Good Class Relationships

Helping Create a Strong, Supportive Class Relationship

from Murray High School

    1. During first week, set class non-negotiables together. Consider posting them in the room.
    1. Acknowledge problems subtly, if possible:
        • Catch the student’s eye in a friendly, supportive way.
        • Ask, “What are you doing?” or “What’s going on?” or “What’s your plan for today?” and/or “How can I help?”
        • Avoid the seven disconnecting habits (blaming, threatening, criticizing, punishing, nagging, rewarding to control and complaining).
        • Better yet, use the seven connecting habits (supporting, caring, listening, befriending, trusting, encouraging, negotiating)
    1. If a problem escalates:
        • Ask: “Can you participate appropriately in class now?”
        • “Would it help to cool off and get a drink of water?”
        • Support the student in thinking through the problem and remind them of the class and school non-negotiables.
        • Physically bring students back on task, with calm voice and gentle gestures.
        • If you feel the situation is degenerating, please use the Choices Procedures listed below.

Choices Procedures:

Goals: Students will:

    • Recognize that they are about to choose inappropriate behaviors and will ask to go to the Choices Room to get support and to avoid disrespecting themselves, the teacher and the rest of the class.
    • Participate in creating a more needs-fulfilling environment for themselves at Murray./LI>
    • Find themselves becoming more and more successful at school.
    • Find themselves liking to come to school, enjoying their time with friends, teachers and academics.
    • Finally come to realize that academic challenges can be fun and that achieving quality products can make life more worthwhile.


    1. If student continues to choose inappropriate behaviors:
        • During Periods 1, 2 and 4
            • Call Vicki (Intercom #11)
            • If Vicki is unavailable, call Morrice (Intercom #15)
        • Send student to the conference room where they should check in with Ms. Maupin and fill out a Choices form.
        • During Period 3
            • Call Charlotte (Intercom #22)
    1. Say whether or not you will accept the student back in the room later in the period, or if you feel the need of a mediation with a third party before the student reenters the class.
    1. Choices Teacher Behaviors:
        • Ask student:
            • Are you calm enough to stay in the Choices Room and to think through this problem with me? Or do you need to take a short walk to calm down?
            • Are you so upset that you need to go home for the day to calm down and think through this problem?
            • Do you understand that if you choose to go home, you will need to come back with a parent who can support you to make a plan with the teacher to work out the problem? If you choose to go home, this will not go on your permanent record, like a suspension. This is just part of taking the time you need to work it out.
      • If student is calm enough to come into the Choices Room, the teacher:
          • Helps student think through the problem and come up with a plan, using Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
          • Determines if student is capable of returning to class without making a disturbance.
          • Sends student back to class with a Working It Out form to be accepted by the teacher.
          • OR, if the student does NOT seem capable of returning to class without making a disturbance, arranges to send student home for the rest of the day.
    1. If teacher and/or student feel that a third party is necessary, they select a mutually acceptable third party and make an appointment, as soon as possible, so the problem can be quickly worked out.
    1. Choices Teachers make time to check out whether plans are working.
    1. All Choices Teachers type up the final plan, using Microsoft Word/rtf file, date it, and save it on the mutually accessible Choices Folder, so all parties involved in supporting the student are aware of the plan.


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