Teach English in Jieling Zhen - Shaoyang Shi

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Punishment is used in the classroom as a means from the teacher to gain control. It can work but the teacher has a huge responsibility in the way she executes punishment. Reinforcing good behavior should be the primary strategy in a classroom but if punishment is necessary, then the teacher needs to consider a few crucial elements to punishment. It is important to teach students alternative behavior instead of what the student is doing at the moment. The teacher should be clear about what she expects from the student or the student won’t change his behavior and will also be confused on the appropriate behavior. It is also common practice for a teacher to threaten to punish the whole class for the bad behavior of a few. This kind of punishment technique alienates your well-behaved students and also enforces bullying. If you hold everyone accountable, they students will resent you and this can damage your influence in class. Making students feel unnecessary guilt or bullying them is something you should avoid. Consistency is very important when it comes to punishment. It is not fair to punish one student for bad behavior but not another. Students will suspect favoritism from your part and also recognize the punishment as something specifically direct at them personally and not necessarily due to bad behavior. A behavior program is probably the most effective way to plan and execute punishment if this is something the teacher wants to enforce in class. Let’s look at some important aspects to consider when planning a behavior program: 1. Punishment is paired with positive reinforcement. It is always a good idea to complement negative consequences for inappropriate behaviors with a positive-reinforcement system that rewards a child's positive behaviors. 2. The plan uses the mildest punishment technique that is likely to be effective. When selecting a punishment technique, start off with less intensive interventions. Consider moving to a more intensive or restrictive form of punishment only if the milder alternative proves ineffective. 3. The student should not be deprived of key opportunities to build social and academic skills. For instance, reducing recess time as a consequence for misbehavior may not be the best approach if the student already has few friends and limited social skills. 4. The student provides input as the behavior plan is being developed. One potential unintended effect of punishment techniques is that the target child may feel powerless--a situation that could erode the child's investment in learning. Whenever possible, the teacher should give the student a voice in the design of the behavior management plan. 5. Instructors should take care that all elements of a behavior plan, including punishment procedures, fall within disciplinary guidelines both of the state education department and their school district. Parents, too, should be informed of any behavior plan being put into place for their child and asked to sign off on it prior to that plan being implemented. 6. The teacher monitors the effects of the behavior plan. Because punishment procedures can in some cases lead to unintended negative effects on student performance and attitudes toward school, behavior plans that include a punishment component should be closely monitored. Punishment can be a very successful tool for managing the classroom, however a punishment system needs to be structured, evaluated and sustainable to ensure positive changes.