Page 1

th edition

✵ ✵ ✵ “The 4th edition of Assertive Discipline should be required reading for all new teachers and for more experienced teachers who would like to improve the management of their classes. With its real examples and Lee Canter’s classic and thoroughly enjoyable ‘straight from the heart’ style, this book is a one-of-a-kind read.” —Dave Levin, cofounder of KIPP Schools

✵✵ How to establish and maintain high expectations for student behavior

✵✵ How to develop an effective classroom discipline plan students how to behave at the beginning of the school year

own behavior

✵✵ How to build trusting relationships with all students

✵✵ How to gain the support of parents and administrators

✵✵ How to use instructional strategies that reduce disruptive behavior

Lee Canter

In a special appendix for mentors, coaches, and school leadership teams, the author introduces the Real Time Classroom Coaching Model and explains how to establish a schoolwide Assertive Discipline® program.

solution-tree.com

®

✵✵ How to develop a curriculum to teach

✵✵ How to teach students to manage their

®

Positive Behavior Management for Today’ s Classroom

4

Lee Canter

an

d Re v d

✵✵ How to develop a strong teacher voice

Assertive Discipline ise

In this revised and updated 4th edition of his classic Assertive Discipline, Lee Canter presents his threestep positive behavior management model that includes 1) how to give explicit directions, 2) how to positively recognize students who follow directions, and 3) how to take corrective actions when students choose not to follow directions. In this edition, educators will learn:

Assertive Discipline

“Lee Canter’s update of Assertive Discipline is both comprehensive and visionary. He has refined timetested management concepts while at the same time provided a powerful new model for enhancing teacher’s pedagogical skills.” —Robert J. Marzano, author and CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory

Lee Canter’s

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4

d

®

d Re v ise

Assertive Discipline

an

th edition


Copyright © 2010 by Solution Tree Press All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction of this book in whole or in part in any form. 555 North Morton Street Bloomington, IN 47404 800.733.6786 (toll free) / 812.336.7700 FAX: 812.336.7790 email: info@solution-tree.com solution-tree.com Printed in the United States of America 13 12 11 10 09

1 2 3 4 5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Canter, Lee. Lee Canter’s assertive discipline : positive behavior management for today’s classroom / Lee Canter. -- 4th ed. p. cm. Cover title: Lee Canter’s assertive discipline Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-934009-15-4 (perfect bound : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-935249-23-8 (library binding : alk. paper) 1. School discipline. 2. Behavior modification. 3. Classroom management. I. Title. II. Title: Lee Canter’s assertive discipline. LB3013.C33 2010 371.102’4--dc22 2009034667 Solution Tree Jeffrey C. Jones, CEO & President Solution Tree Press President: Douglas Rife Publisher: Robert D. Clouse Director of Production: Gretchen Knapp Managing Production Editor: Caroline Wise Senior Production Editor: Suzanne Kraszewski Proofreader: Elisabeth Abrams Text Designer: Amy Shock _______________________________________ Cover Designer: Pamela Rude


Table of Contents About the Author

xi

Introduction

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Section One: Becoming an Effective Classroom Manager 1: You Can Be an Effective Classroom Manager Why Is Classroom Management Such a Significant Issue for Today’s Teachers? Why Are Some Teachers Such Effective Classroom Managers? You Can Learn to Be an Effective Classroom Manager

2: Develop Your Teacher Voice Attributes of the Teacher Voice Building Your Teacher Voice

3: Hold High Expectations Expect 100 Percent Compliance With Your Directions 100 Percent of the Time Allow No Excuses for Disruptive Behavior Always Sweat the Small Stuff Never Back Down Let Students Know You Are Not Going Away Avoid Excessive Praise The Lesson of High-Stakes Testing Days

3 3 5 6 9 9 13 15 15 16 17 18 18 19 20

Section Two: Developing Your Classroom Discipline Plan 4: Establish Rules Advantages of Using a Classroom Discipline Plan Developing Your Rules

5: Determine Positive Support Strategies Positive Support for Individual Students Classwide Positive Support: Points on the Board

6: Determine Corrective Actions Why You Need to Take Corrective Actions Guidelines for Planning the Use of Corrective Actions Before You Implement Your Classroom Management Plan

23 24 25 27 27 29 33 33 34 37

Section Three: Teaching Responsible Behavior 7: Teach Policies and Procedures at the Beginning of the School Year Determine Policies and Procedures Planning to Teach a Lesson on Responsible Behavior Responsible Behavior Lesson Format

8: Develop a Responsible Behavior Curriculum Determine the Order in Which You Will Teach the Content Sample Responsible Behavior Curriculums

39 39 41 44 47 47 48

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Section Four: Utilizing the Behavior Management Cycle 9: Effectively Communicate Explicit Directions The Behavior Management Cycle Step One: Clearly Communicate Explicit Directions

10: Utilize Behavioral Narration The Trap of Responding to Off-Task Students Behavioral Narration Utilizing Behavioral Narration to Motivate Students to Get On Task Utilizing Behavioral Narration to Keep Students On Task During Instructional Activities Behavioral Narration Is No Substitute for Effective Instruction

11: Take Corrective Actions Guidelines to Take Corrective Actions in Your Classroom How Students Will Test You

12: Teach Students to Manage Their Own Behavior The Levels of Classroom Management Structure Level One: Highly Structured Level Two: Moving Toward Self-Management Level Three: Student Self-Management Recalibrate

57 57 58 63 63 63 67 69 70 71 71 74 81 81 82 84 85 86

Section Five: Reducing Disruptive Behavior 13: Instructional Strategies That Reduce Disruptive Behavior How to Provide Opportunities to Respond Strategies to Maximize Active Participation Additional Strategies to Engage Students and Reduce Disruptive Behavior

89 89 90 96

Section Six: Working With Difficult Students 14: Build Positive Relationships With Students The Trust Issue Steps to Earn the Trust of All Your Students

15: Develop Individualized Behavior Plans Guidelines to Developing an Individualized Behavior Plan

16: You Can’t Do It on Your Own: Getting the Support You Need to Deal With Difficult Students The Myth of the Good Teacher Initial Steps to Obtain Support From Parents and Administrators The Importance of Parental Support Building Positive Relationships With Parents Home–School Behavior Contract Pulling It All Together The Importance of Getting Support From Your Administrators

103 103 105 115 115

119 119 120 122 122 126 127 127

Appendix Mentors, Coaches, and School Leadership Teams: Structures to Support Classroom Teachers’ Behavior Management Efforts

131


Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s 1: An Introduction to the Real Time Classroom Coaching Model The Birth of the Real Time Classroom Coaching Model Real-Time Feedback Advantages of the Real Time Classroom Coaching Model Supporting Struggling Teachers

2: An Introduction to Establishing a Schoolwide Assertive Discipline Program

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133 133 137 139 142

Why So Many Schools’ Behavior Management Efforts Are Ineffective Schools Can Transform Their Learning Climate Attributes of Schools With Effective Schoolwide Behavior Management Efforts

143 143 146 146

References and Resources

155

Index

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About the Author Lee Canter is a world-renowned expert on classroom

management. His acclaimed Assertive Discipline® program has been the gold standard in the field since it was first published in 1976. Lee continues to develop cutting-edge coaching and training focused on establishing safe and orderly school environments that support closing achievement gaps. Known as one of the most dynamic speakers and trainers in education today, he has keynoted countless conferences and has been a frequent guest on noted television programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show, the TODAY Show, and Good Morning America.

Cofounder of Canter and Associates, Lee has written more than forty books and training programs for educators, including Assertive Discipline ®, Parents on Your Side ®, Succeeding With Difficult Students ®, The High-Performing Teacher, and Classroom Management for Academic Success. In addition, he is known for developing one of the most successful distance learning master’s programs for educators. Lee and his staff have trained more than one million teachers worldwide in his Assertive Discipline programs. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University, Northridge, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California.

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Introduction It has been more than thirty years since the original Assertive Discipline was published

in 1976. Since that time, over 1.5 million educators have used the concepts first presented in that book to help create positive learning environments for their students.

Throughout the years, I have continued to go into schools and classrooms and meet with educators using my program. With their feedback and the insights gained from that feedback, I have been able to clarify which strategies are the most effective and have adjusted the program to meet the changing needs of educators and students. For many years, I have dedicated the vast majority of my efforts to working with beginning and struggling teachers, particularly in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of this country. I see, day in and day out, the challenges these teachers face when attempting to deal with the behavior of difficult students, but often lacking the skills necessary to be successful. Thus, in this edition, I place particular emphasis on addressing the needs of new and struggling teachers to give them the skills and confidence necessary to take charge of their classrooms in a firm, fair, and positive manner. In order to accomplish this goal, I introduce new concepts, including how teachers can earn the respect of today’s students by developing what I call a strong “teacher voice,” and provide a step-by-step model for how teachers can teach students to manage their own behavior. Also you will find included in this edition basic instructional strategies that are vital to help teachers reduce disruptive behavior. The reality is that the more effective the teachers’ instruction, the more students will stay engaged and not become disruptive. I have also incorporated updated versions of concepts that were originally presented in my book Classroom Management for Academic Success (2006). These concepts include the Behavior Management Cycle, a fundamental strategy to teach students to follow directions, as well as a Responsible Behavior Curriculum, to guide efforts to teach students appropriate behavior at the beginning of the year. Concepts and strategies from the previous edition of Assertive Discipline (2001a) that educators and researchers have validated as being best practices in classroom management are included as well. Finally, it has become abundantly clear to me that the first step in improving teachers’ classroom management skills is to give them the concepts and strategies they need to do their jobs. The reality is, though, that more steps are needed to ensure teachers have the necessary supports to maximize their ability to help students learn to behave responsibly in the classroom.

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To begin this process, I’ve included an appendix in this edition that will provide an introduction to two critical steps to help increase teachers’ success: 1. The Real Time Classroom Coaching Model—A new model of coaching teachers that enables mentors, coaches, and others to assist teachers with raising their level of mastery in the use of classroom management skills 2. Establishing a Schoolwide Assertive Discipline Program—A model for school leadership teams to use to establish a schoolwide behavior management program that supports teachers’ classroom efforts It is my profound hope that as a new generation of teachers begins their efforts on behalf of our youth, they will be empowered by the concepts and strategies in this text as they strive to meet their professional goals and the needs of today’s students.


SECTION ONE

Becoming an Effective Classroom Manager HAP TE

You can establish a classroom environment in which you teach and students learn free from the distraction of disruptive student behavior!

How can I make such a bold statement not knowing you or your students? Over the last thirty years, my staff and I have worked with more than one million teachers at all grade levels and from all types of socioeconomic backgrounds, and we have learned firsthand that any motivated teacher can develop the skills and confidence needed to teach his or her students how to behave. If you are ready to join this enormous contingent of educators who have learned to successfully manage their students’ behavior, then please continue reading.

Why Is Classroom Management Such a Significant Issue for Today’s Teachers? If you are reading this book, you are either struggling with managing student behavior or concerned that you will soon be facing this issue. Trust me, you are not alone. Seventy-seven percent of teachers admit that their teaching would be more effective if they did not have to spend so much time dealing with disruptive students (Public Agenda, 2004). Fifty percent of teacher time is spent dealing with the disruptive behavior in many classrooms at all grade levels (Cotton, 1990; Walker, Colvin, & Ramsey, 1995). Forty percent of teachers spend more time keeping order than teaching (Johnson, 2004).

Why do so many teachers struggle with classroom management issues today? Let’s look at the reality they face.

Lack of Respect for Teachers’ Authority In the not too distant past, teachers had instant respect and the authority that came with it simply because they were “the teacher.” Society reinforced this authority with the high esteem in which it held educators. 3

© 2010 Solution Tree Press. All rights reserved.

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Parents reinforced this authority by stressing the importance of education and the importance of listening to the teacher. Students knew that if they got in trouble at school, they’d be in twice as much trouble at home.

Today the reality you face is quite different. You have to deal with society’s lack of respect for teachers and the educational establishment in general. Parents often don’t automatically support your efforts and, in fact, many openly question and undermine your authority.

Changing Classroom Demographics Over the years, the composition of classrooms has changed, particularly with regard to greater inclusion of students with special needs. This is primarily the result of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), most recently amended in 2004 in the wake of No Child Left Behind legislation, passed in 2001, and a reinvigorated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. One result is that many students with special needs who in the past would have been taught in separate classrooms are now fully integrated in general classrooms. Inclusion makes demands on teachers to address previously unfamiliar behavioral issues (Algozzine & Ysseldyke, 2006; Jiménez & Graf, 2008). Another aspect of the new demographics challenge is increasing cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity in today’s classrooms. Students come with new expectations and unfamiliar behavior norms based on backgrounds that differ from those of the majority of students in the past. As a result of this new reality, you, the teacher, must recognize that the discipline approaches that were effective with previous generations of students often do not work in today’s classrooms.

Ineffective Classroom Management Training Over thirty years ago, in the original edition of Assertive Discipline, I stated that “teachers do not receive the training they need to deal with disruptive students” (1976, p. 6). Some things never change. Today an overwhelming number of teachers still do not receive the classroom management training they need to deal with their students. Most teachers are trained in programs that work just fine with “compliant” students. In psychological-behavioral parlance, compliance refers to an individual’s willing acquiescence to a request or a demand. In education, compliance also embodies responsiveness to teacher direction, cooperation, and self-control. Basically, compliant

© 2010 Solution Tree Press. All rights reserved.

Classroom management, or discipline, usually consisted of nothing more than a teacher’s stern look or a few well-chosen words. The simple promise “I will call your parents if you do that again” was sufficient to motivate most students, including the most disruptive ones, to choose to behave.


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students are those who want to please you. These students respond quickly to your positive actions, discipline, or both. Typically, compliant students make up approximately 80–90 percent of most classrooms.

Noncompliant students are much more interested in doing what they want, when and how they want, rather than pleasing you.

Most teachers report the classroom management training they receive simply does not prepare them to deal effectively with such students. Why is this a significant issue? Consider this question: How many disruptive, noncompliant students does it take to lower the academic achievement of an entire class? You know the answer! One.

The result of having one or more disruptive, noncompliant students who you cannot motivate to listen to you can simply be ruinous to your efforts in your classroom.

Why Are Some Teachers Such Effective Classroom Managers? For more than thirty years, I have been studying one simple question: what are the attributes of teachers who are effective classroom managers? Why is it that one teacher can have no behavior problems with her sixth-period class when other teachers consider that same class to be the proverbial “class from hell”? Why is it that a fourth-grade teacher has no trouble with the behavior of several “difficult” students who nearly drove their teachers from previous years out of the profession? Many educators will state that these so-called naturals were born to teach difficult students. Yes, a small percentage of these teachers are uniquely gifted educators, but the vast majority of the teachers I have studied are simply ordinary educators who mastered specific attributes that are needed to effectively manage students in today’s classroom. Let’s look at the attributes effective teachers possess.

A Strong Teacher Voice Effective teachers have developed the “strong teacher voice” needed to manage a group of students. They know how to assertively “say what they mean and mean what they say” so that they have the respect and authority needed to take charge of their classroom.

© 2010 Solution Tree Press. All rights reserved.

What about the remaining 10–20 percent? These are the students who, for many reasons, are noncompliant.


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High Expectations for Student Behavior These teachers know how to demonstrate through their words and actions that they expect all their students to learn to behave appropriately, and they will do whatever it takes to ensure this happens.

Effective teachers proactively develop a systematic plan—including classroom rules, positive support strategies, and disciplinary consequences—that guides all their classroom management efforts from the first day of school onward.

Policies and Procedures Taught at the Beginning of the Year The number one priority for these teachers at the beginning of the year is not teaching the three Rs, but rather systematically teaching students the appropriate behaviors needed to be successful in classroom activities.

The Ability to Motivate All Students to Quickly Follow Directions and to Get and Stay On Task These teachers have mastered research-validated strategies that enable them to motivate all students to get and stay on task so that the classroom is a safe, orderly environment that promotes academic success.

The Ability to Build Trusting Relationships With Their Students These teachers know the old adage, “Students don’t care what you know until they know you care,” thus they use best practices to build positive relationships with students, especially those who can be noncompliant or difficult.

The Ability to Gain Support From Parents and Administrators Master teachers know they can’t do it on their own with difficult students, so they develop the skills necessary to get the support they need from the students’ parents and administrators.

You Can Learn to Be an Effective Classroom Manager The most exciting finding from my research is that any motivated teacher has the potential to master the aforementioned attributes of effective teachers and dramatically reduce the disruptive behavior in his or her classroom. Each year I work with teachers who I propose are just like you, and they use the insights presented in this book to take charge of their classrooms in a firm, fair, and positive manner.

© 2010 Solution Tree Press. All rights reserved.

An Effective Classroom Discipline Plan


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You, too, can transform how you deal with your students. I sincerely believe you can become more effective if you are open to the possibility that there are different, more empowering ways to:

„„ Look at why students are motivated to behave as they do „„ Determine how you will choose to respond to your students’ behavior You don’t have to be frustrated by your students’ behavior. You can establish a classroom environment that lights you up and promotes the academic success of all your students.

© 2010 Solution Tree Press. All rights reserved.

„„ View the potential positive influence you absolutely do have to motivate students to choose to behave in your classroom


th edition

✵ ✵ ✵ “The 4th edition of Assertive Discipline should be required reading for all new teachers and for more experienced teachers who would like to improve the management of their classes. With its real examples and Lee Canter’s classic and thoroughly enjoyable ‘straight from the heart’ style, this book is a one-of-a-kind read.” —Dave Levin, cofounder of KIPP Schools

✵✵ How to establish and maintain high expectations for student behavior

✵✵ How to develop an effective classroom discipline plan students how to behave at the beginning of the school year

own behavior

✵✵ How to build trusting relationships with all students

✵✵ How to gain the support of parents and administrators

✵✵ How to use instructional strategies that reduce disruptive behavior

Lee Canter

In a special appendix for mentors, coaches, and school leadership teams, the author introduces the Real Time Classroom Coaching Model and explains how to establish a schoolwide Assertive Discipline® program.

solution-tree.com

®

✵✵ How to develop a curriculum to teach

✵✵ How to teach students to manage their

®

Positive Behavior Management for Today’ s Classroom

4

Lee Canter

an

d Re v d

✵✵ How to develop a strong teacher voice

Assertive Discipline ise

In this revised and updated 4th edition of his classic Assertive Discipline, Lee Canter presents his threestep positive behavior management model that includes 1) how to give explicit directions, 2) how to positively recognize students who follow directions, and 3) how to take corrective actions when students choose not to follow directions. In this edition, educators will learn:

Assertive Discipline

“Lee Canter’s update of Assertive Discipline is both comprehensive and visionary. He has refined timetested management concepts while at the same time provided a powerful new model for enhancing teacher’s pedagogical skills.” —Robert J. Marzano, author and CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory

Lee Canter’s

Ne w

Ne w

4

d

®

d Re v ise

Assertive Discipline

an

th edition

Assertive Discipline  

4th Edition This classic resource now includes a real-time coaching model and guidance for establishing a schoolwide Assertive Discipline® p...

Assertive Discipline  

4th Edition This classic resource now includes a real-time coaching model and guidance for establishing a schoolwide Assertive Discipline® p...