Does a Checklist Really Work? {Behavior Mgmt.}

Does a Checklist Really Work? {Behavior Mgmt.}

I am on a quest to figure out how checklists can simplify and improve the quality of our work in schools.  If you haven’t read my first two installments of this little series, I suggest you do (they’re super quick reads!).  Here’s the 1st.  Here’s the 2nd.

This time I tried my hand at behavior management.  How do we define a series of steps so that we can ensure that behavior management doesn’t dominate instruction?  Also, how do we streamline it across a school so we have similar expectations for kids?  I tried my hand at it here…what do you think?

Checklist for In-Class Behavior Management

1

When a student is misbehaving, kindly ask student to replace with an alternate behavior (“Instead of _____, John, I would like you to do _____.”)

2

If behavior is not immediately corrected, then firmly ask the student to change behavior and add consequence (“John, I have asked you to _____ and you have chosen not to.  I would like you to ____ right now.  I do not want to have to ask you to leave the group!”)

3

If the behavior is changed and no longer an issue, find an immediate way to compliment the student on the changed behavior (“John…thanks so much for doing _____ -really nice job paying close attention.”)

4

If the behavior persists, quietly go over to the student, whisper directions to carry out consequence (Whispering: “John, please come and sit in this desk right now – I will let you know when you are free to join us again.”).  Ignore the student if he acts out or tries to get other kids’ attention

5

Tell the student that he is still responsible for doing the work, just doing the work in a different spot in the room

6

If the student is not behaving in the new spot, give 1-2 calm reminders of what is expected (“Remember John, I’m looking for you to not blurt out and try to distract everyone.  When you can do that, I’ll invite you back to the group, which is my #1 goal.”)

7

If the student is still not responding, then calmly move the student to the next step on the behavior chart (losing recess?)

8

If the student gets to the 4th step on the behavior chart, a note goes home with the student and the note comes to the principal’s office

9

Every new day is a fresh start for every student – we allow students to recover
Does a Checklist Really Work? {Team Meetings}

Does a Checklist Really Work? {Team Meetings}

If you didn’t read my first post on the power of checklists to manage the teacher/coach/principal workload, then click this to take 10 seconds and get caught up!

I am checking out another checklist that I created – what do you think?  What am I missing?

Checklist for Team/Department Meetings

1

Sign-in sheet and time arrived

2

Read agenda together

3

Set time for Item 1, discuss and record next steps/questions

4

Set time for Item 2 discuss and record next steps/questions

5

Set time for Item 3 discuss and record next steps/questions

6

Review individual notes, responsibilities and next steps

7

Each teacher signs off notes back to principal/coach

8

Sign-in sheet time dismissed
Does a Checklist Really Work? {Talking with Parents}

Does a Checklist Really Work? {Talking with Parents}

I have been really obsessed with the book “The Checklist Manifesto.”  To say it’s changed my life would be a little wild, but it has definitely changed my perspective.  A lot.

One of the things that I learned about the power of checklists is that is helps us manage the cognitive load of all teachers have to handle in a day/week/month/year.  I mean, we don’t need anyone to tell us that we just have TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH.

Things gets lost in the shuffle – we forget things that we would ordinarily remember.  We are running around like crazy.  More is definitely not more!

Checklists help us deliver the important stuff reliably across time – I think a series of simple checklists might really be able to help us manage all that we have to do.

As I was writing a new presentation I’m giving on a webinar in few weeks, I really though about what a checklist would look like in real school life, so I’d like to share some ideas with you and see what you think!  I have three to share…here is the first:

Working with/Talking with a Parent

1

Prior to call, pull any data, notes or information you need to reference

2

Greet the parent and tell them how happy you are to talk in person/by phone

3

Confirm the purpose of the call and let the parent know the amount of time you have for the call

4

Encourage parent to share concern/information related to the purpose of the call

5

Summarize what you hear the parent saying, “So, I want to make sure I understand what you’re sharing with me…”

6

Propose 1-2 solutions to the concern or propose 1-2 next steps and have the parent choose which he feels is the best

7

Confirm with the parent when these solution/next step will take place

8

Compliment the parent for taking time to work with you – end on a positive
“We are waiting to get him tested”

“We are waiting to get him tested”

“We are waiting to get him tested” is not a teaching strategy.

I couldn’t resist sharing this image I created a long time ago…it is as true today as it was when I created it.  I posted it back then because I had just been to a school visit where every other student who needed intervention wasn’t getting it because “they were waiting to be tested.”

The thing that cracks me up (well, it doesn’t crack me up really – it makes my blood boil actually!) is that the only thing that testing can provide is the same thing that intervention can: a pathway for knowing where to start teaching!

A Special Ed designation or learning disability designation just means that we need to take special care in providing instruction…but when it comes down to it, it’s all instruction anyway.

I also wish that we’d stop saying this because it totally degrades our profession.  It makes us look weak.

And I don’t like to look weak in a profession that I’ve chosen to be a lifelong part of, do you?

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