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Ways to Improve Discipline in the Classroom

Ways to Improve Discipline in the Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Good discipline is one of the keys to an effective lesson. Not only new teachers meet difficulties to manage students, but some veterans in this profession also can face problems. In this summative task, I will share my experience on how to maintain classroom discipline with young learners.

I started to work with young learners (4-7 years old kids) two years ago and it was a big challenge to hold their interest and attention for hours.

First thing I have learned about kids: “There are no bad or good students. They are all kids with a unique soul, qualities and interests.” I am a teacher and my work is not to put labels about their personalities, my work is:* to find a common language with each student:* to help to acquire a new language without pushing and stuffing, but with positive response and interest.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate EKATERINA M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

How to find a common language? There are some tricks below:

1. Teacher’s good mood.

It is impossible to share positive emotions and energy if you are empty inside. So, the main goal of each teacher - come to class with “fire inside”. Sometimes it is very useful to close eyes and stay a few minutes before class in complete silence, imagine/visualize your class with great discipline, huge interest, and a great result.

2. Start the lesson with something interesting. It can be a short video, song, dance, unusual toy, mask or even costume. Something bright, which attracts kids.

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3. During the first class establish main rules, for example:

  • No running;
  • No shouting;
  • If you want to say something - raise your hands;
  • Line up before the break and after class.

The teacher can give stars, stickers, marks, points for a good job during the class and delete them if kids beak the rules.

4. Use the different activities to figure out the main interests in the group and each kid.

Some of them prefer drawing, others - reading, drama, dancing or craft. Give kids what they like - you get their friendship and attention, which helps you to manage class and teach effectively.

5. Good discipline does not mean complete silence and absolute domination of the teacher during the class.

The teacher should consider children’s opinion, be flexible with teaching plans and always give kids a few minutes to stay “crazy” (let them run, jump, dance, shout).

students in the classroom

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6. Set eyes contact with kids.

It is a kind of animalistic behavior. But we get lots of information non-verbal. Using hand signals, body cues and other tactics can help get students’ attention. So, use it to establish a report.

7. It is very useful to teach kids some rhymes.

You can also share lines among students and they will feel like a part of the group.

Examples of rhymes:

Teacher: Class! Class!Students: Yes! Yes!

T: Ears, ears?S: Listen, listen.

T: Eyes on me!S: Eyes on you!

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T: Mouth, mouth?S: Zip, zip.

T: Hands, hands?S: Still, still.

Or:T: Attention (loud or with unusual voice).S: One, two.

8. Try to make your lesson interesting and dynamic.

Use games, videos, songs, additional materials, your own imagination. There are tons of ideas in our TESOL course and on the Internet.

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There is no best solution. Every new class is a new lesson not only for the student but for the teacher as well. Teachers adapt basic techniques to find the best practices that work in their classrooms. These can change depending on the types of students, classes, and experiences. Finding the best discipline methods can take time. Great teachers always look for new and innovative ways to connect with their students to ensure a fun and safe learning environment.

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