In a recent article, St. Paul Public School teachers are growing impatient with using positive behavior interventions and supports to reduce student discipline. The dynamics associated with the new Every Student Succeeds Act discipline requirements require higher levels of accountability for schools and teachers. St. Paul Public Schools can use the Raccelerate Racism System and promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships to reduce student discipline.
According to the article, Student discipline approach divides St. Paul school teachers, leaders, the St. Paul Teachers Union is taking action to force the school district to take additional steps to reduce student discipline. Even though the union membership desire a process that is less punitive, they are willing to strike if necessary.
The district boast that the present system positive behavior support system has resulted in a leveling of student discipline. They cite that the number of reported fourth-degree assaults on school administrators has remained the same over the past 10 years. Many teachers claim that the positive behavior support system is not improving the school climate.
By design, the positive behavioral support system does not address the challenges between teachers and students. This model reinforces a preventive approach to help students work out their own problems. According to Kristy Pierce, a behavior at Como Park High School, she believes that the positive behavioral support system helps students solve their problems but it really results in increasing the wait time before the decision is made to punish a student.
The major problem with the Positive Behavioral Support System, like many other systems, is that it constrains the teacher. St. Paul Public Schools must use a system to empower teachers.
What are the benefits of empowering teachers to reduce student discipline?
Empowering teachers to reduce student discipline provides several benefits. First, empowering teachers enhances job satisfaction. It is frustrating for a teacher to know what’s right, but feel powerless to do the necessary things. Providing them with some decision-making ability will decrease those frustrations and improve retention. Schools can significantly improve their bottom line finances by improving teacher retention. Teacher replacement cost can reach as high as 50 to 60 percent of the teachers annual salary.
When an employee is empowered to reduce student discipline, they have higher expectations. Teacher expectations influence student achievement and the social organization of the classroom. When teachers have high expectations for students, students raise their hands more often to answer questions and initiate procedural and work-related interactions. Teachers perceive students whom they enjoy teaching as high achievers who conform, respond warmly, and are not hostile toward them. Students have higher achievement when teachers have higher expectations.
However, teachers do not have high expectations for students whom they perceive as defiant and disobedient. Teachers with low student expectations will:
- Less wait time to respond to questions
- Call on these students less often
- Pay less attention to them unless there is a disciplinary challenge with the student
- Place their seats farthest away from the teacher
Empowering teachers increases quality of work because in schools that provide them with the freedom and flexibility to make a difference, teachers feel empowered to deliver a higher level of quality work. Teachers are required to facilitate a learning environment that is conducive to high student achievement.
When teachers are empowered and treated as vital components of the school, they gain self-confidence in their abilities to positively influence the school. Instead of resorting to tactics such as sick outs and political demonstrations.
They will have healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem and become more willing to share information with others. They will feel comfortable exchanging ideas and collaborating with others in an honest and open manner. These behaviors promote teamwork and active involvement in support of reducing student discipline that could not be achieved with a disjointed, non-connected school workforce.
One system that empowers teachers is the Raccelerate Racism System. This system allows teachers to make disciplinary decisions to ensure that they and the school remain under the racism radar. Another system that will empower teachers is promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships. In these processes, teachers are empowered to make both academic and student discipline decisions.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President