A good teacher is never without a good plan for discipline in the classroom. Ask any teacher and you’ll know that good behavior management can go a long away. To help with managing student behavior, here are a few discipline strategies for teachers to keep in mind:
Discipline with Dignity
All students need to be treated with dignity. Even when a student is being disciplined, he or she needs to retain dignity. Private reminders and conferences with the child will preserve his or her dignity and yours.
One of the best things to remember concerning disciplining students is that they win whenever they get you to “lose your cool.” Take your time when students “push your buttons” and decide carefully on your response. In this way, you will not behave in a way that you will regret later.
Teach Students Responsibility
Students need to be taught that they are responsible for their own behavior. If a student does not follow the rules, it is best for natural or determined consequences to take their course whenever possible. When parents and others intervene, they take the responsibility for the student’s behavior away from the student.
One of the best favors you can do for your students and yourself when students get wiggly and cannot seem to concentrate is to take an exercise break. One good time for a break like this is about 45 minutes before lunch. Take your students outside for 5–7 minutes of exercise led first by yourself, and then, after they know the exercises, the students. This is not to replace physical education, but it is a quick chance to do some specific physical activity when students need it most.
Another variation on this is to use low impact aerobics for children in the classroom. One caution is that many of the shoes the students wear to school might be dangerous for exercise routines. If this is the case, you might want to encourage students to bring some tennis shoes to school for their exercise breaks.
Reward Good Behavior
A good discipline system should also include positive reinforcement for good behavior. Award certificates, badges, or simple, sincere verbal praise can keep good behavior on track and build self-esteem.
There are, of course, many more strategies for student discipline, and what may work for one teacher may not work for another. What discipline techniques have you found to be effective in your classroom?