Chapter 6 – Setting and Maintaining High Behavioral Expectations

Technique #36 – 100 Percent – There’s one acceptable percentage of students following a direction: 100 percent. Less, and your authority is subject to interpretation, situation, and motivation.

To achieve 100 percent always use the least invasive form of intervention. This relies heavily on a firm, calm finesse. Some ideas for interventions (in order of least to most invasive) include:

  • Nonverbal intervention
  • Positive group correction
  • Anonymous individual correction
  • Private individual correction
  • Lightening-quick public correction
  • Consequence

Emphasize compliance you can see:

  • Invent ways to maximize visibility
  • Be seen looking
  • Avoid marginal compliance
  • Leverage the power of unacknowledged behavioral opportunities

Technique #37 – What to Do – Some portion of student noncompliance – a larger portion that many teachers ever suppose – is caused not by defiance but by incompetence; by students’ misunderstanding a direction, not knowing how to follow it, or tuning out in a moment of benign distraction.

Make all directions: Specific, Concrete, Sequential and Observable!

Technique #38 – Strong Voice – Maximizing your audible influence over the classroom is enhanced by leveraging the Five Principles of Strong Voice.

  1. Economy of Language – say only what you must
  2. Do Not Talk Over – demand full attention when you speak
  3. Do Not Engage – stay focus on the topic you selected
  4. Square Up/Stand Still – show with your body language what your words are saying
  5. Quiet Power – Slow down and speak softer when you feel the urge to raise your voice and escalate.

Technique #39 – Do It Again – Doing it again and doing it right, or better, or perhaps perfect is often the best consequence.

Seven reasons for doing it again:

  1. It shortens the feedback loop
  2. It sets a standard of excellence, not just compliance
  3. There is no administrative follow up
  4. There is group accountability
  5. It ends with success
  6. There are logical consequences
  7. It is reusable

Technique #40 – Sweat the Details – To reach the highest standards you must create the perception of order. Clean up clutter, keep desks tidy and orderly. Demand professionalism of yourself and you will inspire it in your students.

Technique #41 – Threshold – The expectations for how students will behave is established the minute they enter your room and not when the bell goes. Threshold ensures that you make a habit of getting it right from the outset each day.

Technique #42 – No Warnings – Using minor interventions and small consequences that you can administer fairly without hesitation before a situation gets emotional is the key to maintaining control and earning students’ respect. Basically, don’t let anything go, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

  • Act early
  • Act reliably
  • Act proportionately
  • Be calm
  • Be poised
  • Be private

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