Classroom Discipline

Build Classroom Discipline On Four Pillars Of Good Practice

Classroom discipline is often the most problematic aspect of classroom management – teachers spend more time worrying about this than anything else.

For some it’s the only aspect of classroom management – they think if they can get discipline right everything else will just fall into place.,
Discipline in the classroom is the crunch area that often defines a teacher’s reputation and establishes norms and practices in lessons. As with everything else involved in classroom success, teachers can learn how to establish and maintain effective classroom order by meeting students’ behaviour needs

In fact good classroom discipline has four key ingredients – the four pillars of good practice.

  • The first pillar of good practice is a set of core value principles that guide teachers in everything they do. There is general agreement that principles such as fairness, and justice, as well as integrity and honesty need to be present in everything that happens in the classroom, and these principles are particularly important in the sensitive area of behavior management.
  • The second pillar of good classroom behavior management is proactivity on the part of the teacher. Effective teachers know they are the most important player in the classroom and they know how to take the initiative. They lead the learning and make it happen. Taking individual responsibility by having a proactive approach means not only do they believe thay will manage classroom behavior well but they practise what to do and take responsibility for their actions. When something doesn’t work they examine the reasons why and change their approach until they find what does work.
  • The third pillar is a good classroom discipline plan. Effective teachers spend time not only on curriculum planning but also on planning how they will manage and lead student behavior – and their own – in the classroom. This is often overlooked by teachers – many spend a lot of time planning their lessons yet spend very little time creating a discipline plan – some have no real plan at all.

There are several ways to create a discipline plan: the best ones include features such as:

rules and procedures
rewards, incentives and praise
follow up steps- eg student detentions, contacting parents, repairing relationships strategies etc
compliance with whole school systems
specific tactics to meet perceived needs eg focus on enabling targeted students to respond better

  • The fourth and, for most teachers, the most important aspect of behaviour management,is a solid set of practical strategies that work on a daily basis to ensure good standards of student behavior.

These strategies deal with everything from breaking the ice with new classes to using assertive behavior techniques with confidence, from reducing noise levels to using humor to defuse potentially volatile situations.

All good teachers gradually build up their repertoire of classroom behavior management procedures,especially when they learn to use positive behavior supports.

You can sometimes find some great tips in unlikely places, as you can see from this article on behavior and classroom management ,inspired by some great dog training advice.

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