A well-disciplined classroom is the best environment for learning. But even well-prepared teachers have problems from time to time. Share these time-tested strategies for putting an end to poor conduct:

  • Remind and warn. Point to the rules you’ve posted. Remind students of the consequences for breaking those rules.
  • Get closer. Move to stand or sit next to the misbehaving student. It serves as an effective nonverbal warning.
  • Use your voice. You can change the pace of what you are saying—speaking more slowly or coming to a complete stop. Or you can raise your voice—but not angrily. This sends a signal that you have noticed inappropriate behavior.
  • Ignore it. “Planned ignoring” works well when students seem to be looking for attention. If you don’t give any, the student will stop the mumbling, getting out of the seat or other distracting behavior. Be sure to give these students positive attention and praise when they do something right.

 

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Teachers can mediate students’ stress

Teachers can’t control the endless forces outside the classroom that cause kids stress. But they can work to mediate stress—once students get into the classroom. Encourage teachers to:

  • Give students time to transition from any stress they might have experienced on the way to class. Stretching, playing a game, journal writing, soft music or small group discussions can help.
  • Make it easy for students to understand what is expected of them. Establish clear rules and procedures—and be consistent in enforcing/following them.
  • Avoid unrealistic deadlines. Think carefully about the amount of time most students will really need to finish an assignment.
  • Support positive peer relationships by encouraging teamwork.
  • Make students laugh. Just because the subject is important doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

did-you-know  Did You Know?

Nearly 25% of principals and over 50% of teachers surveyed by the Education Week Research Center listed student discipline as a major source of friction in the principal-teacher relationship at their school.

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