Teachers, Is Classroom Discipline Getting You Down?
Feb 17, 2013 Classroom Management 3014 Views
Unfortunately, by January each year, many teachers, especially first year teachers, are awaiting nothing more eagerly than the end of the school year so they can spend the summer figuring out a better way to earn a living.
Whether they admit it or not, it is the rare teacher today that doesn't have discipline problems in his or her classroom. At times, more instruction time is spent in trying to deal with these problems than on actual teaching of the subject involved.
Such discipline problems might include:
Smart remarks or profanity directed at other students or the teacher,
Obscene gestures or sexual advances,
Throwing things in the classroom,
Refusal to do class work, loud talking or noise making,
Texting or using cell phones during class,
Coming in late,
We are tempted to place blame for these behaviors on unruly kids, but like most other problems in life, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Parents who fail to require good behavior at home is probably the number one reason for discipline problems at school. Of course it is easier to let things slide and avoid a big ruckus with your kids, but is that what is really best for them. Kids who learn good manners and good behavior at home usually practice the same when they are away from home.
Society also contributes to poor discipline in our schools. Encouraging kids to dress provocatively, use vulgar and abusive language, bully those who are weaker, and to think they are deprived if they don't have the latest electronic gadget, dress fad, or car is not helping them or the schools they attend.
Finally, teachers who have not learned to maintain classroom discipline must also share the responsibility for the breakdown of discipline in our schools. If you are one of those teachers, don't throw up your hands and resign. Instead, seek out fellow teachers who do control their classes well and ask for suggestions. Read up on the subject of classroom control. Every suggestion will not work for every classroom so you may have to try several before you find the ones that will work best for you. Don't let classroom discipline problems ruin the dream you once had about becoming a teacher.
As a former teacher myself, one of my favorite tips for new teachers is to enlist the help of the kids themselves in maintaining classroom discipline, and do it as early as possible.
Set aside some time to talk about classroom behavior during the first few class sessions. Make a list of problems that could and probably will occur throughout the year. Let the kids add to the list and then talk about how some of the problems might be avoided. Then, decide together what would be the appropriate discipline for each problem.
You will find that kids are much more likely to abide by rules that they have a part in creating.