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Discipline in the EFL Classroom

Discipline in the EFL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Our consideration here is going to be discipline within the classroom.

From your own experiences at school you will know that some teachers have more discipline problems than others. Whilst there are no set rules which will work for all situations that you find yourself in, there are some things that we can do to stop problems arising in the first place.

One of the major causes of problems is when students do not respect the teacher and there are some things that we can do to help build and maintain that respect from our students.

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The major things that you should consider include the following:

1) It is very important that you are always seen to be fair. 2) You are always well prepared in terms of your materials and activities. 3) You do not make threats within the classroom and then not carry them out.4) It is important that we show respect for our students in all situations and this can come down to very simple things like when we give homework, we should make sure that we take that homework in and then we mark it promptly and give it back.5) It is very important that you are punctual.6) Finally one of the major things that we can do to help maintain the respect of our students is to always be enthusiastic.

A further consideration here in terms of discipline is going to be your response to problem behavior. Your responses are actually critical as to whether the problem is going to increase or decrease. Here are a few simple things to remember in terms of your responses to problem behavior.

1) It is very important that you act immediately before the problem can get worse 2) People's ideas of discipline problems will be different in terms of their severity but wherever possible we should try to use nonverbal techniques first. If for example two students are talking to each other while you were talking then just stop look at those people who are talking and it's very unlikely that they're going to continue to do so. Without saying anything using nonverbal techniques we can avoid this type of behavior.3) Next it is very important that you always keep calm and there you never shout. From your own experience you're probably aware that there's very little to be gained by shouting.4) Make sure also that you keep within the school discipline code make yourself aware of what that discipline code actually says. Any responses you have to discipline problems must not be outside the actual discipline code on the school or the language center.5) Finally here what we might say is, although it can sometimes be difficult, try wherever possible to use humor to anticipate discipline problems. It would be very nice if we could just give a list of things that you would need to do in order for you to never have any discipline problems in your career. That list does not exist; most of your responses to discipline problems will be learned over time you will find out what works and what does not work.

When you first start teaching, if you keep these sorts of ideas in your mind, it does not mean that discipline problems won’t exist but these ideas can go some way to ensure that they shouldn't escalate.

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