How to Improve Classroom Behavior Without Public Shaming

Instead of clip charts and data walls, try these classroom management techniques to discourage misbehavior and build a stronger classroom community.

By Andrew Boryga


May 3, 2024

**Summary: How to Improve Classroom Behavior Without Public Shaming**

In his article, Andrew Boryga explores effective classroom management strategies that avoid public shaming and build a stronger classroom community. Traditional methods like clip charts and public reprimands can negatively impact students' emotional well-being and learning. Instead, Boryga advocates for proactive and positive strategies to foster better behavior and stronger relationships.

**Key Points:**

1. **Avoiding Negative Feedback**:
Tools like clip charts may seem student-friendly, but they can cause anxiety and embarrassment. Publicly highlighting infractions often leads to disengagement and resentment, rather than improved behavior. Research indicates that such negative feedback can amplify inappropriate behavior in the long term.

2. **Proactive Classroom Management**:
Emphasizing positive feedback when students meet behavior expectations reduces misbehavior and strengthens relationships. Proactive strategies encourage positive behavior and create a more supportive classroom environment.

3. **Classroom Contracts**:
Involving students in creating classroom rules fosters a sense of ownership and accountability. Cait O’Connor, a middle school teacher, uses community contracts where students collectively establish and enforce expectations. This process includes ranking values and discussing what behaviors embody those values, such as respect and kindness.

4. **Tiered Responses to Misbehavior**:
Grace Dearborn, a high school teacher, suggests using tiered responses to misbehavior framed as consequences, not punishments. Low-level misbehavior might receive a gentle response, such as nonverbal cues, while more severe issues could lead to calls to parents or removal from the classroom. This approach helps maintain a constructive environment.

5. **Preparing for Conflicts**:
Emily Terwilliger recommends developing "emergency scripts" to handle heated scenarios calmly and effectively. Anticipating possible conflicts and planning responses can help teachers manage situations without impulsive reactions.

6. **Nonjudgmental Investigation**:
Amanda Morin advises teachers to adopt a nonjudgmental, investigative approach to understand the root causes of misbehavior. Asking questions like “Are you OK?” can help uncover underlying issues and lead to more effective interventions.

7. **Modeling and Praising Positive Behavior**:
Explicitly modeling desired behaviors and providing timely, specific praise reinforces positive actions. Doug Lemov highlights the importance of validating students’ contributions to discussions, which fosters a respectful and inclusive classroom culture.

8. **Managing Transitions**:
Effective management of transitions between activities can prevent misbehavior. Reviewing expectations before transitions and troubleshooting issues can help maintain order and minimize disruptions.

9. **Choosing Battles Wisely**:
Addressing minor infractions publicly can disengage students. When public correction is necessary, it should be brief, objective, and specific, with a focus on desired behavior and quick acknowledgment of efforts to improve.

By implementing these strategies, teachers can create a positive classroom environment that discourages misbehavior without resorting to public shaming. This approach not only improves behavior but also strengthens the classroom community and enhances student learning.

For the complete article, refer to [Edutopia](

Boryga, A. (2024). How to Improve Classroom Behavior Without Public Shaming. *Edutopia*. Retrieved from [Edutopia](

Original Article


Prepared with the assistance of AI software

OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT (4) [Large language model].

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