Most administrators spend a large portion of their time dealing with school discipline and behavior. While there is no way you can eliminate all your student behavior problems, there are steps you can take to ensure that your discipline program is seen as effective and efficient. As an administrator there are several things you can do to not only detour poor choices and bad student behavior, but to promote a positive atmosphere with minimal disruptions in the learning process.
Create a Plan for Teachers to Follow
It is important that you let your teachers know what your expectations are as far as classroom management and student discipline. Your teachers should know what kinds of discipline issues you expect them to handle in class and what issues you expect them to send to your office. They should also know what consequences are acceptable for them to hand out when dealing with smaller student discipline problems. If you require a discipline referral form, your teachers should know how you expect them to fill it out and what kinds of information you are looking for. A clear plan should be in place for how a major discipline issue that occurs in the classroom should be handled. If your teachers are on the same page as you when it comes to school discipline, then your school will run smooth and efficient.
Support the Teachers
Your classrooms will run much smoother if your teachers feel like you have their back when they send you a discipline referral. Establishing trust with your teachers enables better communication, so that you can provide some constructive criticism with a teacher if it becomes necessary. The truth is that there are some teachers that abuse the discipline process sending every student who is even slightly out of line to the office. While these teachers are frustrating to deal with you should still back them to some degree. You never want a student to feel like they can play the teacher against you or vice versa. If a situation occurs where you feel like a teacher is sending to many referrals, then fall back on the relationship you have with them, explain the pattern you are seeing, and go back over the plan that you expect your teachers to follow.
Be Consistent and Fair
As an administrator you should not expect every student, parent, or teacher to like you. You are in a position where it is virtually impossible not to ruffle feathers. The key is earning respect. Respect will go a long ways in being a strong disciplinary. A lot of respect will be earned if you can prove to be both consistent and fair in your discipline decisions. For example, if a student commits a certain discipline infraction and you give out a punishment, then that punishment should also be given to the next student who commits that infraction. The exception to this is if the student has had multiple infractions or is a consistent discipline problem, then you may have to up the consequences accordingly.