When you think of a well-disciplined school, you may conjure up the image of a strict educational environment. Perhaps you imagine a place where students simply do not act out because they will face punishment.
However, many of the most well-disciplined schools use supportive disciplinary practices rather than punitive ones. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Best Practice Strategies for Educators explains it as an effective practice that ensures safety and dignity, preserves the integrity of the learning environment and addresses root causes of student misbehavior.
Avoiding Suspension and Expulsion
In recent years, many educational facilities have moved away from suspension and expulsion as consequences for poor behavior, understanding that this can actually be counterproductive. As NASP says, “Youth who are not in school and not in the labor force are at exceedingly high risk of delinquency and crime. Each year’s class of dropouts drains the nation of more than $200 billion in lost earnings and taxes every year. Billions more are spent on welfare, healthcare, and other social services.”
Instead, educators and administrators can reduce the feeling of alienation while still providing the support students need, through creating alternative settings for students who would normally face suspension or expulsion. These settings keep students in school, but in a short-term alternative setting that allows them to continue to work through the curriculum in a smaller group modified for any behavioral challenges they may be facing.
In a K-12 school, early intervention is key. School administrators and educators can use software to track behavioral indicators that could develop into further, larger issues down the road. By targeting these behavioral problems closer to when they appear, administrators and educators can prevent more disruption in the future. Early intervention programs can start as early as kindergarten. With tracking software, students, their families, and the school can monitor progress as the student advances through their entire education experience.
Social Skills Training
Often times, students misbehave because they simply haven’t learned what is appropriate and what is not. By monitoring student behavior in a quantifiable way, administrators can identify gaps in social skills training within a student population. Knowing these details, school administrators and educators can then implement training programs for individual students, or the entire school, with positive outcomes.