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Cooperative Discipline. Revenge and Power!. STAGES. There are three different stages and techniques in power/revenge situations: The Rumbling Stage: Make a Graceful Exit The Eruption Stage: Use Time Out The Resolution Stage: Set Consequences; Conduct a student-teacher conference.

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Cooperative discipline

Cooperative Discipline

Revenge and Power!


There are three different stages and techniques in power/revenge situations:

  • The Rumbling Stage: Make a Graceful Exit

  • The Eruption Stage: Use Time Out

  • The Resolution Stage: Set Consequences; Conduct a student-teacher conference

  • Always keep in mind:

  • Be Prepared – these situations are going to happen, we can take steps to minimize the fallout.

  • Remain Unimpressed – students want our full attention. They feel powerful when we react. Always remember how students are trying to manipulate us and keep your cool.

  • Use Mental Reminders

    • The only person I have control over is me.

    • I can control my personal reaction to what’s happening.

    • I am a good teacher. Just because ___ is exploding right now doesn’t change that fact.

    • I can handle this situation. It’s not so awful. I only have to decide which graceful exit to use right now.

    • Students will know I’m in control if I remain calm.

  • Check the barometer: Meet and greet students at the door; this allows us to check their pressure reading.

  • Keep your black belt handy: Have the mindset to go with the flow NOT fight back or retreat.

The rumbling stage

Warning signs: students’ face or body language, hear it in their voice, smile when disregarding rules

We must remain calm. Do not use sarcasm or animosity. Humor directed at the teacher or situation may bring a more graceful exit. Sarcasm directed at the student will not help the situation. It’s like adding fuel to the fire!

The rumbling stage1

Teachers cannot actually make students do anything. We can acknowledge this and show that we are both human. This fuels cooperation. When students know that we are not superior and in turn they are not inferior, they tend to cooperate more than confront. The more we try to control students, the more they resist.

The rumbling stage2

Strategy #1: Remove the Audience

  • When others stand by to see who “wins,” confrontations invariably intensify. We can’t send the class room somewhere else, but we can remove their attention.

  • Make an important announcement.

  • Start a discussion on a topic of general interest

  • Change the activity

  • Do something unexpected

  • The key is to distract the rest of the class and also move away from the student

  • Postpone confrontation – “We’ll finish this discussion after class.”

The rumbling stage3

Strategy #2: Table the Matter

  • When we are tired, we have less patience. Students often know this and will try and push our buttons either directly or indirectly.

  • Use simple sentences to postpone resolution

  • Then we can choose the time and place to continue the discussion

  • Implement a “gripe box” (with guidelines) You can use the comments/suggestions to hold a conference or start a class discussion at a later date.

The rumbling stage4

Strategy #3: Schedule a Conference

  • Keep a clipboard handy with a note that says “Please choose the time you prefer a conference with me” and list the times you are best available.

  • If a student challenges you, hand her the clipboard and walk away.

  • Pick up the clipboard at the end of class.

  • If the student didn’t sign up, select the conference time yourself and state the time to the student.

  • What are possible times? Before school, after school, lunch, between classes, during planning periods. You can also do impromptu conferences during independent practices, small-group work, or cooperative learning activities.

  • Conferences can be as short as two minutes or as along as fifteen.

The rumbling stage5

Strategy #4: Use a Fogging Technique

  • Respond to inflammatory statements as if they are of little or no importance.

  • Agree with student -- one of the most effective because this is the last response they would expect

  • When we agree, students have no way to continue the argument.

  • Change the subject -- this deflates the student’s challenge

  • We aren’t condoning the student’s words when we don’t reply; our goal is to get the student to end the misbehavior.

  • State both viewpoints -- uses reflective listening and states the teacher’s position. The format is “To you _______________. To me ________________.”

  • Make the distinction between understanding and agreeing; ask for understanding, but let the student save face and see the outcome as a draw.

  • Refuse responsibility -- Counteract with a positive statement

  • **make sure student really doesn’t need help first before refusing to help

  • Dodge irrelevant issues -- inform the student that is not the issue, restate the issue and move on.

  • “That’s not the issue. The issue is _______.” That puts us back in control. Dodge “I don’t agree” statements, too because you are not asking for agreement, just understanding.

  • Deliver a closing statement -- this is a one-liner to communicate to the student the confrontation has ended. We must remain calm!

  • “Are you done yet?” “You’ve mistake me for someone who wants to fight.” “You’re confusing me with someone else. I don’t argue with students.” “Unless you have something new to add, I’m finished with this conversation.”

  • Call the student’s bluff -- “Let me get this straight. I asked you to __________ and you are refusing. Is this correct?”

  • The choice is to choose more appropriate behavior immediately or be held accountable. You can have a notebook or tape recorder handy to record the answer.

  • Take a teacher time out -- If you are losing your cool, remove yourself from the situation; this allows you to save face, regroup, and resolve later.

  • “What’s happening is not OK with me. I need some teacher time-out to think about it. We’ll talk later.” “I need some time to get control of my thoughts. Give me a few minutes, please.” “I’m calling a time-out. I need a few minutes to calm down.” “I’m going to walk away now and give myself some time to chill out. We’ll talk later.”

The eruption stage

Strategy #1: Time out in the classroom

This should be out of the direct line of vision of the rest of the students. You can partition off a small area of the room with a bookcase, moveable chalkboard or bulletin board.

Strategy #2: Time out in another classroom

Partner with a fellow teacher so that you each can send students to his/her room. The students in another class usually aren’t interested in being an audience for the misbehaving student.

The eruption stage1

Strategy #3: Time out in a special room

This is a step between another classroom and the principal’s office. Check with your school about a time out area.

Strategy #4: Time out in the office

This is the last resort. You might have to use this when all in-school choices have failed or the misbehavior is so malicious that intermediate steps are not an option.

Strategy #5: Time out in the home

The most sever time-out technique is suspension from school. This should be avoided when possible. Plus many students see this as a reward.

The eruption stage2

Implementing Time Out:

  • Language of Choice

  • “You may sit quietly in your seat without bothering others or you many go chill out in Mr. J’s room. You decide.”

  • Defuses confrontation because we are not commanding or threatening.

  • Simply state the specific behavior expected and the consequence of noncompliance.

  • Having a choice makes students feel in control.

  • The only time this is useless is when the behavior is so disruptive or dangerous the student must be removed immediately

Time out
Time Out

The Who Squad

  • When a student refuses the teacher gives a second choice

  • “Would you like to go by yourself or would you like me to get someone who will help you go?”

  • Squad should be called immediately whenever a teacher feels physically threatened.

Time out1
Time Out

Duration of time out:

  • First offenders can be given five minutes.

  • Older students or repeat offenders might get fifteen to thirty minutes.

  • Don’t offer the student the option of setting the time limit.

  • Students can create a re-entry plan while in time out

  • “What I will do differently in class is __________”

The resolution stage

Guidelines for effective consequences:

  • Related Consequences

  • Logically connected to misbehavior

  • Must establish consequences that take place at school not at home

  • Reasonable Consequences

  • Equal in proportion and intensity to misbehavior

  • Use consequences to teach students to behave appropriately not to make them suffer

  • Respectful Consequences

  • Stated and carried out to preserve student’s self-esteem

  • No name-calling, blaming, shaming or implied moral judgement

  • Not accompanied by a lecture or discussion about behavior

  • Consequence is state in polite, unemotional, matter-of-fact terms

The resolution stage1

Reliably EnforcedConsequences

  • Tactic 1: Buttering Up (give a compliment, offer a helping hand, or express appreciation; it’s hard to give a punishment when they are friendly and compliant)

  • Tactic 2: Promises, Promises (promises are often all talk and no action)

  • Tactic 3: I’m Sorry (apologies are appropriate, but not a consequence)

  • Tactic 4: Invoking Guilt (students can bring up difficult home life or poor treatment by others to make us feel guilty. We are not to make them feel like victims, but choose productive behavior)

  • Tactic 5: Competition (when students compare you to another teacher)

The resolution stage2

Selecting the Consequence

  • Loss or Delay of Privileges

  • Loss or delay of activity

  • When students misuse time we can deny or delay an activity or have them come back before/after school or during lunch to make up the time

  • Loss or Delay of using objects

  • Loss or Delay of access to school areas

The resolution stage3

  • Loss or Delay of Freedom of Interaction

  • Denied interactions with other students

  • Required interactions with school personnel

  • Set up a meeting with the principal, guidance counselor, or dean of students; purpose is to talk about what has happened and to come up with a plan so it doesn’t happen again

  • Required interactions with parents

  • Calling home during class and having student speak directly to a parent is effective

  • Required interactions with police

  • Vandalism, stealing, dealing drugs, or bringing weapons require police involvement

The resolution stage4

  • Restitution

  • Return, repair, or replacement of objects

  • Repayment of time

  • Compensation to classmates and teachers

  • School service

  • Reteach Appropriate Behavior

  • Extended practice

  • Written reports

  • Write an assigned report that is logically connected to the misbehavior and emphasizes the value of making the more appropriate choice.

Forming Relationships with Students We Dislike:

  • Change our Perceptions

  • Turn weakness into strengths; “stubborn” become “steadfast” or “persistent”

  • Use positive language

  • Change our Reactions

  • Five A’s of encouragement: acceptance, attention, appreciation, affirmation, and affection

  • Act Confident in our ability

  • We must appear confident; students can sense weakness

  • Demonstrate that we care

  • Caring is an action, not a feeling; we do it on behalf to the students. We can control our actions even if our feelings are contrary.

Teaching Students to Deal with Their Emotions:

  • Verbalize feelings

  • Ask students to tell us what they are feeling or we can take a guess

  • Our job is to simply listen and indicate we hear what they are saying

  • We do not tell students what they should or shouldn’t be feeling

  • After they’ve expressed feelings, we can ask “What brings on these feelings?” “Is there anything I do that makes you feel that way?”

Developing Anger Management Plans

  • Classroom

    • Move to a study carrel or “peace table”

    • Write down feelings

    • Brief exit of classroom (use the water fountain, run an errand, etc)

    • Have an agreed-upon signal


  • “What triggers my anger?”

  • “What are my body responses to anger?”

  • “How do I deal with my anger?”

  • “Is my approach effective?”

  • “If not, what else could I do?”