Teach English in Haihe Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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Discipline in the classroom is one of the major problems a teacher can face when having a group. Classroom discipline is essential to have an effective teaching and learning environment. But what is discipline? We can understand by discipline as the practice of controlling attitudes and behaviors making usage of punishments to maintain routine, rules and a healthy learning environment during teaching time. There are several ways of achieving discipline in the classroom, but to make this study easier we will focus on three strategies. Discipline starts from prevention. The teacher must be clear on his rules and expectations since his first days of class. Making guidelines known by all students create a safe atmosphere once students are aware of exactly what can and cannot be done. Preventative discipline allows students to understand what is expected from them about behavior, homework, and engagement and it is a valuable tool to establish what consequences follow unwanted behaviors. Besides rules and expectations, in the preventative discipline teacher's behavior is also important: always be in time, show respect to the students, get to know the students, be motivated and energic, be fair and consistent and always have a positive attitude. Even the most experienced teacher can fail on preventing misbehavior. That is the time when the supportive discipline comes to action. Supportive discipline is the intermediate level between establishing rules for a new group and punishing a prohibited behavior. İt is the moment the teacher gives the student the option between correcting his behavior or facing the consequences of his acts. This point is vital for the teacher to keep calm and not threaten the student. Teacher's talk must be done in a tone of warning or suggestion reminding the student about the class’s rules and guidelines. When all the previous instruments have miserably failed then the teacher knows it is time for the corrective discipline. Corrective discipline is the stage when a teacher uses of punishments to reassemble order in the classroom. There many ways of using the corrective discipline but the punishment given must always be proportional to the infraction made. The main point in this step is to be consistent and fair. Losing temper will only undermine the teacher’s authority so yelling and engaging a verbal argument will never be an option. Humiliating a student is also something that must be avoided at any cost once it will make the teacher lose respect and cause resentment which can turn into a bigger problem later. The most important point to remember, though, is the teacher is in control so he must act accordingly. As an alternative to the preventative, supportive and corrective discipline approach some teachers prefer to use the LEAST system. The LEAST system was created by The National Education Association to guide teachers in case of discipline problems in the classroom. İt has a graduate scale that must be observed by the teacher and applied according to the evolution of the situation. Once the problem is solved there is no need to move on to the next step. The steps are as followed: Leave it alone if it is a minor problem, End the action indirectly by showing your disapproval non-verbally, Attend more fully asking what is going on, Spell out directions by reminding the students about the class´s rules and guidelines and Treat students progress making notes about the episode and sharing when needed with parents and superiors. No matter which approach or strategy is used maintaining discipline in the classroom demands clearness, fairness, consistency, and persistence.