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(September, 1989) suggests that a positive attitude is the key to dealing effectively with mis- behavior. He recommends using assertiveness along with positive reinforcements and praise to teach students how to behave. Each student should be complimented at least one time during the school day.

Accountability occurs when students know that their work is checked and evaluated and is brought about by clear instructions, adequate monitoring, and valuable feedback. Students need to know exactly what is expected of them in each assignment. They need to know the format, dates, expectations, and grading procedures.

Students must also know they will be held accountable for their behavior. As with academic work, the expectations need to be made clear and consequences consistent. Self-evaluations provide an excellent venue for giving students the ownership of their behavior. By using a student self-evaluation form that promotes a reflective analysis, they can identify what has occurred and what changes can be made in the future.

Power

The word power brings up images of control and strength. Power assumes authority or the ability to cause an effect. Student power is demonstrated not as the ability to control other people but rather, the ability to control self. Teacher power is demonstrated not as authority to dominate the student’s will but rather to motivate students to make good choices. Com- munication skills and student achievement provide the foundations for meeting the need of power in the classroom.

The communication style employed by the teacher can build or destroy relationships. This communication style can also determine the amount of power or influence the teacher has in the classroom. Coming to terms with power and not engaging in classroom power strug- gles are essential in developing positive relationships in the classroom community. When a teacher verbally engages in a power struggle or argument with a student, regardless of who has detention or time out, the teacher loses. When a behavior does need to be addressed, focus should be on the specific behavior rather than the individual student. The behavior should be discussed privately instead of across the room or in front of a group. The best ap- proach for the teacher is to detach from the situation with a calm demeanor. A mental “time out” might be needed before the problem is addressed.

Fredric Jones (2007) suggests that body language is an essential component of effective communication and classroom management. Support for the student’s attempts at self-dis- cipline can be communicated through the use of body language, facial gestures, pre-estab-

Virginia Educational Leadership

Vol. 7 No. 1

Spring 2010

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