ESL Classroom Discipline: ✅ Concern or Treasure?
Discipline in the classroom is a point of concern for any teacher, be it new or experienced. Since it is a learning center, we expect the students to be disciplined, which is correct. However, to expect the same from the students, a teacher's core responsibility is to set the right expectations in the student's mind. The students must be following the same. Every new teacher is worried and split thoughts regarding what to follow and what not to as there is a fine line between being strict and being a disciplined teacher. If you are severe, you are hated. If you are liberal, you are taken for granted. But bear in mind that it is not a fast-track process and would take time to fetch the right and sure results. When a teacher invests time and emotions, the bonding between the student-teacher becomes strong, and the teacher can handle indiscipline by the students very well.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Anjali S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Managing the first class
Apart from all the confusion spread around, I would like to share my personal experience with you and tell you how I managed my first-ever classroom. I needed to give my students the right environment to study with concentration and not have any disciplinary issues in my classroom. Hence, I always started my first lecture with a self-introduction and telling little about my experience, including the difficulties I faced on my way. That gave my students a bit of confidence that it was ok and normal to get difficult times in everyone's life. What matters is to face them with determination. I gave each student little time to understand them and placed my faith in them gradually to get them with me on the same page. So, whenever I gave any instruction, it was followed. Homework was completed on time. I made my students why it is essential to be disciplined and how it helps them achieve their goal on time, taking everyone along and not leaving any student behind. I set my expectations in terms of discipline and that I was ok giving breaks in between a problematic unit and was ready to take some fun activity in case students were getting bored. Like this, I had gathered the excellent support of my students. I always showed that I cared for them and that it affects me if they are in some pain, disbelief, or personal issues. I believe the classroom and the students become an extended family for any teacher.
Principles of work
For any teacher to receive respect from students is flattering and fulfilling, we also need to treat our students with the utmost respect. Students should know their limitations in terms of discipline and setting. That is the teacher's responsibility. As the guidelines are set for all, it is understood how and what needs to be done. Punishing strictly is not at all a solution for an indiscipline act of a student. However, in case it does happen, there are ways to tackle them.
If the teacher can set the procedure for the class to follow, students would know what needs to be done after what. The initial confusion is eliminated like this. Lack of the set procedure will bring the class in a confusing state, and the course overall looks out of discipline. Once the system is set and students start following it, you can identify the area where you need to focus except for one or two. The next step would be to adjust those students in such a group and position where they are easily seen and observed by you. In case these students aren't appropriately followed, they can disturb the entire class and the flow of the lecture hampering the learning ability and concentration of the whole course.
Attitude towards students
Things to keep in mind for the teacher here are that a student cannot be humiliated in from the class, as it can trigger a different set of personal issues. Small ways to handle those behavior issues are to start interrupting problematic behavior since the start. Make the consequences clear to the class. For a change, you can discuss with the style what will be the consequence if a student disturbs other students. Strict punishment is not advisable. A better way is to distract the student with some other activity, for example, giving some responsibility to them, which will help in the class activity. That way, the student feels having missed participating in the fun activity and will focus on the future classes wouldn't disturb the rest of the course. Behavioral issues can be discussed and shared openly in the class to manage self and surroundings individually.
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It is essential to find out why the student is not able to concentrate in the class. There are possibilities that there are some personal issues, or the student does not understand the lecture, and he is unable to share it with the teacher. Again, the responsibility lies on the teacher's shoulder to build rapport with the class individually. The teacher, in the end, must be approachable, loving, considerate for all. Rewarding a student for good work in some of the other way always helps build confidence. What motivates the class and boosts the teacher's confidence and, in turn, fetching beautiful results from the class help multiplying the number of students and giving the school good fame and name because a teacher is the face of the school. I agree with you. Even digital immigrants get used to new technology.
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