Discipline = Repetition + Time + Consistency
"He who learns to obey will learn to command"
Holding and communicating high expectations for student learning and behavior is a top priority in establishing a well run classroom. Effective teachers make sure that students are aware they are expected to learn well and behave appropriately.
Rules should never be arbitrary or developed apart from the children. Students are inclined to break rules to which they can't relate. Share with students the responsibility for classroom management. Have each student suggest her own rules and discuss these with her. Efficacious educators work to instill in students a sense of belonging and self discipline, rather than viewing discipline as something imposed from the outside. When students feel they have helped to establish the rules, they are more invested in them.
After the rules have been established, post them in a prominent place.
Review these rules frequently at the beginning of the school year and periodically throughout the year.
Specify consequences and their connection to student misbehavior.
Enforcing classroom rules promptly, consistently, and fairly is very important. Effective educators respond quickly to misbehavior, react in the same manner at different times, and levy consistent punishment regardless of the gender, race or other personal characteristics of the students.
Sometimes it is necessary to model the behavior expected from students. If asked not to interrupt their classmates, for instance, make sure the teacher does not interrupt them. Likewise, frequent loss of temper invites students to do the same.
No matter how frustrated you become, never embarrass your students or use abusive language. Such tactics can have lasting effects on youngsters. Deliver feedback in a calm, even voice and focus on the behavior rather than on the child.
Don't overlook the physical aspect in your classroom. The proximity of the teacher to a potentially disruptive situation is important. Rather then sitting at the desk, the teacher should move around the room, staying on top of any evolving situation.
A great way to maintain discipline in the classroom is to keep the students stimulated. When a teacher is passionate about the subject matter, this enthusiasm is often infectious. If a teacher is bored, the students will sense it. If the teacher is learning and discovering along with the children, students will notice this, too. Involved students are rarely unruly students.
Maintaining a brisk pace for instruction and making smooth transitions between activities also helps maintain an orderly classroom. Effective educators keep things moving in their classrooms, which increases learning as well as reducing the likelihood of misbehavior.
Dynamic teachers also experiment with alternative teaching methods to reach students with diverse intelligences. For example, students whose constant movement often disturb their classmates might be kinesthetic learners. Behavior problems will improve dramatically if they are given the chance to move around by coming to the board, performing a skit, or tapping out the rhythm of a song or poem.
Successful disciplinarians observe and comment on student behavior, which provides feedback and reinforcement. They also recognize appropriate behavior with verbal, symbolic, and tangible rewards.
Finally, it is important to know that at times, no matter what lengths to which you go, problems with particular youngsters will persist. Sometimes these students face serious problems which require a team approach. The following behavior patterns may indicate that you cannot confront the problem alone. Seek help from counselors, administrators and/or parents.
A sudden change in the personality of the student. He or she may become very
withdrawn or extremely animated.
Signs of physical problems in a student who is generally healthy.
Open hostility to classmates and teachers.
Developing a lively, respectful, and well-ordered classroom is a continuing process, one which requires creativity and patience. Set the tone on the very first day and the beneficial learning environment will profit you and your students throughout the school year.
Time Out Lesson
(Grades 5 and 6)
Instruction to the Student
Copy this lesson onto a blank piece of paper. Follow that by writing in your own words, how you intend to improve your behavior in the future. Make sure you title this page "Time Out Lesson" and put your name in the top right corner of your paper.
I understand that school is a place for learning. Every student in the United States is offered 13 years of education. Not many other countries in the world offer this opportunity to their young people. I understand that I choose how to use this time. I can get an education and learn more about myself and the world around me, or I can waste this time.
I understand that the teacher is responsible for many things. He/she needs to plan the lesson and then do everything possible to help students understand the material. The teacher has a big job because it is not easy to help a class full of students, who have a variety of skills, talents and previous knowledge. When I behave disruptively, I am making it hard for the teacher to do his/her job. This is not fair and I have no right to do this.
I understand that the other students in my class have a right to the best education possible. When I behave disruptively, I not only keep the teacher from doing his job, I am also keeping students from getting the best education possible. This is not fair and I do not have a right to do this.
I understand that I have the power to make good or bad decisions. When I make good decisions, I am rewarded. In school this means getting a good education and feeling good about myself as a student. I understand that I deserve a good education and I have the power and responsibility to make this happen.
In the future I will:
Parent Signature (Optional) ________________________________________________
If you can keep your
head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and
not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one
heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with
crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!