Here is how you can maintain discipline in the classroom with these proven strategies:
Interact With Students:
Greeting the students at the door, and referring to them by their names, shaking hands, interjecting a positive comment every now and then and making observations to give genuine, personalized feedback, etc. tends to strike the right chord with the students. By being positive and genuinely knowing your students well, you can set a positive tone for a lesson or if you are lucky, for the entire day. Such attitude building can help you keep your students well behaved.
Empathy plays an important part in building positive relationships with students. If the teacher invests the right amount of time in understanding their students, they can achieve a lot more than they normally could. However, more often than not, empathy is confused with caring. Many teachers simply assume that they understand the students’ dilemmas and mistakenly try to show their understanding in ways that are distant for the students. Giving a standard response like “I understand” to every student’s problem won’t help the relationship building strategy. Try and get to know your students and their problems on an individual level.
Admire the negative behavior:
Initially this may sound like the oddest strategy to get your students disciplined, but in reality, it might actually work like magic. This strategy is especially useful for troubled adolescents who seem to be acting out due to other problems in their life. This approach encourages the teacher to look upon a student’s behavior as a skill that he or she has developed over the years. For instance, admiring a manipulative teen’s ability to get what they want and encouraging them to apply this “skill” to good use might be a way to manage them better.
Don’t bring your ego to the classroom:
This means that as a teacher you need to ensure that students cannot easily flare up your temper or ego. Young students are often very skilled at reading behaviors in teachers. They can determine very easily what makes a teacher tick and often enjoy irritating or agitating them. As a teacher you should have the ability to manage your own issues and not give in to emotions such as anger, exasperation and frustration. The idea is to not take any comments by students personally and deal with any issues arising in a completely professional manner.
Use low-profile intervention:
Shouting at a misbehaving student in front of the entire class and embarrassing them is not going to make them like you. In fact, this will ruin whatever effort you had been previously putting in to be on good terms with this particular student. What you should do instead is intervene quietly. For instance, if you notice a student (let’s say Michael) misbehaving during a lecture, a good way to get their attention without disrupting the entire class would be to use their name in an example that is coming up. “Let’s take Michael’s weight in kilograms and see who can convert it into pounds the quickest”. Hearing his name, the student, Michael would start paying attention immediately and the entire class would not have to be disrupted.
Be a role model:
If you exhibit positive behaviors such as respectfulness, enthusiasm, trust, courtesy, interest, etc. while dealing with students, they will begin to return the favor sooner or later. Students tend to learn more from behaviors and actions rather than what they are explicitly told. To get your students to develop positive behaviors, the first step is to show them how this can be good for them.
As a teacher, you will come across students from different cultures. Multicultural students are among some of the toughest interactions for teachers. This is because the teachers end up developing barriers due to a fear of a cultural difference, a lack of knowledge about the differences and similarities, general intolerance and a consistent negative stereotyping of various cultures. As a teacher, you need to overcome your unresolved issues with cultural differences and truly make an effort to understand each student and the background they come from.
Enforce classroom rules fairly:
Make sure that your students respect the rules and understand what will happen in case they do not follow them. In some cases, rules may need to be enforced with some kind of punishment, though this method should be used as a last resort. Students need to be well informed of the disciplinary action they will face in case they ruin the classroom decorum. Teachers might want to employ methods like time-outs, temporary removal from the classroom, chances for do-overs, sending the student to the principal’s office or calling the student’s parents. However, keep in mind that these are not the ideal methods to deal with misbehaving students.
Managing students in a classroom can be a tough task. These eight strategies however, can be of great help if applied correctly. The idea is to enable students to become active participants in the classroom by making the classroom a place of great learning.