Are behavior contracts a waste of time?

I think so but the district which celebrated a 622 percent increase in their use doesn’t. I think they sound great on paper but in reality they do little to curb behavior and add another layer of work to teachers and admins who have little time for follow up.

I am not alone in this as I received these recent comments.

Behavior contracts worth the paper they’re printed on, about 1 cent.

oh yeah….12 year olds signing contracts……that’s a solid,works every time

I have never seen a behavior contract work, because so many students get into trouble and there is not enough time to follow up. Vitti should send a survey out about the new Code of Conduct, behavior contracts, restorative justice, etc. While he is at it, why doesn’t he send out an anonymous survey to teachers about his performance and be sure to include a comment section? I would pay to see those results.

I am however willing to entertain that I may be wrong and that others have had success using them. Diminishing returns comes to mind as the amount of work they create is rarely equal to the change in behavior sought.

The truth is teachers use a form of behavior contract all the time, lets bare down and we’ll take a break, focus for me and you can have 15 minutes on the computer, zip it or I am writing you up or settle down and when we’re done we can have a snack. Stuff like that is used all the time and a valuable tool in the teacher tool box. Behavior contracts however, well I just haven’t seen it.

2 Replies to “Are behavior contracts a waste of time?”

  1. The dean at my school does a "verbal" contract, so it's worth 0. It's really a warning, but he calls it a contract, so it looks like progression. It's all about pretending to discipline kids, while in reality ensuring that crime in Jax continues to rise.

  2. The contract is part of a paper trail to document some kind of intervention. We know it doesn't work, but hey, when you want to give a 12-step program to be eligible for the next X-step program, it is all about the paperwork. haha

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