One of the best ways to deter negative behaviors is to give students responsibilities. Many teachers have classroom jobs, but I recommend taking this idea to a new level this school year. How about having students go through an interview process? Post a bulletin board outside your class with typed out job descriptions, and the caption, Wanted: Successful Students – Inquire Within.
Explain to the students you are having a job fair the first week of each grading period. To be considered for a job, a student must fill out an application, go through a round or two of interviews, and get a letter of recommendation from another teacher. Chosen students can be called at home and offered the jobs.
To keep things simple, don’t incorporate pay or play currency. Explain that the jobs are designed to help students gain experience and practical skills they will one day need in the workplace. So, the activity is like an unpaid internship. I’ve never had a student ask about pay; they just love to participate.
This can be a great project for students who exhibit behavior concerns. I think it is because it provides them opportunities to be in control, be leaders, and receive positive attention for contributing to the greater good. If only this concept would have the same outcome in the home setting. Unfortunately, jobs at school are just considered chores at home. And for some reason, even with payment, parents don’t report nearly the same success rate.