Discipline in the Classroom - Why is it Important and How is it Maintained?
To begin with, what is discipline? Discipline can be defined by the control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Discipline enables you to have self-control as a teacher. When working in a classroom, using discipline either teaches children to be well behaved or punishing and corrects them. Teachers use discipline to ensure routine is maintained and ensure there is a safe learning environment for the children.
There are three types of discipline; preventive, supportive, and corrective.
Preventive discipline can be defined as the measures many educators take to avert misbehavior by keeping students engaged. A way in which to achieve this is by ensuring the work provided is suitable for the ability and age of the children.
Supportive discipline ensures that teachers monitor a child’s behavior and that if they are on the cusp of misbehaving then an action is taken as soon as possible to prevent the behavior escalating.
When preventive and supportive discipline fails, corrective discipline becomes involved. Corrective discipline refers to implementing the established consequence created by the school for breaking classroom rules. This should also be implemented fairly within a classroom.
Discipline in the classroom is vital to manage children’s behavior without it, it can hinder a child’s learning and development which can affect their knowledge in life skills. Affecting their knowledge of life skills, children may also lose self-control. Disciplinary problems can be found in various ways, such as; bullying, aggression towards teachers and other staff members in the classroom, aggression towards students, defiance, and disrespect.
To maintain discipline, teachers should know the rules and school guidelines for discipline procedures.
A warning system (which is related to supportive discipline) is a way that teachers can maintain discipline.
Depending on the preference of the school and the teacher to fit their student's needs, warning systems can be delivered in different ways. For example; if a child interrupts the learning of the class (talking, making silly noises, out of their seat when they have been asked to sit and listen), a first warning will be given. This ensures the child knows that they are not behaving how they should be and that if they repeat the behavior then further action will be taken. If the misbehavior repeats, the teacher will raise the issue with a senior member of staff in the school (eg. Deputy or headteacher). who will take further action depending on the severity of the behavior?
Reward systems are another way to maintain discipline.
They are used to encourage good behavior in the classroom. They can be presented in various ways and will also differ depending on the age of the child. For example, a 3-year-old child would benefit more from a sticker or a stamp in their workbook whereas a 15-year-old prefers to be given verbal praise.
Furthermore, keeping an orderly classroom is another way to maintain classroom discipline. This can range from creating seating plans, having lesson plans, a tidy classroom, and building positive relationships with students, parents, and guardians.
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In conclusion, without discipline in a classroom a child’s learning can be vitally hindered. The classroom is there for children to come to a safe learning environment where they can develop and grow into the best possible young learners. They should be able to feel comfortable in their surroundings and with their peers.
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