My behavior plan is modeled after the Love and Logic philosophy which invites students to take control of their learning through creative problem-solving. My students play a central role in establishing classroom rules. With my guidance, students take ownership of their personal learning space. My democratic classroom invites students to compile a set of rules during the first class meeting. I guide students to develop rules along the lines of respecting property, other people, and themselves.
Once we establish rules, I clearly explain my expectations. My elementary school students begin to take ownership for their actions. I expect my students to make good decisions. When a problem does arise, the students are expected to solve their own problems. For instance, if two students are arguing, they first try to work it out on their own. If they have trouble, they will have an appointment with me to discuss a suitable solution to the problem. We will brainstorm possible solutions and ways to prevent the problem from happening in the future. The student will decide which consequence is necessary to solve their problem. They may choose to sacrafice some recess time, or write an apology letter to the person they were fighting with. The consequence must be logical and relate to the rule that was broken.
I work patiently with students to model and ensure good moral behavior in the classroom. However, any behavior problems must be corrected in order to produce morally decent members of society. I hold my students to high expectations. For students with more extreme behavior problems, such as physical violence towards themselves or others, different strategies are used. A parent conference or individual behavior plan may be necessary. Communication with families and the school administration is also important to make sure that we are all on the same page. By working together to encourage appropriate behavior, we create a safe and comfortable learning community.