Behavior management in schools is a subject of concern in many learning institutions. This article is going to look at the behavior management policy from the parent handbook. Through this artifact we will be able to discover some of the theoretical influences that govern behavior management in institutions of learning and figure out where the teacher stands. It will also be possible to look at certain political, legislative and social aspects of behavior management. This should serve an awakening to teachers about the current state of school behavior and call upon them to bring about the much needed reforms especially in this digital learning environment. School management should brace themselves for the changing patterns of the 21st century not just in behavior, but in the overall running of learning institutions that will give back to the society students that are all round.
The policy addresses a number of themes, one of them being in relation to teaching behavior management in schools and the need to restore acceptable behavior in the school system. This can be achieved if teachers do the following things: care for the personal and social development of each of their students and fellow staff members; respect the values and uniqueness of others; helping each student to grow to his or her full potential not just academically but also socially and morally. In other words, mould students into all round individuals; foster a sense of responsibility individually in the students not just for their institutions but also family, friends and the wider society; and encourage each and every learner to develop self control and personal discipline. The policy is also insightful in noting how the issue of discipline on those who exhibit unacceptable behavior will be handled. This is looked at by first, addressing problems experienced in the past, and tries to come up with ways to avoid them in the current educational system, making them not just better learning institutions but also better behavior changing institutions (Suncoast 2010, 99).
Many students of the 21st century are facing problems in the current education system, but the problem is that few of them are listened to. For effective behavior management, the current teachers should be close to their students, listen to them, and know their needs in an interactive way so that they can be in a position to help them solve those problems. From the behavior management policy artifact, it can be seen that many school systems are still enslaved to the traditional behavior management systems where behavior guidelines were determined by government policies and school administrations. To move away from this mentality, teachers should understand that today's learners come from a more diverse environment and therefore exhibit different behavior patterns that can not be addressed by predetermined and rigid behavior systems. Effective teacher judgment of behavior assessment will only be enhanced by those practices that will facilitate sense of moderation between teachers. Teachers should seek to be given the liberty to articulate their beliefs, their classroom routines, and also the relationship of all these activities to theoretical behavior foundations. It they are encouraged to freely articulate what they feel is their internalized reflective knowledge concerning student behavior in schools, then, they will not only develop their professional competence in managing behavior, but they also go a long way to build their knowledge base by sharing their behavior judgments and thereby get to know how to handle and help students with behavior problems. Educational systems will therefore need to have professional activities that call upon teachers to share and explain their decision making judgments in networks that are more collaborative (Fehring 2001, 1).
The era of maintaining the status quo, where things were done to serve the interest of special groups, where bureaucratic systems affected the where schools were run, is long gone. Is it can be confirmed from many literature materials, many schools are still battling with this monster. This why the 21st century teacher should be prepared to fight it, to bring about an understanding that proper social relationships not just between teachers, but also between teachers and students, is very important in fostering proper teacher-student, student-student, and student- parent relationship. This can be realized through avenues like guiding and counseling sessions, where by the evolution of digital systems enable students to get online guiding and counseling without the fear of prejudice or stigmatization (Hao 2010, 1).
The 21st century calls for schools with educational activities that are tailored to the individual student's needs and interests. To achieve this, teachers need to come up measures that the work of students in schools is guided by projects that students share in defining and those that involve them in authentic intellectual activity but not mere recitation exercises. The 21st century digitalization of the world's cultures has provided schools with access to a range of cultural and intellectual resources never experienced before. It has provided new, sophisticated and customizable tools for inquiry and investigation that has enabling modes of interaction, communication, and collaboration that were not possible before. Behavior is something that changes with time and is therefore shaped by the prevailing environment. Proper behavior management mechanisms put in place by teachers will shape the student behavior to the required standard, and as it was mentioned, these management mechanisms should involve students. Teachers need to understand the kinds of environments that the different students come from so that to incorporate their behavior differences into the behavior management policies. This way, teachers will be in a position to consider the different human values and therefore incorporate them into school behavior rules. It is therefore imperative for teachers to collaborate, should forget the demarcations that existed before and work together in order to make the most in shaping the behavior of students in this delicate 21st century (Hao 2010, 1).
Behavior management is not an easy subject especially in the 21st century full of technological advances in the learning sector. Students are exposed to diverse behavior patterns that make behavior modeling difficult by educational institutions. Teachers therefore have a very big moral obligation to see to it that all students with there various behavior patterns are modeled to achieve the required behavior traits that are acceptable not just in schools, but also in the wider society. This calls for a change of tact from the old and traditional modes of behavior change, where bureaucratic systems played a major role in determining how schools had to be run, to a more liberal way of behavior change.
Today's society is experiencing numerous developments especially in the area of ICT. These developments have brought about dramatic changes and uncertainties in the society. The most affected is the educational community, the knowledge society, which involves completely new sets of ideas that challenge the long held assumptions that many schools rest on. Today's students are more connected to more learning environments and therefore, are exposed to more learning opportunities than students of yester years. This paper will look at the emergence of connected learners, their implications on the educational system and also what they mean to the current teacher workforce.
There is no doubt that the digital evolution poses challenging questions for the future learning environments. ICT has emerged as promise for solution to these challenges but the uptake of the technologies that come with it in many school communities seems to be the huddle that many societies today face. Many barriers can be cited for this, they include: the attitudes and beliefs of teachers regarding ICT; the problem of access to ICT resources, poor teaching strategies and practices among many others. What this therefore means is that for teachers to fit in this society, they need to engage with new technologies, new learning instructions so that they know the ways to engage contemporary learners in ICT environments that are different. Teachers should play a more different role in the deployment of ICT where the design of learning is more student centered and the teacher's role is more of a moderator. Teachers should now move along a variety from using the more traditional broadcast medium to a more interactive medium. They should understand that the traditional medium involved one-way activities, which are contrary to the contemporary medium that supports two-way interactions. This calls for a major shift in the way teachers work; they should embrace the changes brought about by ICT (O'neil & Carr n.d, 7).
Stakeholders in this field need to understand that there is a big gap between teachers and students in the level of skill, interaction and acceptance of ICT. Students have grown up in the digital age, they therefore regard themselves as digital natives while they see teachers as digital immigrants, and they therefore speak totally different languages. Teachers are seen as an impediment to the student's capacity to be forward thinking and future oriented in their view of learning. Students receive, information fast, do parallel processing, multitask and there work best when connected. This is what brings out the difference between the traditional teachers and the connected learner. Today's learners have the ability to learn new things by themselves; they do not require the physical presence of teachers. There is no dispute that the physical domain is important, but it does not guarantee that schools will embrace new learning effectively. What teachers need is a shift in their thinking that will embrace the new way of learning effectively? Teachers need to know that in today's knowledge society, knowledge is no longer seen as an object to be mastered, but rather, a process, something that only happens in particular relationships and contexts. They need to understand that thinking and learning becomes better when people work together, should not restrict it to individuals where students found working together are punished for cheating. Teachers ought to understand that students are not to be filled with knowledge just in case they need it, but should strive to build their ability to work with others to generate new knowledge that will help them in solving real world problems (Dunkin 1997, 1).
For a long time education systems had been used to the classroom interaction of initiation-response-evaluation. Changing this deep seated tradition of classroom discourse has met challenges. But the ever increasing need to avail students with learning experiences reflecting the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century workforce, calls for a move a way from these traditional patterns. And as it has been explained, the 21st century students need a much more rapid collaborative knowledge acquisition that can not be achieved by the traditional individual centered approach.
If teachers will harness these techniques, then, there is no doubt that they will help the connected learner to grasp the existing subject matter more deeply making them reliable participants in the 21st century practices of knowledge building. This can not be possible without the technology that almost every student is well versed in especially the digital technologies such as the student response systems that do not necessarily require a student to sit in classroom in order to learn. Technology has brought about systems that enable collaborative generation, collection, and aggregation of opinions and ideas via a shared virtual space upon efforts of individuals and also social sharing of notes in textual and graphical forms. Today's teachers should be prepared to meet these systems, it is no longer mandatory for learners to sit in a classroom so as to acquire knowledge, he or she can as well learn from the comfort of their respective homes (Reibel 1994,1).
Teachers in this digital world need to embrace connecting technologies and the opportunities presented by the learning they provide to the learners. They should understand that teaching is a profession that calls for constant updating of skills and reflection on the current theories of learning and on how their teaching practice prepares students so that they can succeed in life. As 21st century teachers, they need to make the best use of communication technologies in the authentic and challenging environments of learning. School systems on the other hand ought to foster professional learning activities that are authentic to assist teachers in grasping and making the most out of the learning opportunities. This is the time for the 21st century teacher to revolutionalize the system of education. They should strive to go beyond the ordinary, should innovate, not just to recite their teaching; they should make it real so that they can be able to meet the changing demands of the connected student. They should fully embrace technology while keeping in mind that not all technology is suitable, therefore they should gauge the alignment of technology basing on the learning objectives, criteria for assessment and class profile so as to maximize the learning for each student.