Author: Alan Bandstra

Alan Bandstra has been teaching sixth graders at Sioux Center Christian School for more than 25 years. His book, Beyond Control: Heart-Centered Classroom Climate and Discipline (Dordt College Press, 2014), is the product of more than fifteen years of research and reflection, trial and error. Lots of error! He blogs about redirecting misbehavior--and the attitudes that drive it--at www.abandstra.com. Al was educated at Dordt College (B.A. in education and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction).

Grace This Time

When Ms. Lang mentions the grape–the one that was flung into a circle of girls–Jackson’s face goes red. “Yeah, that was me,” he admits with a sheepish grin. “Jackson, you know that throwing food in the cafeteria is an automatic detention, don’t you?” His voice falters now: “I was just teasing; I wasn’t trying to …

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Attitude Germ: Releasing the Hold

If Kelsey likes the learning activity, it flies. If she doesn’t, the lesson bombs. Daniel carries the same sort of influence in his classroom. As soon as he disengages, the others shut down, too. If students disrupt class with silly comments, they turn to check if Daniel is laughing. “Attitude germ” is a condition that …

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Attitude Germ and How to Treat It

I call it “attitude germ” because of the way it proliferates. Similar to colds or the flu, the bug disperses through social contact: children with large social networks transmit it more readily than those who keep to themselves. How would you know if an outbreak has occurred? Check for a general loss of appetite for …

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Stop Your Attitude!

Cole’s yawn from the back row is loud enough for everyone to hear, but Audrey ignores it for now. She’s got to choose her battles, and this disruption isn’t worth a showdown. After a moment, Cole leans back and rests his feet on the desk. Students nearby smile, eager to watch the situation play out. …

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