To establish effective schoolwide discipline systems, school leaders must challenge these five common notions.
In no other area of education is the gulf between teachers and administrators wider than in the area of student discipline. When new teachers cite lack of administrative support as their reason for leaving the profession, what they usually mean is lack of administrative support in handling student misbehavior. When administrators complain to one another about teachers, they usually commiserate about those who struggle with classroom management and discipline.
The focus of our work is teaching and learning, and we invest a lot of time and attention in improving its design and delivery. Seldom, however, do teachers and administrators spend time together addressing an equally important task—developing a buildingwide discipline system. Ignoring the need for a comprehensive, consistent approach to student behavior is like sending teachers to deliver the academic program in utter darkness, wearing muzzles.