Mark Barnes

TEAC

South Euclid, OH

Interests: 21st century learning,...

  • Posted 6 Years ago
  • 7.1k

How to stop discipline issues forever

A Results Only Learning Environment has no discipline issues. Many educators find this nearly impossible to believe, so I decided to explain how to stop discipline issues forever.

Behavior issues are a matter of opinion
One thing that separates ROLE teachers from traditional teachers is how behavior is categorized. Teachers in favor of control, for example, will say that cell phone use or students talking and moving without permission are major discipline problems. The ROLE teacher embraces these behaviors, because the results-only classroom is a workshop setting that encourages autonomy and constant collaboration.

So, when someone is shocked to hear that I have no behavior issues, my first response is to suggest that my view of discipline is different from that of traditional teachers, who might argue that I have many problems, due to what they may perceive to be chaos in my classroom. I say that I have no discipline problems, because my students are not disrespectful and are never disruptive in the classic sense of the word.  I never have to punish a student, nor would I consider doing so. Our workshop setting provides freedom and eliminates control, which is what typically leads to disruption.

Most disciplinary issues begin with bad teaching  
In the past, I punished students for talking to peers, because I saw this as disruptive to the constant lecturing I was doing. When students refused to complete a task, I removed them from my room. What I didn't realize then was that the problem wasn't a disrespectful or disruptive student; it was a boring worksheet or textbook assignment, which did not offer autonomy or ignite a thirst for learning. Now students collaborate, work on year-long projects and participate in their own mastery of learning outcomes, through two-way narrative feedback.

What students say
Last year, I polled students at the end of the school year about result-only learning strategies. One question was about behavior. I asked them why they believed there were never any discipline issues in class. Eighty-four percent reported that the ROLE encouraged a desire to learn over a desire to be disruptive. 

You see, the absence of discipline issues has nothing to do with me being a great teacher. It's about a 21st century learning environment that fans intrinsic motivation and keeps students so engaged in learning that disruption is not considered. 

Imagine how much learning would take place if all of your class disruption and discipline problems vanished forever.

14 Comments

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Mark_Barnes

03 Aug 11, 07:26 PM

Nicci, you've taken a huge step in the right direction, as you understand your own traditional ways and that you need to change. This is important. I made the transformation after roughly 15 years of bad, traditional teaching. I would recommend that in addition to reading my posts here that you follow me at www.resultsonlylearning.com and maybe participate in the Results Only Project, located at the blog. Making a commitment is important, as it's the first step to creating the ROLE. Good luck and stay in touch.
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Nicci_Tatarek

03 Aug 11, 07:01 PM

I am very interested in learning more about ROLE teaching. I have begun to seriously reevaluate my teaching and classroom management styles and have begun to move towards this direction. The idea of transforming my traditional classroom to a workshop environment is something I have planned for this summer and excited to implement. I agree that many of my classroom problems are encouraged from my own bad teaching, too many lectures and too many worksheets. I am eager to begin researching ROLE methods, especially the year-long project to further my transformation into a 21st century educator.
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Mark_Barnes

03 Aug 11, 04:54 PM

James, Kimberly is right. The ROLE works for all students. I had some very difficult, low-motivated students last year, and even they responded. Keep them engaged, give them plenty of autonomy and be persistent. Good luck.
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Kimberly_Freeman

03 Aug 11, 03:39 PM

James, I actually teach in a special education classroom and so far (as in the three days I have tried it) they have responded well. They are elementary age and have taken more pride in their work this year than they did last year. (5 of my students have returned from last year)
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James_Moses

03 Aug 11, 12:59 PM

Mark, Wow! This is a very interesting post. This is something I have not thought about. I wonder how this would work in a special education environment? This post has made me think about discipline in my class. Thanks for the post!
James
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Kimberly_Freeman

03 Aug 11, 11:58 AM

Mark, I found your post very insightful! As humans, we are social by nature and we have the desire to share our ideas, thoughts and feeling with others. The students in our rooms are no different. We as teachers have to make the change to create the ROLE. We have to find what interest our students, what gives them the drive to be high achieving and productive citizens. Sitting in their chairs listening to us lecture and getting corrected when speaking out is not going to work. We have to get them out of their seats, get them working with others, sharing their talents, etc.
After reading your post, I have been watching my students and observing how proud they are when their work is observed by their peers. I am working towards finding a time during every day for each student to share what they feel like they did best on that day. I think this will help build their intrinsic motivation and push them past the extrinsic they are currently in.
Thanks again,
Kimberly Freeman
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Mark_Barnes

02 Aug 11, 06:39 AM

Darlene, the year-long project helps build intrinsic motivation which, in turn, creates a thirst for learning. We set checkpoint goals for the projects, and students work in and out of class, independently and collaboratively to complete projects. They master various learning outcomes along the way, but they aren't even thinking about this, because they are more focused on the year-long goal.

A year-long project can be a simple thing. For example, my Reading All Year (RAY) project has many components, but the main goal is for students to read at least 25 books in numerous genres. Although they are working on many smaller projects throughout the year, they are motivated to get to the goal of 25.

You're absolutely right in what you say about the assignments with value (this is a huge part of the ROLE). When students are engaged in learning, many things will change in your classroom.
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Darlene_Pennington

01 Aug 11, 06:08 PM

I am a new Business Education teacher and through my first course in my master degree program I have gained some insight about the effectiveness of giving students real world issues to solve in the classroom. A new idea that I would like to try this year is to go to the area businesses and ask them if they have any needs of students doing Microsoft Office projects with Excel, Access, PowerPoint, or with designing web sites, flyers, or business cards. I am very intrigued by the ROLE concept of creating a year-long project. I am also curious about the design of your project. Did different groups of students work on different projects? Or did all of the groups come together to create one project, with each group doing a part of the project? I believe that if the assignments have value to the students that this will decrease behavior problems.
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Mark_Barnes

01 Aug 11, 09:58 AM

Hey Laura, I appreciate your comment and your difficulties as a new teacher. One of the most difficult problems with eliminating traditional methods is the opinion of traditional coworkers who may tell you that what you're doing is wrong.

Traditional veteran teachers struggle with change. I know this, because I struggled with my own transformation. You do have the chance, however, to become an immediate change agent in your building. Just make the changes and lead the way.

When people see the amazing success that ROLE type teaching creates in your room, they may jump on board.
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Laura_Fifolt

01 Aug 11, 09:23 AM

Mark,

What an interesting post. I must say I have never thought of doing it this way and your post has made me think about my teaching and how I discipline in my classrom. I have tried very hard breaking away from traditional teacher, but as I beginning teacher it has been difficult. I feel that a lot of my coworkers could greatly benefit from reading this. Thanks for the post.

Laura
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Shannon_Holden

29 Jul 11, 12:17 PM

Mark- What an innovative way to look at classroom behaviors! Can I have your permission to post a link to this blog on my website, http://www.newteacherhelp.com
I think novice teachers need to hear this approach!
Best regards,
Shannon
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Mark_Barnes

26 Jul 11, 12:47 PM

Thanks, Leslie.

Nancy, you'll learn much more when my book on results-only learning is released. Thanks.
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Leslie_Welch

26 Jul 11, 12:10 PM

Mark- I shared this blog post with our Facebook community. There is an interesting discussion happening over there. You can see what people are saying here: http://www.facebook.com/ascd.org

~Leslie
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Nancy_Hudak

26 Jul 11, 10:01 AM

You're right, this is hard to believe. I'd be interested in seeing a long-term analysis of any data you've generated.
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