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Why is Classroom Discipline Important?

Why is Classroom Discipline Important? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

As a teacher you are in charge of a classroom of children, it can be relatively hard to meet all students needs and maintain control. A lot of teachers develop alternative ways to manage students. This can be by establishing classroom rules right from the start and to maintain these rules right throughout the year. Popular discipline techniques are positive discipline, these techniques use positive reinforcement to encourage students to behave, this is a much better way, rather than negative reinforcement, with punishment and humiliation. The teachers turn to problem-solving and then use classroom discussions, so opinions are heard and self-awareness which resolves the problem or issues at hand.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Daniel B.

Make decisions on some basic classroom rules

Choose a hand full of simple rules to establish some boundaries amongst the classroom and students. Make sure you write them down, so they are in view of the classroom and for everyone to see. Rules can be: you need to attend all classes on time, and have everything ready in order to learn. Being respectful to others, be prepared to listen, ask any questions, and to understand the Learning Centre or the School’s protocols and the consequences if you do not follow by them. Students need to understand these standards and rules from the beginning. This will set the rules and standards right from the very start of the school year, which will provide a good foundation, it is important as this will reiterate what expectation levels that the students must follow in regards to these rules, right throughout the year. Make sure the rules are available to see or access at all times throughout the year.

Positive outcomes and negative outcomes

Explain to the class and get them understanding with a positive outcome is better energy and more beneficial to everyone in following classroom rules. You could create a classroom reward chart, with rows of stars to fill in, or stick stars on to the rows one by one of the charts as a reward, when abiding by classroom rules and the classroom will be rewarded in a positive way once the chart is full of stars. This could be by the way of doing a school activity that all the students would like to do as a reward to them, this could even include a school excursion. And if the students do not follow the rules, that it would only be disruptive and have negative effects on everyone, in a way of punishment you could deduct some stars.

Rule to be established and approved

This will make sure all parties are aware of the rules, and they abide by the School or Learning Center standards, and all the parents are clearly aware of the rules, the situation at hand. This must be appropriate by the standards of educational bodies codes of practice, legislation, and approved by the school board and principle, followed by the parents.

Revise and review the rules on a regular basis, and take note of any behavior patterns. By doing this it will allow the students to be open for discussion and voice their opinions. Even though you may not adjust any rules, the students will feel you respect them. The rules should be revised on a regular basis.

Putting rules into action and appropriate discipline

If there is a problem, revise the rules with the students, and enforce the situation, do not be afraid to be strict with the rules or enforcing them. Discipline the students appropriately, do not yell or get angry at the students. Instead use punishment that encourages self-awareness and discussion, which will achieve a positive outcome., rather than a negative outcome of embarrassment and humiliation towards the students. Maintain positive outcome through the year and this will remind the students, that the rules are made to reward them, and to be of a positive effect .

Punishment compared with positive discipline

Positive discipline is a method, that uses positive alternatives, not like punishment, it does not use shame or violent acts, nor ridicules students, this system relates to students responding better to a positive approach and rewards them, having more control over the classroom.

Core principles to positive discipline

To respect the child’s dignity, develop behavior encouraging self-discipline, maximize the child’s attendance in class, respect the child’s developmental needs and qualities, respect the child’s motivation and life views, ensure fairness and justice through equality and non-discrimination, and last of all, to promote solidary among the students.

Positive discipline recognizes appropriate behavior and rewards the behavior. Describe appropriate behavior. If you're trying to get the class to settle down, you may say: “class please settle down. Provide a reason why this behavior is appropriate. “We are about to start class and it is important that you all listen to me.” Ask acknowledgment about the appropriate behavior. “Do you see why being quiet is important?” Reinforce the correct behavior, with eye contact, a nod of the head, a simple smile, or even giving the class an extra star, putting them one step closer to the rewarded activity as mentioned above. Always remember to let students know you are praising them or rewarding them straight away.

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