Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement and Participation are the foundation of the acronym CHAMPs, a method of classroom management used by teachers. This is an acronym of a program used in elementary schools that regulates what small children can and cannot do. This same program is being used here at Loy Norrix High School.
High school students, like myself, see CHAMPs as a joke because there is no real use for it. It’s seen as a non-entity where it’s implemented into the classroom, but teachers don’t enforce it very much, except for a few.
“I don’t think CHAMPs is effective, especially in high school. First of all, it’s not implemented in most classrooms. As far as I’ve heard, teachers don’t like using it, and students don’t either,” said junior Margaret Swafford. “[CHAMPs] it’s used a lot in elementary and middle schools, and as 14-18 year olds, we should be able to handle ourselves without that system.”
Swafford makes a good point, we need to steer away from a program that diminishes the meaning of a “college-going culture,” as stated in the student handbook. You don’t see colleges using CHAMPs, so why implement it in high school? Students should be able to behave as young adults and be treated as such.
According to dailyteachingtools.com, “The overall goal of the CHAMPs classroom management system is to develop an instructional structure in which students are responsible, motivated, and highly engaged in the specific task at hand.”
CHAMPs as I see it, is meant more for younger kids who need discipline. They can’t seem to engage in what’s going on in the class because their attention spans seem to wander and are likely to be less motivated. CHAMPs in a high school setting is a little unsettling since the students feel inferior because it makes them feel like they’re little kids who still need help learning how to do public schooling, even though they don’t. You’re sitting down in your chair, the students are doing their work, paying attention, being good listeners, and then your teacher is just saying CHAMPS, conversation level 0 unnecessarily. We get it, we don’t need to be told at all how to behave, we’re not little kids. The majority of high schoolers can be motivated and they know how to engage in tasks as long as there are instructions going along with the specific task.
Though some may say ‘CHAMPs is necessary because all high school students don’t know how to behave or have a sense of self-control,’ that statement isn’t entirely true. In fact, most students know how to behave and they know that there are consequences for their actions. It’s the consequences of those few that negatively affects the rest of the student body.
“I think CHAMPS is a great strategy for the transition to high school, for many of our younger [9th grade] students,” said English teacher Anne Lewis. “It’s also great for teachers looking for a way to ensure learning.”
If we’re going to implement CHAMPs, teachers should only use CHAMPs in specific class hours where students can’t seem to get it together. I also believe CHAMPs was meant for the new incoming teachers who need some form of structure or system that can help them with the learning process between themselves and the students.
CHAMPs should be optional. If staff and students can agree that CHAMPs isn’t meant for everybody, then why enforce it upon experienced teachers, Advanced Placement and Honors classes? When instead CHAMPs could be implemented and enforced for those new teachers and younger students who actually need it.
Also, we should work on what we already have and improve on that. The BLUE acronym system which stands for Be there, be ready, Live responsibly, Uphold respect and integrity, and Embrace education, is not only a great example to live by, but also a good rule system we can build on.
To be BLUE, one must know what it’s like to be BLUE. At Loy Norrix High School, we go BLUE.