School administrators are always looking for alternative ways to improve student behavior in the classroom. More and more attention is being paid to changing student thinking through mindfulness, social and emotional learning, and restorative justice.
Here is a brief overview of these three new clasroom management approaches to improving student behavior:
1. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) focuses on five core competencies:
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Management
- Responsible Decision Making
If school administrators want to improve student behavior and reduce conflict, it is critical for them to encourage students to improve in these areas – especially empathy, self-awareness and conflict resolution. These skills will allow students to be more aware of others and their own responses to situations.
New research shows that mindfulness in the classroom works. Some data specifically shows it improves student behavior and reduces brain activity related to aggression. Since implementing a specific time for mindfulness each day and a mindfulness center rather than a detention room, schools in Baltimore have seen better student academic achievement and improved attendance rates.
3. Restorative Justice (RJ)
Restorative justice is an alternative to traditional discipline like detention, suspension or expulsion. Restorative justice approaches include community conferencing, peer juries, peer mediation. One way school administrators can introduce RJ into the classroom is by having students write a ‘respect agreement’ including how they will treat other students and the teacher in a positive way.
Did You Know? Research shows that regular teacher-parent communication decreases behavior corrections by 25%. Try using a school notification system to maintain routine communication with parents using their preferred method of communication: voice calls, emails, SMS text messages or social media.