Marvin Marshall

Teaching and practicing classroom procedures with students is necessary for successful classroom management. This can significantly reduce disruptions and is more effective than simply relying on rules.

Books Authored

Discipline without Stress, Punishments or Rewards: How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning

Parenting without Stress: How to Raise Responsible Kids While Keeping a Life of Your Own

Children Rainbow School: Four Short Stories for Teaching Responsibility

Three Principles that Enhance Classroom Management and Promote Responsibility


  • Be positive!
  • Change negative statements into positive ones.
  • Example: "No running" becomes "We walk in the hallways."


  • Offer students three choices in any situation.
  • Having choices empowers the student.
  • Students are prompted to think rather than react when presented with choices.
  • Example: "Would you rather finish the form (1) in your seat, (2) in the back of the room, or (3) in the office?"


  • Control is only temporary and does not engender change within others.
  • Asking reflective questions is more effective than telling someone what to do.
  • Example: "What would an extraordinary human do in this situation?"

The Raise Responsibility System

Teaching the Hierarchy:

  • It is crucial to teach students the four development levels.
  • The higher levels are more desirable.

  • D - Democracy (Highest Level)
Develops self-discipline

Demonstrates initiative

Democracy and responsibility

Internal motivation

  • C - Cooperation/Conformity



Conforms to peer pressure

External motivation

  • B - Bossing/Bullying

Bothers others

Bullies others

Breaks laws and standards

Must be bossed to behave

  • A - Anarchy (Lowest Level)

Absence of order

Aimless and chaotic

Checking for Understanding:

  • Handle disruptions by having students reflect on their own level of behavior.
  • Separating the student from the action helps eliminate the student's need to be defensive about his/her behavior.

Guided Choices:

  • The purpose is to stop the disruption and give the student a responsibility producing activity and/or to develop a procedure to redirect future impulses.
  • Dignity is preserved and confrontation is avoided by having the student make the decision.

Benefits of this Practice

  1. Reduce discipline referrals, class removals, and suspensions.
  2. Handles classroom disruptions simply and easily.
  3. Uses authority without resorting to punishment.
  4. Raises individual and social responsibility.
  5. Reduces the influence of peer pressure.
  6. Promotes motivation for learning.
  7. Integrates character education.
  8. Improves school climate.
  9. Enhances school safety.
  10. Reduces detentions.
  11. Reduces stress.


Marshall, M. (2005). Discipline without Stress, 1 Punishments, or Rewards. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 79(1), 51-54.

Marshall, M. (2008). 5 Classroom Tips - Teachers.Net Gazette. Retrieved September 26, 2015, from