Top Discipline Solutions for the Classroom
Dec 4, 2010 Classroom Management 3720 Views
When I was in my third year of teaching I had second period planning. Every day, without fail, I would start to get a headache about halfway through the period. My least favorite class of the day, and of my teaching career, was the fast-approaching third period class. As time crept closer to the beginning of third period, my headache grew. Now you can learn how to keep the headaches at bay and your teaching career on track with the following tips.
* Make it a habit to never turn your back on the students. Always stand so that you are facing towards the majority of the class when you are talking to an individual student at their desk. Stand upright rather than kneeling or stooping by the student's desk. Don't put yourself in a position where you can't see what's going on in the room. If you call students to you, don't allow them to surround you at your desk.
* Become very aware of everything that is happening in your classroom. Scan the room frequently with your eyes and let students see that you are noticing what is happening. Move among the students. Arrange seats so that it is easy and quick for you to get to any part of the room. If you see behaviors and "nip them in the bud" before they escalate you will have eliminated many of your discipline issues before they begin. This also means that you can't give the students an individual or group activity and then sit at your desk and work, or heaven forbid, read the newspaper. You have to be up and moving, making sure students and groups stay on task. The more you are moving around and monitoring the class the faster you'll see potential discipline issues and be able to stop them from escalating.
* Sometimes things will get away from you and you truly lose control of the class. There is only one option if this happens. STOP! Stop whatever you are doing, whether it is instruction, helping students, or running an activity. If you are not in control of the classroom nothing productive is happening, so stop! Don't scream at the class but in a calm and authoritative voice say "Stop! We need to change what's happening here." If you say this as if you mean it they will stop, even for just a moment. This is your chance! Say "All eyes on me" and wait until everyone is looking at you. Now you have regained control. Very clearly explain to them what it is that needs to happen and exactly what behavior is required. Give them some type of individual and very organized work that must be turned in by the end of the period and walk around to make sure that it happens. After the class is over spend some time thinking about how you will do things different the following day. Ask others for suggestions.
* It's tempting to give up on enforcing a rule that's not working, but this is a mistake and teaches students that you won't follow through on what you say. If a rule is not working, change it. Tell the students why you are changing it. If it was an inappropriate rule to begin with, tell them that this rule is no longer in effect and why.
* Routines are crucial in an efficient classroom. Well- thought-out routines will eliminate the vast majority of class disruptions because they simply aren't allowed to happen. To find hundreds of potential routines just google "routines for the classroom." Pick one routine a day to establish and practice it and have students model it. You will need to reinforce routines on a daily basis, but it becomes just a quick reminder, as in "Remember what our routine is for going to lunch. Stand up, chairs in. Line up by row with no talking." If they don't do it correctly have them start over. Routines are your friend. Ask your colleagues what routines work best for them.
Remember that the great thing about teaching is that every Monday is the start of a new year. If something isn't working don't be afraid to make changes. That's the only way in which the situation can possibly improve.