Good discipline does not just happen all at once. Managing student behavior is a learned skill, but classroom control will begin before the students ever get into the room. It is no easy task. Each teacher will develop his or her own form of discipline. Remember that students need to feel valued and welcomed.
They need to know that you have an honest interest in each one of them, not only as a class, but also as individuals.
For good discipline, certain behaviors are necessary on the part of the teacher:
Be consistent; establish the rules and stick to them.
Consequences should be fair and consistently applied.
Be prepared for the students who will test the rules.
Do not threaten students with a consequence unless you are ready to carry it out. Students will view you as inconsistent if you fail to do what you say.
Do not be judgmental; look at each situation from all angles before you designate a consequence.
Never put off discipline. Handle any behavioral problem when it occurs.
Make sure students understand the rules and the consequences. Students need to know how to behave in any given situation. With sane students, you may want to do role-playing at the beginning of the school year. In this way, students will see what is expected of them and see the consequences being applied.
Show a true interest in all of the students. Each one needs to be treated as an individual and with respect, not just another student. When giving praise to any student, use his or her name with the praise. Nothing pleases students more than to hear their names used in a good light.
Implement well-planned lessons. Know what you are going to teach and be well prepared.
Allow for flexibility. There will be many interruptions in a school year; you will not accomplish everything that is planned on a particular day.
This is extremely important in controlling your classroom. Enforce all rules fairly and consistently. To become consistent, you need to remember to be objective in any situation. It is easy to be judgmental, but this is only a detriment to consistency. You need to look at all issues and evaluate each issue individually. You need to be fair, positive, and most of all, consistent.
Keeping documentation when negative behavior occurs is not only smart, but useful tor evaluation. You should keep the date, time, and incident on record. Additionally, you need to include how you handled the situation and what occurred. Be brief, but be complete. One way to record is to maintain a recipe box where you have filed cards labeled with student names. When a disruptive behavior occurs, jot it down to be recorded later.
Post classroom rules and make sure that your rules are consistent with both the school building and school district policies. Discuss the rules and their consequences with the students. It is your responsibility to make sure that the students understand each rule. Students need to know the rules for classroom behavior and the consequences d breaking the rules. In good teaching, the teacher does not make idle threats. Remember that there will always be some students who will try the teacher and the rules. A teacher must be prepared for these students. It will happen.
Breaking of Rules
What should you do when a student breaks a rule? First, do not put off the consequences. You need to address the infraction immediately and d irectly. If not, the problem that occurred may expand into a larger problem. Secondly, if you were to put off addressing the problem, the behavior and its consequences are minimized.
Be sure that your students understand the following;
what to do when someone knocks at the door
how and when to throw away trash
how to exit the classroom in an orderly fashion
what to do if pencil lead breaks
what to do in a fire, earthquake, tornado, or hurricane drill
how you want papers turned in
what to do when late for school
what to do when work is finished
Think of using body language to control students. Rather than orally disciplining, body language can be utilized. There are times when a mere signal will be effective. For example, if the room is too noisy, raise your hand. Wait until the class notices and everyone follows you, raising their hand.
Other body language signals include the following:
a tap on desk = "check this"
thumbs up = "very good"
touching chin with fingertips and moving downward = "good for you"
You can use your body to define use of space. Students feel more accountable the nearer you are to their space. Many times, your physical presence and proximity will stop a behavioral problem from occurring.
Learn to Laugh
Laughter is a good antidote to any situation when applied appropriately. All teachers need to learn to use appropriately-applied laughter as a resource.
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