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How to enforce protocols with non compliance....

Classroom Management 


New Member
Hi everyone! I am thinking g about next year and reflecting on this year. I am moving from kindergarten to second grade and I am so excited.

I’m a little anxious though. As a second year teacher, my classroom management skills were better than first year, but still not great. Here is what I keep thinking. I’m reading everywhere the importance of practicing practicing practicing protocols for everything g at the beginning of the year. Yes. I am ready for it! But here’s what I am wondering. When a child refuses to adhere to the protocol (refuses to walk with hands behind back in line if that is the protocol, refuses to sit in 1 of 3 ways on the carpet, refuses to wait to sharpen their pencil until appropriate time) despite knowing the protocol, how do you handle it? During this past year, I had students practice the things they struggled with during fun/free times, but of course the child would do it perfectly then and as soon as recess was over immediately revert back to their old behavior, so i felt it wasn’t effective even though it was logical. They still have to do the thing, so what if they aren’t doing the way I want them to? I know that blind compliance isn’t my end goal, but also I have procedures and they need to be followed. I’m not sure how to find the balance between the two!

Any thoughts?


Senior Member

Try to get your hands on a copy of Fred Jones’ Tools For Teaching. Jones advocates a method, Omission Training, that deals with the alienated student who blurts, “You can’t make me!” OT is part of a larger method, Responsibility Training, which trains students to do procedures quickly, quietly and the first time you ask.


Senior Member

Honestly, if anyone had a 1 stop, 100% guarantee to deal with non-compliance, that person would be wealthy!

Just a few ideas:

*While I hate the phrase "pick your battles", I do think it has a purpose BEFORE you create your expectations. Yes, we need structure, but we need to balance structure with freedom, too. For example, the example of hands behind your back while walking in the hallway to me is too controlling (but I do teach upper elementary). When you create your protocols/procedures/expectations decide exactly what you want to enforce.

*For practicing during fun/free time, don't make them do it just once. Have them do it the whole time (or at least 15 minutes). If they again break the expectation, then they practice again during the next free time/fun time. Make sure you don't show any emotion. Just assign the consequence and move on.


Senior Member
Lucky you, second graders are wonderful! Coming from kindergarten, you will be amazed at how independent they are. You will need to do some major adjustments in your expectations. One of your examples, walking with hands behind their backs, is not needed in second grade. In kinder, they are learning how to do school. Second graders know that. In fact, one year, on my first day while I was busy with parents outside the classroom, the students went inside and sat on the rug all by themselves! Your goal is to introduce how you want procedures done to your standards. For noncompliance, your classroom discipline plan will account for this.

I use the Fish Philosophy in the classroom which are 4 principles (Choose Your Attitude, Make Their Day, Play, Be Present). It's amazing how everything can be applied to these. For example, if you're not walking in line and the line has to be constantly stopped, are you making our class' day? My classroom philosophy is utilizing the Growth Mindset. In a nutshell, praise effort. I'd encourage you to read about the Growth Mindset, it truly changed how I teach. I read the book by Carol Dweck years ago and it has exploded with many resources since then. I'd still encourage you to read the book. I incorporate teaching the parents about the Growth Mindset in my Back to School presentation.

This is getting too long. Please PM me if you wish. Good luck - you'll have an amazing school year!


New Member
I agree

Omg! I’m so glad you brought that up! It’s actually the textbook for one of my masters classes and I have been binge reading it since the semester started! SO many helpful tools. Thanks for the rec!