Check out my video on the historical perspective of Classroom Management according to Randy Sprick of Safe and Civil Schools, as well as CHAMPS trainers Laura Hamilton and Kathy Hoes.

You can also find the Slide Deck below.



Randy Sprick and the Safe and Civil Schools classroom management model, CHAMPS, teaches us that there are NO simple solutions to classroom management.

Easy seems to be everywhere. Staples has an easy button. Countless businesses on television offer easy payments. It seems that simple sells. When it comes to classroom management, I’m not buying it. I can’t help but think back to the “So simple a caveman can do it” ads by Geico. Well, some things are not simple. They require a professional. Such is the case with classroom management.

Classroom management is complex, therefore there are no simple solutions. I have had the opportunity to attend CHAMPS presentations by Randy Sprick, Laura Hamiliton, and Kathy Hoes. All have made the historical perspective of classroom management clear. In the past, classroom management consisted primarily of trying to make students behave by relying on reactive procedures. Reactive procedures are not wrong, they are just not as effective at changing behavior as we need them to be. They make us hold onto four “simple solutions” that simply don’t work.

Four “Simple Solutions” That Don’t Work:

1. Increase In Emotional Intensity


An increase in emotional intensity is ineffective in changing behavior.

An increase in emotional intensity is ineffective in changing behavior. In fact, we need to decrease our level of emotional intensity in order to deescalate the situation and this will also model the appropriate way in which to deal with conflict.


2. A Dependence on Role-Bound Authority


A dependence on role-bound authority is ineffective in changing behavior.

A dependence on role-bound authority is also ineffective in changing behavior. Let’s face it Andy Griffith is long gone and for the most part we are not teaching Opie anymore. Students today just do not have a concept of role-bound authority.


3. A Dependence on Punishment


A dependence on punishment is ineffective in changing behavior.

A Dependence on punishment is effective in changing behavior. There are no “magic” consequences. If there were magic consequences, we would not have to deal with classroom management. We would simply implement those consequences and the magic would happen, and all students would behave the way we want them to. In fact, we don’t even know if a consequence is negative or positive for a student until we implement. What we think is negative for a student (in school suspension) may in fact be quite rewarding.


4. Wishing and Hoping


Wishing and hoping are ineffective at changing behavior.

Wishing and hoping is ineffective in changing behavior. Maybe you have overheard someone say things like:

“I think he is living out of district.”

“I wish this year would end.”

“I hope he transfers.”

CHAMPS provides us with specific variables that we are in charge of and that we can manipulate to effectively change behavior. We no longer have to rely on wishing and hoping or any of the other “simple solutions” that are in reality not solutions at all.


For great resources on classroom management, I highly recommend that you click here to check out Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools at