Promoting Excellent methods of Classroom Discipline
Helping your students to govern their own behavior in different ways that help them learn is a longstanding goal of all teachers. There are a large number of ways that a teacher can promote excellent discipline in the classroom.
Know school guidelines for the discipline procedures.
Be fair, consistent & positive. Be the kind of person young people can like & trust, fair, firm, courteous, friendly, enthusiastic & confident. Keep your sense of humor.
Provide a list of consequences &standards to students & parents. Make sure they are consistent with building & district policy. When in doubt, ask your colleague or principal.
Keep your classroom orderly. Maintain an attractive & cheerful classroom rather than a disorderly one which might encourage disruptive behavior.
Get to know your students. Learn their names quickly & use them in & out of your class. You will soon develop almost a 6th sense for anticipating trouble before it begins, but don’t act as though you expect the trouble or you will almost certainly encounter some.
Let the students know you care. Determine jointly with the class what is acceptable in terms of achievement & behavior & what is not. Show interest in what your students say, whether or not it pertains directly to the lesson.
Treat students with the same respect you expect from them; keep confidences level up.
Learn the real meaning of terms, especially slang, used by students.
Begin class on time & in a professional manner.
Make learning fun. Make education relevant & interesting to the students’ lives. Full curriculum & poor planning can provoke the disruptions.
Praise good work, good behavior & good responses.
Don’t threaten or use sarcasm. Never use threats to enforce the discipline. Never humiliate a child.
Avoid arguing with students. Discussions about classwork (CW) are invaluable, but arguments can become emotional encounters.
Keep your voice at a normal (medium) level. If “disaster” strikes & you trip over the wastebasket, don’t be afraid to laugh.
Grade assignments & return them as soon as possible.
Give reasonable assignments. Don’t use schoolwork as punishment. Give clear directions.
Keep rules simple. Establish as few classroom rules as possible, & keep them simple.
Handling Classroom Conflicts
Here are a few practical suggestions for dealing with an angry student in the classroom who is defying your authority & is out of control:
- Do not raise your voice.
- Try to remain calm & rational.
- Do not touch an angry or agitated student.
- Try to keep the student seated. In many instances, this is impossible. You can only suggest the student stay seated so that he might explain to you what is wrong.
- Be reassuring to the student as well as the rest of your class. Explain the importance of protecting the rights to learn every student. Talk about options for resolving the conflict.
- Send another student for help. From the administration, the student should be told to go to the nearest office to summon assistance.
- After the incident is over, immediately document everything which happened. This report should be submitted to the administration. You should also keep a copy in case of a future conference with parents or school administrators regarding the incident.
What if I “blow” the first week?
If you “blow” the first week, don’t worry. Just re-evaluate your rules & policies, tell the class you’re making some changes, & be consistent from then on.
Expect the unexpected.
Schedules will be changed without warning & unanticipated events will occur. Be very flexible in responding to the unexpected; ask your colleagues for suggestions on how to deal with situations like the following.
What will you do if:
- Does it rain at recess time?
- Your class arrives too early to time at the cafeteria?
- A student tells you her pet died?
- A student tells you she is pregnant?
- Does a child wet his pants?
- A student is verbally abusive?
- A parent is angry & unreasonable?
- Does a student refuse to do what you ask?
- Do you have no textbooks?
- A student falls asleep?
- A student cuts her head falling out of her desk again & again?
- In the middle of class, you’re called to the office?
- Non-English-speaking students are assigned to your class?
- Is a student having a seizure or goes into a coma?
Be fair to your students
Below mentioned some ways to help you win the respect of your students:
- Be consistent in the application of discipline & just in your requirements & assignments.
- Don’t refuse to let a student to tell you his/her side of the situation. Be willing to consider mitigating circumstances.
- Don’t talk about the misdeeds of your students except to those who have a right to know. Don’t openly compare one student to another.
- Apologize if you have treated a student unjustly.
- Make sure punishments are appropriate for the misbehavior, & explain to the student why he or she is being punished.
Discipline, The least Approach
There are many excellent methods of classroom discipline. The best one is the LEAST Approach, developed by NEA, that helps you determine the appropriate level of involvement. If discipline problems can be handled in Step one, there is no need to progress to Step two, etc.
Briefly, the LEAST Approach includes these steps mentioned below:
- Leave it alone. If the event is a brief & minor disturbance that is unlikely to occur again, leave it be.
- End the action indirectly. When anyone may get hurt or learning is disrupted, let the student(s) involved know you’re aware of the inappropriate activity with a body gesture, a facial expression, or a quiet action such as walking toward the student(s) or calling your student(s)’ name(s).
- Attend more fully. Secure more information from the student on who, what, when, where & why. Be objective rather than emotional.
- Spell out directions. When a situation threatens to get out of your hand, making learning risking harm or impossible to someone, clearly explain to your student(s) involved the consequences of his/her actions & your intent to follow through.
- Treat student progress. Record what happened, when, where, who was involved, what you did, & who witnessed the incident.