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How Can a Teacher Maintain Discipline in the Classroom? A common issue in classrooms all around the world is that of maintaining discipline. There are multiple reasons why the issue of discipline can arise in the classroom varying from the size of the class to the lack of respect between the teacher and student. In this essay I will be discussing why disciplinary issues might arise, how to prevent such problems and how to respond to problem behavior should it still be an issue after trying the preventative steps. According to TEFL unit 5- Managing Classes- The factors which influence students’ discipline in a classroom may not always be influenced by the teacher. External factors such as family problems and low self-esteem can cause a student to act out. Although these issues are harder to manage, because of the limited amount of time an EFL teacher spends with the students, there are behavioral problems that can be handled by the teacher. In fact, some behavioral issues are a direct result of the teacher’s actions them self. If a student is bored in the class, for instance, or if the teacher finds they are not respected by the students, the behavior is a result of an error on the teacher’s part and can in fact be avoided. A teacher cannot expect discipline from students, first of all, if the teacher does not show self-discipline. The same goes for respect. The teacher needs to set an example for the students in their class by arriving on time, for instance. If, as a teacher, you are constantly late for class you cannot expect students to understand that the classroom time is something to be respected, because you do not display respect for their time, yourself. Another way that a teacher shows their students that they respect them is by being well prepared for the class. The students will identify that you have put time and effort into teaching them, not only that but, it will eliminate space for behavioral issues. Talking in class and boredom are a direct reflection on the teacher’s bad planning. If the teacher has properly planned out what needs to take place in the class there will be no space left for talking and the lesson should happen fluidly. If a teacher wishes to maintain discipline in the classroom, they have to show consistency in their disciplinary style. In other words, the rules should apply to all students, all the time. While it is very important to establish a rapport with the students, the teacher cannot be the students’ friend. A good rule of thumb to follow, according to TEFL, is to establish control first and ease up later as it will be too difficult to undo the already learned behavior that will become a standard in the classroom. If a teacher continues to struggle with discipline after doing everything possible to prevent problem behavior, there are still steps that they can take to address the issues. The teacher should, first of all, address the issue as soon as it arises rather than waiting for it to worsen or assuming it will sort itself out. A common misconception is that raising one’s voice and temper will fix the behavior - this is untrue. The teaching should at all times remain calm in the classroom and not lose their temper. Rather than reprimanding the student in front of the class, the teacher can keep the student behind afterwards to address the issue one on one. The teacher should keep in mind that sometimes, a change in routine and environment is all that’s needed to keep the students engaged and interested rather than bored, which leads to disruptive behavior. In conclusion, the teacher should always address behavioral issues without involving their ego. Sometimes our own behavior is what needs addressing. 640 WORDS