Practice teacher control by interacting with students in a virtual classroom using the new innovative “Star Classroom Management Protocol”
Dr. Martin Haberman
Distinguished Professor, UWM
While most teachers spend their careers engaged in a never-ending battle for control of their classrooms, star teachers spend most of their time teaching. The greatest number of suspensions and expulsions and the highest rate of teacher turnover is in schools serving diverse children in poverty. Quitter/failure teachers explain their inability to teach these students by blaming the victims, their families and communities. Star teachers, however, frequently working with the very same students in the very same schools, have students
engaged in productive ways and learning a great deal.
My research and observations of discipline problems lead me to conclude that most classroom problems are caused and escalated into bigger problems by the teachers them- selves. The behaviors of failure/quitter teachers are most frequently a replication of things that teachers did to them when they were in school. The second most common source of teacher discipline strategies are the automatic, unthinking responses of any adult to any wrongdoer and reflect no knowledge of child development or learning. In other words, someone working in an office or a store would be likely to respond the same way to student misbehavior. A distant third, are the responses teachers make which reflect some “system” of discipline they learned in a class or workshop. Unfortunately, these discipline “systems” only work if the teacher and students have established a positive working relationship and if this were the case there would not be a management problem in the first place.
Star teachers do not follow “systems” of classroom management because there are no guaranteed “pat” responses which work with all students in all situations.. Instead, stars first decide the student’s motivation for his/her misbehavior. They ask themselves, “What need is the student seeking to satisfy by this misbehavior?” Stars then respond to the student in a way that deals with the specific student need. The four most common causes for student misbehavior reflect a student’s need for:
Attention – an insatiable need for recognition and approval
Power – a need to constantly battle the teacher for control of the classroom
Revenge –a need to inflict hurt and pay back for perceived mistreatment
Avoidance of failure – a need to not try, to avoid failure, to feign helplessness
The Star Teacher Classroom Management Protocol was developed to help teachers stop replicating the discipline strategies they experienced as children. They didn’t work then and they don’t work now. Practicing and learning this protocol will also help teachers stop making
automatic responses that satisfy their needs as adults to punish the guilty but do not meet the needs of the students who are misbehaving. This is an interactive experience in which teachers will practice managing a virtual classroom by responding to students misbehavior caused by their specific needs. As teachers become increasingly proficient at keeping students’ on-task they will also develop the following seven skills related to classroom management.
1. Withitness – a heightened awareness of everything going on with all the studentseverywhere in the classroom.
2. Multitasking –an increase in the ability to deal with several students’ problems simultaneously.
3. Responding to individual needs—learning to tailor specific teacher responses to particular students’ needs.
4. Increasing the teacher’s repertoire of responses by practicing 50 positive teacher responses.
5. Avoiding escalation of problems—stamping out automatic teacher reactions and responses that feed into and worsen the misbehaviors.
6. Professionalizing teacher behavior—learning to respond in ways that meet the needs of the students not the personal needs of the teacher.
7. Becoming more decisive—learning to act more quickly and staying in control of the situation.
Practicing in this virtual classroom will help veteran as well as beginning teachers gain the
skills needed to keep more of their students on task for longer periods with fewer disruptions.
Martin Haberman is creator of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Teacher Education Program (MMTEP). He was one of the three founders of the SOE Urban Doctoral Program. He received the 1996 Teacher Educator of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Dr. Haberman is the author of seven books and more than 200 articles and chapters. Distinguished Professor, he earned his doctorate in teacher education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds honorary doctorates from Rhode Island College and SUNY-Cortland. Dr. Haberman is the recipient of the AACTE Pomeroy Award and has served as a Hunt lecturer. The National Teacher Corps was based on his Milwaukee Intern Program. He has developed more programs preparing more teachers than anyone in American education. His interview for selecting urban teachers is used in 150 cities.