I have been perusing some ed blogs and there are several administrators who have some excellent ideas about dealing with some of the always present issues such as cell phone use, attendance... and I think that I may try a few.
After teaching for over 20 years, I have to think back on my experiences. What constituted success in dealing with on-going discipline concerns- involving the students, no tolerance for disrespectful comments/attitudes, one to five critical rules, etc. I always ignored, what I considered to be irrelevant behaviour - like coming in two minutes late. If I had a habitual late student, I tried a few things like talking to him, having a quick fun thing at the beginning of the class... If those things didn't work, his/her problems were much bigger than my talks, my consequences... I never let those things consume me - other behviors like flicking something in a desk - I would just quietly walk by and remove it or give a little look...? I had excellent class control and management. I focused on learning - I spent all of my time on this. For the first 20 years of my career I focused on exciting lessons and relevant activities and now it needs to be on student learning. I wanted the students to be engaged all the time and the other management issues became insignificant.
Next week my staff is meeting and we are going to brainstorm what/how on how to create a Learning Day. I want the focus of our school to be on learning. We are going to connect this learning day to our school goals. Hopefully it will be great!