *excellent* teachers, mind you.)

With one teacher, I was able to talk to her and explain my feelings. She
was in the room a lot, but she was willing to "let go" enough to let me
do what I thought I needed to.

The other tried, but he just *couldn't*. He did let me do some things
that he never would have tried, though.

What am I saying? Basically: *talk* to your cooperating teacher. That's
the best advice I can give to any student/intern teacher. That's what
they're there for.

Michelle Moyer

G. Tardiness To Class

Wow! We hit a mother lode here! Lots of people have this problem. Sometimes the school administration takes care of the problem, but for most of us, it all depends on how clever we can be (within that administrator’s idea of what is acceptable). You’re almost bound to find an applicable idea in this bunch.

97/03 From-> Jesulin@aol.com
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

If the teacher has tried reporting them and the problem persists then it
doesn't sound like you have much administrative support. For a number of
years now I have used a late sign-in book. If a student is not in class
when the bell rings they have to sign-in in the late book and supply the
following info: name, date and whether or not they have a pass. If they
have a pass they are to leave it right in the book and I check the book
after class.

This way they do not disturb me or the class when they arrive late. I
can check all the info later. Students do not like to sign their names
(even if they have a pass) because you now have a record with specific
info which can be used to talk to parents, which can be very helpful. If
students are late with no reason and we contact parents we can assign
them after-school detention with us and if they don't show we do get
administrative support if we have contacted parents. I have very little
problems with lateness since doing this. Good luck.

Robbie Lewis
Rochester, New York


97/03 From-> LadeGodyva@aol.com
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

I deal with this by giving tardy students a zero for their warmup grade
that day. Even though warm ups count for very little in the big picture,
they don't seem to realize this, and it really seems to make a
difference in the number of tardies I have. If it does get out of hand,
we refer the students to the administration, and they get Saturday
School, a fate worse than death. <grin> That seems to deter them a bit.

Angie Thomas


97/03 From-> Beth Groeneman <groenema@umd5.umd.edu>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

I grade my students on participation points, 50 per grading period. When
they come in late, they lose 3 points. They can recoup the three points
by serving detention (at my pleasure, I set up two help sessions each
week). They still have the unexcused tardy, which in our system can
eventually cause them to lose credit for the course, but I tell them
that sometimes the tardies happen, and they can show their good faith by
serving detention. If they are unexcused absent, they lose 5
participation points which cannot be recouped under any circumstances.

Some students serve their time, and some don't. When they see how much
it affects their grade, they start serving the time.

I like the system because it puts the responsibility back on them.

Beth Groeneman
Gaithersburg HS, Maryland


97/03 From-> Dee Friel <vhr003@mail.connect.more.net>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late to Class

Our school seemed to have a problem with this until our principal
REQUIRED (well, strongly recommended) the teachers to give short quizzes
at the beginning of the hour. At the teacher's discretion, the
information could be recorded for a grade or not (usually it is if there
are any tardies). The quiz must be completed within a VERY short time
frame, one which cannot be done unless the student is on time.


Due 1 minute (or 2 minutes) after the bell,

List 10 family members in Spanish.

List 10 articles of clothing with the definite article in Spanish.

List all the subject pronouns in the appropriate chart form and the
present tense -AR verb endings as well.

List 3 major points of interest in Mexico and tell what makes them

List 3 facts about Frida Kahlo (due in 30 seconds).

etc. etc. etc.

It has been very effective. Many students know they won't have a quiz
unless students are tardy. They get onto their classmates.

I like it because it also is a way to check to see of they were paying
attention or not. It helps increase attention in class as well. Several
of my "talkers" think I don't like them because they never know the
information -- they think I purposely pick things they don't know. I
just take stuff we went over in class.

Dee Friel


97/03 From-> Elaine Winer <Win1358@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

I like to prepare some bell-ringers. These are usually vocabulary fill
in the blanks on an overhead. Example: M__R__ __ __ _O. I give them
about 5 and give prizes to the students who complete them within a
minute or two after the bell rings.

Elaine Winer


97/03 From-> Paul Lanciaux <lanciaux@meol.mass.edu>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late to Class

While I will be the first to admit that tardies to class are a problem
in many schools, I question the wisdom of using a quiz and the
discretion of counting or not counting the grade as a form of behavior
modification. It strikes me as somewhat unfair that, as a student, I
might be able to know all the answers correctly and NOT get any credit
because everyone is punctual.

On the other hand, if I don't know any of the answers and I have been on
time to class, my grade WOULD BE recorded because the student who sits
in front of me is late to class. It appears to me that two separate
issues are in conflict here: behavior that needs to be changed and
verification of subject matter through a quiz that may or may not count.

If grades are to play a part in this at all, I would prefer a system
like that proposed by Beth Groeneman that puts the responsibility "in
their lap" as opposed to punishing by counting (or not counting) a mini
quiz that must be completed in two minutes or less...not to mention the
time that you must take to correct, score and record these mini-quizzes!

You do mention that it works effectively for you and I guess that's what
really counts...but I still question the wisdom of using a quiz on
material learned (or not learned) as a deterrent to unacceptable

Paul Lanciaux


97/03 From-> BuckBuck11@aol.com
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late to Class

Time management is an important issue for student teachers and for new
teachers. It is important to make a good impression on the students.
Organization is the key to effective use of class time.

I agree with Dee Friel who gives very short quizzes at the beginning of
class. Students generally do not arrive for classes in which the teacher
begins the moment the bell rings and finishes with closure and homework
assignments the moment the dismissal bell rings. Organization is the
key. I usually am having papers passed back, requesting to see homework,
or chattering in Spanish from throughout the pass time so that when the
bell rings, the students can be immediately engaged in activity.

It doesn't have to be a quiz all the time. (Although, if I'm dictating a
quiz and a student arrives late without a pass, I will not repeat the
questions that they missed.) Once I get the students to work, I check
the seating chart to see who's absent. If an individual student needs
more than a quick answer or something that I can hand him/her in
seconds, I ask them to see me during my planning time or after school.
Students respect teachers who are well organized and who make use of
every minute of the class for business.

Bill Heller


97/03 From-> Elaine Davis elena@coin.csnet.net
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

Doesn't the school have a late to class policy? At our school 3 tardies
= 1 absence. At three tardies you must send a discipline referral to the
dean. He then deals with the student.

Elaine Davis


97/03 From-> Sue <ssteele@bas.k12.mi.us>

We have a tardy policy at our school. I follow it even thought I don't
agree with it: Kids lose credit in the class if they have more than 12
tardies. All odd tardies they must serve a detention in the detention
room. Failure to do so gives them a Saturday school detention for 3
hours, 9-12.
I tell my students I will not accept tardiness in my class. They know I
mean it, and therefore are not tardy. If someone tries to push it by
being tardy, I take them out in the hall and ream them about wasting my
time and the other students' time. They are having a very good time
right now since I have a student teacher. They keep saying, "The hammer
is going to drop after Easter vacation, right?" That is when I return to
the classroom!!!!!!

Sue Steele


97/03 From-> Erwin Petri eapetri@sprynet.com
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

Misbehavior, lateness, inattention in themselves should not affect
students' grades. Their grades should reflect what they can do and what
they cannot do. If they do not get the practice they need to do well
because of these behaviors, that is another question. Also, I always
refused to assign detention with me after school if students broke a
school rule. This is the school's responsibility. An occasional lateness
as long as it doesn't disturb the class is no big deal. Ignore it. There
are more important things to do in class. I like the idea of the sign-in

Erwin Petri

97/03 From-> George Watson  GeoWatLop@aol.com
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

Getting to class on time is not a question of whether one is motivated
or not to learn; it is an obligation to which students must comply or
face the consequences. In our school tardiness to class means after
school for the first offense, detention for the second offense. If clear
cut rules are not in place, how can the school function properly? It
seems to me that this is matter for your faculty senate to bring to the

George Watson


97/03 From-> Irene Moon <irenem@imperium.net>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late to Class

I was taken with the idea of a "quizito" at the beginning of the
period... I like doing this as a warm-up and sometimes as extra credit.

However, I do think Paul makes very valid points about the fairness of
the policy and also using the quiz as a Behavior Modification. Seems to
me that they don't work too well together and I pity the poor kid who
does arrive late especially if he had a valid reason, pass etc. Or is
this policy enforced without regard to having/not having a valid pass?

The one thing we need to remember is that the Principal was the one who
seems to be issuing the directive; however, in our school, I'm sure our
principal would have to contend with many dissenters. :-)

Irene Moon


97/03 From-> "Robert J. Shea" <nihan@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Students strolling in late

I don't do anything formal against tardiness and I rarely have problems.
If a student is late more than once in a week, I might confront them
very directly and very disapprovingly. Various measures I take: I
sometimes close the door when the bell rings, I occasionally have
students stay after for as much time as they're late, I might meet them
outside the door and ask them why they're late, or I simply ignore them.
I always begin promptly, so when a student comes in late and wishes to
disturb me with some lame excuse (that is, without a pass), I pay them
no heed and ask them not to interrupt me.

Robert J. Shea


97/03 From-> Mary Young <youngm@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

>I would like some strategies to deal with a few students that always seem to stroll into class late without a pass.

What do you think of giving a quiz on the homework (5 points or so) at
the beginning of class, no make-ups? Of course, if the kids who come
late are not doing well anyway (hmm, no chance of that, right? ;-S) the
quiz might not be a motivator.

It has helped sometimes in my classes--not always. Another approach is
to have a fun warm up activity, but you might get them so worked up they
won't settle down for the rest of the class.

Mary Young


97/03 From-> Ann Pulley <arpulley@WHRO.ORG>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

I don't have a problem with tardies because students can't come in
tardy---easily! I keep my door locked and the students know this. They
don't like "making an entrance" so they are almost all on time.

In order to "crack down" on tardies the administration has had quite a
few "lock outs" where every teacher locks the door at the tardy bell and
everyone in the hall is rounded up, taken to the cafeteria,
photographed, given a detention, and sent back to class.

If there are repeat offenders then the administrations assigns
appropriate punishment.

Students learn quickly who will allow tardies and who won't.

Ann Pulley


97/03 From-> Dee Friel <vhr003@mail.connect.more.net>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late RE: Paul Lanciaux

Dear Paul,

I guess I should proofread a little better. I should have said grades
are usually recorded, but especially if there are tardies.

If I give a quiz over something that we discussed in class the day
before and virtually everyone fails the quiz because it was difficult
material, I will NOT count the quiz (even if there are tardies) because
it seems very unfair if the whole class fails-- perhaps I did not
explain the material well or it is a very difficult concept. However, I
have one class that I know basically doesn't pay attention part of the
time. They are like that in all of their classes. I usually count their
quizzes because I know it is the lack of attention and not a difficult
concept (list 3 vocab words). They are getting better and better at
paying attention because they know I will quiz them over the material --
another benefit of the daily quiz. I gave this class the subject pronoun
(in chart form) quiz each class for a week. By the end of the week, they
knew it was coming. Almost the entire class now has it memorized --
something that NEVER would have happened without the quiz.

As to fair/unfair -- it is fair to count all homework as 5 points, done
or not done, especially when one person has every word spelled correctly
and correct accents or tildes or whatever and the next student doesn't
have everything correct but has the assignment done? I know many
teachers who grade that way. I don't, but as you said, I guess it is all
in what works for you.

Dee Friel


97/03 From-> MRS BETH DAMASCUS <SGTS61F@prodigy.com>
Subject: Tardiness

Hola listeros!
Our school policy regarding tardies is: third tardy to class - a
detention is issued. Each subsequent tardy results in a 2% loss on their
final grade for the class. Very few students are tardy once they realize
that we mean business! I also agree that if teachers use the full class
time and enforce the tardiness policy, they will not be late to class.

Once a student experiences a lower grade because of her constant
tardiness, she is VERY conscious of her responsibility to be on time.
The worst tardiness occurs at the beginning of the day for 1st period. I
have a class of juniors and seniors this period - most of whom drive
themselves to school. It's not a matter of blaming somebody else anymore
- they just need to get out of bed 5 minutes earlier!

Beth Damascus


97/03 From-> Keiko Schneider <kschnei@NMJC.ORG>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling in Late RE: Paul Lanciaux

I haven't been reading everything on the issue, so please forgive me
this was already discussed, or unrelevant.

I give my quiz everyday at the beginning of the class. The quiz takes a
lot of weight in grading (25%) and I make the quiz very simple, and very
obvious and let them know exactly what it is a class before. This way I
can use the quiz as a marker of understanding of forms, so when they
come to class, they are used to the form, and I can go on to practice
stage smoothly.

This system is working for me probably because it is a university class,
and also they take "being punctual" to be a part of Japanese culture,
that they have to learn.

Since I do quiz everyday, one quiz might take 10 out of 500 points
during the semester, I don't feel "unfair" not giving the quiz to tardy
students. I think that sends the message that if you are taking the
class, you are obliged to come.

I also count "being late" as a third of absence, and four absences I
have a right to kick them out.

Keiko Schneider


97/03 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <mbarruet@pen.k12.va.us>
Subject: Re: Students arriving late to class

All the posts about late arrivals reminds me of some years ago. The
Superintendent was visiting classes, and coming down the hallway during
the passing time. He arrived at the door of my room a bit before the
bell, and was almost knocked over by several students racing to get into
the class. He called me out in the hall and said how great it was to see
students in such a hurry to get to a class -- and what was my secret?

Simple. I had 32 students and only 29 seats -- anyone arriving late had
to sit on a very uncomfortable windowsill.

I doubt that solves anyone's problem, but there's got to be a moral
there somewhere--- :-)



97/03 From-> Bill Mann <tazmann@erols.com>
Subject: Tardiness

At the beginning of this year I had trouble with a lot of students being
tardy without a pass. Now, the main computer has the added feature of
period by period attendance. We fill in a bubble grid with A or T for
each student. After 3 T marks, the student is called to the assistant
principal in charge of that grade level, and they are given a detention.
Cuts have also dropped because of this. The computer compares our class
attendance to that of rotating music lessons, guidance office
attendance, house office attendance, and nurse's office attendance and
automatically issues a cut slip which is sent to students in their
homerooms with an appointment time for them to report to their house

Before this, attendance was a lot harder. We had to manually check the
absentee list, all offices' lists, etc and then figure out if the
student had cut or not. Now, it's in the hands of the attendance office,
where it should have been all along.

Bill Mann


97/03 From-> John Fain <JCFAIN@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Students Strolling In Late to Class

I'm surprised at the number of my fellow teachers who have to deal with
tardiness on their own. Our school has a simple policy. At the third
tardy in one semester, a notice is mailed home by the school secretary
(I have to write it out). At the fourth and subsequent tardies the
student receives a detention. Three tardies also equal one absence.
Detentions are for 90 minutes on Wednesdays and Fridays. The detentions
are served after school with the same teacher every week (in this case,
me). We have several students who get three tardies but very seldom

John Fain


97/04 From-> Barbara Launer <Blauner823@aol.com>
Subject: Lateness to class

I'm behind in reading my FLTeach digests but... Marilyn wrote:
"....how great it was to see students in such a hurry to get to a class
-- and what was my secret? Simple. I had 32 students and only 29 seats
-- anyone arriving late had to sit on a very uncomfortable windowsill. I
doubt that solves anyone's problem, but there's got to be a moral there
somewhere--- :-)"
A colleague of mine uses the comfort principle very nicely. When a
student arrives to his class late, he insists that they stand in the
back of the room until they are invited by the teacher to sit down. The
later he/she is, the longer he/she stands. They rush to his room and
there is no bookkeeping involved that distracts you from your teaching.
The kids help in the enforcement... they point to the back of the room
(seniors, too) when someone shows up late. The real life analogy... you
arrive at a show late and cannot take your seat until an appropriate
time in the performance. Hope this helps!

Barbara Launer


96/01 From-> Kerry Jean Birmingham <birmingh@tenet.edu>
Subject: tardies

I noticed a recent message on the problems of having students in
in-house suspension and inadvertently erased it. I am having a similar
problem with tardy students interrupting my classes. As a matter of fact
this is a school-wide problem. We are trying to figure out a way to
solve this. We have about 100-200 student (in a school of almost 1900)
tardy to first period alone. This is detrimental to all (especially FL).

We were given some solutions:
lock doors at bell and hall sweep (making the tardy students miss the
whole class) then giving detentions to all

Count 3 T's as an absence (principal doesn't like it)

Individual teachers give detentions (we do this now and I spend hours in
detentions myself then)

Any other suggestions?
Thanks for your help.

Kerry Jean Birmingham


96/01 From-> Charles Begay <cbegay@esu3.esu3.k12.ne.us>
Subject: Re: tardies

In our senior high in Bellevue, Nebraska, 5 unexcused tardies to any
class requires a 1/2 day of Saturday school. Those who do not show or
those who are uncooperative during the Sat. session are sent home and
suspended out of school for 2 days. Tardies this year are really less of
a problem. (!) Kids can really hustle when they want.

Charles A. Begay


96/01 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <mbarruet@pen.k12.va.us>
Subject: Re: tardies

In our school system, 3 unexcused tardies count as an unexcused absence,
and 3 unexcused absences fail the student for the quarter. I personally
don't agree with the failing grade -- I would prefer a system that
somehow says "Student made a C, but is assigned X because of absence" --
but I don't make the rules. Whether it works or not depends a great deal
upon each individual teacher enforcing or ignoring the procedure.



96/01 From-> Michelle Jolley <michelle.jolley@m.k12.ut.us>
Subject: Re: tardies

>I noticed a recent message on the problems of having students in in-house suspension and inadvertently erased it. I am having a similar problem with tardy students interrupting my classes. As a matter of fact this is a school-wide problem. We are trying to figure out a way to solve this. We have about 100-200 student (in a school of almost 1900) tardy to first period alone. This is detrimental to all (especially FL).

>We were given some solutions:
>lock doors at bell and hall sweep (making the tardy students miss the whole class) then giving detentions to all

>Count 3 T's as an absence (principal doesn't like it)

>Individual teachers give detentions (we do this now and I spend hours in detentions myself then)

>Any other suggestions?
>Thanks for your help.

We had this problem until this year, when a new assistant principal
instigated a new program. At one time detentions were served after
school with designated teachers or with the teacher who gave the
detention. Students showed up if they felt like it, and put it off if
they didn't. They were not allowed to participate in school activities
if they owed detentions, and so the day before an assembly or a dance
there was always a crowd. Needless to say, it was a less than effective

The new system does not allow students any say in when they serve. As
soon as a teacher turns in a detention form, the student is called in
and must do some kind of service around the school during lunch. Usually
they help out in the cafeteria, but they can also be seen outside
picking up trash or in the halls scrubbing lockers. The consequence is
immediate, and the loss of lunch -- a time when they can be with friends
-- is a loss they really feel. Tardiness has dropped off to almost none.

In another district where I worked, students were charged $5.00 for each
tardy and $15.00 for each sluff (I've been told sluff is just a Utah
word. It means to cut class.) They use this system at the local high
school, but seem to have some problems with bringing it down to the
middle school level.

It does seem to be a problem that needs a schoolwide solution, and
consistency on the part of all teachers in enforcing the rules.

Michelle Jolley


96/01 From-> "Paul J. LaReau" <DocteurQui@aol.com>
Subject: Re: tardies

We have a system where 4 tardies = a before or after school detention (a
teacher is paid extra to supervise these); 4 = two detentions; 4/5 a
Saturday morning session; 6/7 two Saturdays; 8/9 out of school
suspension; 10 = F. At some point the juvenile authorities are notified.
Also, in Indiana, during suspensions the driving privileges are revoked
by the state.

Paul J. LaReau


Subject: Re: tardies

With regards to tardies and in-house suspensions, I previously taught in
a high school in Florida that had an "Opportunity Room," shortened to
OR. This service provided students who were chronically tardy (and also,
chronically "off-task") the opportunity to get their work done in a more
structured setting. Students were not allowed to enter the classroom
tardy for ANY reason, so all excuses were dealt with at an
administrative level, allowing the teachers to teach. One day in OR was
usually enough to get students to class on time. OR was an ALL DAY
assignment for the student, so he/she missed ALL classes and had to
bring enough work to keep busy all day. The down side of this, of
course, is that FTE was used to support it, and teachers had to put
together assignments. The up side was a well-managed environment where
students were on time and on task. Even with large classes, we teachers
can accomplish a lot when the environment is orderly and focused.


96/01 From-> Lisa Frumkes <frumkes@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Tardies

One suggestion was:

>How about a quiz or something early in the period and record a zero for all with an unexcused tardy?

I used to do this, albeit at the college level. I was teaching an 8:30
a.m. class, and I had 4-5 students (out of 15) who were constantly late
to class (carrying a piping hot cup of coffee in hand). Apparently their
busses were late.

So I started giving pop quizzes at the beginning of the class period 2-3
times a week. Time on the quiz was strictly limited to 5 minutes, so
even if students were a couple minutes late, they still had a chance,
however slight. Anyone who didn't show in time got a zero. It was
amazing how the public transportation system suddenly improved--no more
late students.

I didn't tell them that these quizzes counted for virtually nothing
towards their grades. The quizzes did, however, test things that they
should have known from class a couple of days earlier, so they were a
good test of their knowledge and not a waste of time.

After a couple weeks of this treatment, I didn't have to give such
quizzes more than once every couple of weeks.

Lisa Frumkes

H. A Few Outside Resources on Discipline

97/09 From-> Bernadette Morris <bmorris@dpi.state.nc.us>

I recommend the book "Discipline with Dignity" by Richard L. Curwin and
Allen N. Mendler from ASCD, ISBN 0-87120-154-2. Not only do they address
what to do with disruptive students but they also address preventive
measures to fend off inadequate behavior. In my opinion, it is one of
the best books on the market dealing with this issue. I wish I had read
it when I was still teaching.



97/10 From-> Normand Boisvert <Normand_Boisvert@uqtr.uquebec.ca>
Subject: Re: Discipline in the classroom

Cherice Montgomery >montgomery@feist.com< wrote :
>My best advice is PREVENTION.

Here is a very good 26-page booklet about it : PREVENTIVE DISCIPLINE for
Effective Teaching and Learning A Sourcebook for Teachers and
Administrators. by Donald R. Grossnickle and Frank P. Sesko from the
National Association of Secondary School Principals 1904 Association
Reston, Virginia, 22091

Normand Boisvert

I. Discipline and Management Techniques, etc. (Especially Music)

97/09 From-> Timothy Mason <t.mason@infonie.fr>
Subject: Re: Classroom discipline

An article in the London Times - available on the Web - dated Saturday,
tells us that Mozart may soothe the savage breast. After Anne Savan, a
science teacher, who found herself having to deal with an almost
uncontrollable class, a group of 13 slow learners, ten of whom had been
identified as having behavioural problems, took to playing concertos by
the maestro, noise levels dropped and the quality of work improved 'to
such an extent that most were only one level behind expectations for 14
year-olds when they took national curriculum tests'.

Ms Savan believes that Mozart works because he wrote in a higher
register than other composers. Academics (aaaaghhh!) at London
University found that hyperactive children benefited most from the
calming influence of music played during maths lessons - but pupils of
all types increased their work-rate.

Back to Suggestopaedia folks.

Timothy Mason


97/09 From-> Kathryn Mary Bartholomew <kbarthol@paul.spu.edu>
Subject: Re: Classroom discipline

I heard once of a convenience store that was having all kinds of trouble
with bad behavior in the parking lot-- everything from drug deals to
knifings and who knows what else. The situation improved drastically and
immediately when they started broadcasting Brahms' _Requiem_ (in German)
over a loud speaker. Apparently it calmed everybody right down.

Worth a try, maybe!

Kathryn Mary Bartholomew


97/09 From-> Scott Aborn <saborn@sover.net>
Subject: Re: Classroom Discipline/Mozart

I have used Mozart (and occasionally some Bach) regularly as a
background to group activities in the classroom. While my experience is
anecdotal and unquantified, I have had the distinct impression that the
students stayed on task more effectively, and the ambient noise level in
the classroom was more manageable.

Interestingly, no one has ever asked me to "turn off that junk," or any
other such disparaging remark.

I have also used it during testing, though occasionally some students
request silence instead -- they are in the majority, but, of course, if
I am asked to turn it off, I do.

My volume levels are VERY low (close to subliminal).

Scott Aborn


97/09 From-> Kenneth and Carol Seitz <ksmusic@gis.net>
Subject: Re: Class discipline / Mozart

I have used classical music as background atmosphere for one particular
composition with fourth year students for many years. While listening to
the music--for the most part Spanish composers--the students are to
write whatever comes to mind. The compositions that are written range
from stories, to mood pieces, to very personal reactions to the music.
In any event, the students find the exercise to be quite enjoyable as
well as relaxing.

Last year after reading a newspaper article about the effect of
classical music on mood and concentration I played a tape during a class
that was made up of students who had difficulty concentrating(!). I was
shocked and delighted at their collective reaction. They thoroughly
enjoyed the music, appreciated the fact that it was classical
music--Mozart for the most part--and even went so far as to request more
music on a regular basis. These students had never been exposed to
classical music and found it very soothing. They told me that it helped
them to focus on our work--even when the tasks consisted of oral work.
As a result of last year's experience I intend to use tapes of classical
music this year.

Carol Seitz


97/09 From-> "Rosemary A. Zurawel" <rzurawel@nh.ultranet.com>
Subject: Re: Classroom Discipline/Mozart

I, too, have classical music for testing. When I have forgotten to turn
it on, I have had requests. Volume control is in my hands, and when the
rare student is too stressed to handle both test and music, they ask to
have it turned off and I have always complied. Further, I use it as
background music when parents are in for conferences. Very soothing.

Rosemary A. Zurawel


97/09 From-> John Fain jcfjr <jcfjr@iserv.net>
Subject: Re: Classroom Discipline/Mozart

>I have used Mozart (and occasionally some Bach) regularly as a background to group activities in the classroom. While my experience is anecdotal and unquantified, I have had the distinct impression that the students stayed on task more effectively, and the ambient noise level in the classroom was more manageable.

Also try Strauss. A couple of my fellow teachers went to a conference
and brought back some interesting research on this topic. The suggestion
was that the closer the beat (this may be the wrong music term) of the
music is to your heartbeat, the better. That's why rock doesn't work.

John Fain

J. Some Consequences for Negative Behavior

97/12 From-> James Yoder <James.Yoder@OJH.ALPINE.K12.UT.US>
Subject: Re: Socorro! I need creative & clever castigo (consequence)

I have utilized a "consequence" that works WONDERFULLY in my classes.
When I have a student who makes a major disruption in my class, they are
required to come after school and behave. When they ask what that means,
I explain to them that I expect them to be in my room at 2:50 and I will
explain it to them then. When they arrive (after I call home to make
sure they can stay) I have them sit in their assigned seat and behave
for 30 minutes.

That means that they just sit in their seat. They are not allowed to do
anything else other than sit in their seat and behave. They can't read,
sleep, talk, grunt, write...nothing. They just sit there. Any time they
make a disturbance during the 30 minute period, their time begins all
over again. I have yet to have a repeat offender. They HATE sitting
there, and it really isn't a problem for me because I grade papers,
straighten my room, etc. all while they are behaving. In the 30 minutes
they sit in their seats, they learn a valuable lesson: "It is more fun
to behave during class with Senor Yoder than it is to come in a behave

I am not mean about this, I am very matter-of-fact about it. The
students know what I expect and when they break my rules, they expect a

I don't know if this will work for you, but it works great for me!

James Yoder


97/12 From-> Julianne Baird <JJBaird@ligtel.com>
Subject: Re: Academic Detention

Jim Conway wrote:
>Why not assign detention for not doing homework and not turning in major assignments?

There are times when I get fed up with kids not doing their homework.
Kids don't see the relationship between doing homework and getting
better test and quiz scores. Every now and then I announce that anyone
who has 3 missing assignments will get a detention. Many students will
make sure they only have 2 or less missing assignments.

Unfortunately this is not my standard policy. I only announce it to a
class when I know I can enforce it. It takes time and energy on my part
to keep missing assignments posted and to write out the detention forms.
However, when I do announce this policy to a class, it is very

Julianne Baird

These 60 knowledgeable and caring people are the quoted contributors on the subject of discipline:

Scott Ahorn
Carmen Alvarez
Michele Back
Juliann Baird
Marilyn Barrueta
Kathryn Mary Bartholomew
Charles Begay
Kerry Jean Birmingham
Jean Bodle
Normand Boisvert
Robert Carey
David Christian
Jennifer Colbert
Beth Damascus
Elaine Davis
Todd D3troiter (?)
Janice Dirmeitis
John Fain
Shannon Fineout
Dee Friel
Lisa Frumkes
Nancy Frumkin
Susan George
Kathy Gilbert
Melanie Glaser
Pamela Green
Beth Groeneman
Bob Hall
Kim Harter
Bill Heller
Michelle Jolley
Michael Kaprelian
Cindy Kendall
Paul Lanciaux
Paul LaReau
Barbara Launer
Robbie Lewis
Heather MacLean
Bill Mann
Tim Mason
Catalina May
Cherice Montgomery
Bernadette Morris
Michelle Moyer
Maryann Pelletier
Erwin Petri
Anne Pulley
Willis Ray
Kim Rosen
Keiko Schneider
Carol Seitz
Robert Shea
Sue Steele
Angie Thomas
George Watson
Vaughn Williams
Elaine Winer
James Yoder
Mary Young
Rosemary Zurawel


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