Give students a chance to reflect on and repair problematic behaviors with this thought-provoking document.
One of the things I enjoy most as a high school teacher is watching the looks on the faces of people when I tell them what I do for a living. Most people don’t hide their shock or disdain for teenagers and usually they ask me, incredulously, just how I can stand to be with them day in and day out. “They make you want to pull your hair out all of the time, don’t they?” Quite honestly, I believe that I have the best job on earth–and it’s the teenagers–not the novels, not the endless state testing, not the faculty meetings–that make it so. But to be completely honest, there are times I actually do want to pull my hair out, usually right after I’ve found a convenient spot to bang my head against the wall. Teenagers are neat young people, but sometimes they aren’t so neat and they exhibit behaviors that need to be addressed.
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Enter the Student Problems Solving document I’ve created. Wanting to give my young adults an opportunity to think through their problematic behaviors and attempt to come up with solutions and methods resulting in permanent change, I created several questions that I ask students to respond to with “respectful and appropriate responses.” I let them know that I expect that they will take their time, think about what they are being called out for, and know that I will take their responses seriously. Once the questions have been responded to, I fully (and, perhaps naively) expect the behaviors to be eliminated. Sometimes, this is the case and no further discussion or action is required. Sometimes, a second go-around at the Problem Solving sheet is warranted. It is my sincere hope that once my student has thoroughly analyzed his or her behavior and my student and I have talked about it, that that is that, and the completed document is filed away in my Student Information Binder, never to be referred to again.
If a third intervention becomes necessary, then I move on to more traditional methods of behavior modification: parent contact, referral to an administrator, etc. and the completed Problem Solving Sheets become my documentation my attempts to rectify the situation prior to administrative or parental contact.
If you’d like to add this document to your student management arsenal, click here and you’ll be directed to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I hope that you never need to use such a document (I am hilarious, aren’t I?), but just in case, it’s a terrific document to have copied and in your Student Information Binder ready to go.
All the best,