To maintain discipline in class, most of teachers get confused between punishments and rewards. Rewards are good to control and motivate students but some disruptive students need punishments as their behavioral problems persist in spite of several attempts. Here are some classroom punishments that are mostly used to communicate students which kinds of behaviors are inappropriate and unacceptable:
- The most effective classroom punishment is time-out. Using time-out punishment, teacher places a chair at side of classroom. When a student shows disruptive behavior, teacher simply asks the student to move to time-out chair. Here student spends a couple of minutes while reflecting on his actions. Time-out is considered one of the best punishments as it sets clear limits of acceptable behavior as well as it ensures dignity of student.
- Three strikes is also a kind of classroom punishment which involves three verbal warnings to a student who misbehaves. After three strikes, case is referred to high authorities like principal. Teacher has to take care and count which student have how many strikes. This punishment is also very effective as it gives more than one opportunities to students to amend their behaviors before taking a strict action.
- Appeal to high authority is somewhat serious and strict punishment. It conveys a message to the student that their misbehavior is not acceptable at all and it needs to be informed to principal. This punishment should be used when a student does not show willingness to change his behavior or disrupts others in class. As a consequence of this punishment, student can be removed from class so it should not be used frequently.
- Vice principal, principal or other administrator in school can issue in-school suspension orders as punishment. When in-school suspension is observed, misbehaving student needs to remain in principal’s office, away from his class and fellow students. During punishment, student completes school work alone. This punishment is mostly given for one day but this punishment really works and improves discipline.
- Students who commit serious violation of rules are suspended. Suspension is actually an extended absence from school. During this punishment, student cannot enroll in a different school. Suspension is such a punishment which gives time and opportunity to students to think about their wrong actions so that they can come back to school with improved behavior and awareness.
- Most serious punishment of all is expulsion and it cannot be issued without listening to both the parties-student and administration. Students who commit serious crimes can be expelled from school. Serious crimes may include carrying illegal drugs or alcohol, having a weapon or attacking and beating a school employee. Expulsion removes a student from school on permanent basis. In worst cases, other schools are also prohibited to enroll that particular student. Expulsion is a serious punishment but it contributes greatly to a healthy education environment and other students learn a lot from it.
Being a teacher, you will need a clear feedback from your students. Students will not interact with you until they are encouraged to participate in all classroom activities and issues. To create an effective learning environment, you need to encourage your students to interact with you and their peers without hesitation. Here are some things which you can do to maximize students’ interaction in classroom:
- You need to respect learners.
- Being a teacher, try to see things from your students’ perspective.
- Be an encourager and encourage hesitant and shy students to interact with you and fellow students.
- Create and maintain a relaxed learning environment in class.
- Enhance your communication skills and build strong rapport with your students so that they can communicate with you without fear.
- Instead of giving lengthy explanations, ask questions.
- Try to ask relevant open ended questions. Do not make it simple by asking just Yes/No questions.
- During your lecture, give enough time to students to listen, think and process their thoughts so that they can then ask something or speak. While giving them time to think, don’t talk to them.
- Be an active listener and try listening to every student in class.
- If a student finds difficult to explain something, you should try to understand what he wants to say actually.
- Also listen carefully to their language mistakes and make corrections immediately.
- Take necessary actions to increase student talking time. At the same time, try to decrease teacher talking time. You can do this by using gestures instead of speaking too much.
- To increase students talking time, make groups or pairs of students. Encourage students to interact with each other.
- When a student starts speaking something to you, let him finish his sentence first.
- Being a good teacher, you can also be a part of class instead of always acting as head of class.
- You should make a balance between coordination and competition. Encourage cooperation when needed and set competitions at suitable time.
- If a student speaks too quietly and slowly, move to him and encourage him to speak louder. In this way, you can also increase confidence level of your students.
These tips and guidelines seem very simple but they are very important to create a healthy learning environment.
Classroom management is a whole process. Being a teacher, you have to keep an eye on a number of factors to make your class organized, disciplined and managed. You have to deal with noisy students, disruptive students and late comers. Today we will give you some tips to deal with students who often come late in classroom:
Set Clear Rules
First of all, you should set clear rules regarding punctuality. Students should know that there are clear and defined rules about punctuality. They should be aware of the consequences of being late. They also need to know that those consequences will definitely be applied every time they will get late.
Don’t Let Late Comers Disrupt Class
When a student gets late, allow him to sit on seat but do not address him at that time. If you will start scolding that student during lecture, it will disrupt whole class and other students will start enjoying this situation. Do not let a late comer disrupt flow of your lecture.
Ask Students to do Previous Work
Always follow up lateness and make sure students are doing missed work as well. You can also use this as a consequence for lateness. Ask late comers to complete their previous work regardless of their excuses. You can listen to their problems and excuses but make sure to give them work which they should do in break or at home.
Encourage Students to Come on Time
To encourage students to come to class on time, give them rewards and acknowledge them. Make students understand that good attendance is easy to achieve so everyone of them can make it possible. To further motivate students, you can also conduct a sort of competition between different groups.
Keep Record of Lateness
Also manage to keep records. Ask students to fill a form in which they should give reason of late arrival along with arriving time. Send copies of these forms to students’ home along with a notification bearing consequences.
Considering seating arrangement of students in class is very important especially for new teachers. If bad students sit next to good ones, behavior of bad students may influence the behavior and character of good students as well. Similarly, if you allow a poor student to sit between two outstanding students, their good behavior may also change the nature of poor one. Si it is really important to take care of seating arrangement of students in class. Here are some guidelines in this regard:
- Size and shape of classroom plays an important role in deciding what you can do with the seating arrangement. There are a number of factors that can affect seating arrangement of classroom so try to consider as many factors as possible.
- Consider what type of activities you class will be doing. If you want your students to work in groups, you will have to adjust the seating arrangement accordingly.
- Also decide how much you like to move around in classroom. If you like to move to different areas of classroom while giving lesson, you should arrange seats in a way that creates enough space for you. If you will not consider this, you may collide with objects and students and you will lose focus on your lesson.
- If you like students to discuss lesson with each other, arrange seats so that students may face each other. Students will find it difficult to discuss if they will have to stare at each others’ back.
- Keep in mind the position of whiteboard. If you use whiteboard a lot, make sure that chairs are facing it. If you also use a projector along with a white board, you should position chairs in a way that students may not have to face trouble in order to pay attention to your lesson.
- If you have students with special needs, take them into consideration and allow them sit in front row. It is for those students who have vision problem. If a student sits on wheel chair, allow him sit on front corner.
After considering all above factors, you will be able to create a seating arrangement that will definitely work for you. If you need to change arrangement during the year, do not worry about it as little changes are necessary.
The way a teacher looks moves and holds his body has a deep effect on students. Body language and gestures of a teacher give a clear message to students how is he feeling. So mastering in using body language is necessary for a teacher to control his class. Here are some non-verbal methods which a teacher can use to gain control over his class:
- The first and most effective non-verbal method to control a class is moving around in room. In this way, a teacher keeps an eye on every student and students do not get a chance to whisper and gossip with each other. This attitude of a teacher prevents students from making mischievous plans and gives a message that whole class is in teacher’s control.
- Students notice their teacher deeply and look for a moment when the teacher looses control. Some students also take advantage of such desperate gestures of their teachers. So teachers are needed to be aware of their postures and gestures and avoid doing anything that shows over aggressiveness.
- Eye contact can also become a method to control a class. Maintaining eye contact for a few seconds can show whether a teacher is happy or angry.
- Teachers should be aware of what is going on in all parts of a classroom. If a student is found doing something wrong, he/she should be pointed out at once to show that teacher is seeing him/her. It all means that a teacher should have eyes in back of head. A teacher should show with his behavior that volition of class discipline will never be tolerated.
- To maintain students’ involvement, smooth and effective transitions play an important role. If a teacher will give unclear and confusing directions with lengthy explanations, he will be failed to gain students’ attention.
- Students’ misbehavior starts when they experience boredom. To reduce this boredom, teacher can show a feeling of progress with his behavior. Teacher should show enthusiasm to create the same in students.
If above mentioned methods are applied, a vital and positive change can be seen in students. Body language is always more powerful than what we speak. So a teacher should use these methods to gain control over class instead of raising voice.
No doubt, teaching is a rewarding career but at the same time it is challenging. Especially new teachers find it very difficult to manage the class and maintain discipline. Actually classroom management is a skill which can not be learnt but practiced. Here some tips are given for successful class management:
- As a teacher, you will definitely want to establish a disciplined and productive environment. To make it possible, create rules and inform students on limits and boundaries. Let them know that certain behaviors will not be tolerated in classroom. On first day of class, inform students about all rules along with consequences of breaking those rules. To help students establish your expected and desired behavior pattern, create routines and structures.
- Enforce your rules without exceptions. To make it possible, adopt a positive reinforcement method. Reward those students who behave well and according to your expectations. Remark on good behavior of a student to other students in class. You can also reward the whole class for showing good behavior. Reward system does not need to be very expensive and elaborate. For good behavior or high grades, pass out stickers or play money etc.
- Be consistent in terms of enforcing your rule. It should not happen that you ignore misbehavior of a student one day and very next day you punish a student for a little mistake. Your students will loose respect and esteem for you if you will do so.
- If your one or more of your students are misbehaving in class, try to know reason behind it. Reasons for misbehavior are many. Some students simply want attention while some have other problems. Try to help such students out with cooperation of other teachers in school. Boredom in class can also lead to misbehavior so to avoid it, keep the students busy. Create interesting assignments and activities for students.
- Being a teacher, you can stop disruptions in class with a little humor. Teachers often confuse humor with mockery and sarcasm. Humor can make the situation better while sarcasm can spoil your relationship with your students.
- Always be excited and fervent about whatever you do in class. Your excited and engaged behavior will encourage your students to do the same. If you are exhausted, even then pretend to be positive to enjoy your activities.
In spite of following above given tips, if you still fail to manage your class, don’t feel hesitation to ask for help. Experienced teachers would definitely have more tips and tricks to manage a class.
Teachers may have to face a lot of distractions in classroom daily. They may have to deal with uninterested students or they may suffer from burden in absence of parents support. But good teachers always remain committed to their profession and try solving these problems. The most common problems faced by teachers in classroom include the following:
- Young students often show an ignoring and neglecting behavior as they do not know the importance of education. Such uninterested and unmotivated students cause frustration in teachers and are a real challenge. Teachers can overcome this problem by understanding what their students are interested in. Teachers can then help their students achieving their goals by encouraging them.
- Disrespectful behavior from students is also a problem teachers usually face. Especially teens of this era show such behavior to their teachers as they see disrespectful attitudes towards teachers in different movies or shows. If teachers want to solve this problem, they should involve parents in this matter and encourage them to become involved in their child’s educational issues. When parents will become involved in all this, they will teach their kids to respect their teachers.
- Teachers also complain about lack of parental cooperation and guidance with them. A student can become successful only when parents support his teachers. But in fact, parents start attacking teacher when they hear complain from their kid against teacher. Parents like to defend their child without knowing their child’s behavior and problems.
- One of the toughest competitors of teachers in classroom is the cell phone. Vibration and ringing bells and students texting their peers cause distraction. Although cell phones are strictly prohibited in classroom, some students still bring them regardless of the consequences. Such students should be dealt with an appropriate behavior according to their age group.
- Technology has become an essential part of education so classrooms today are equipped with computers. Computers are provided to students to get help and knowledge online and make assignments. But some students start misusing computers for personal purposes. The best way to overcome this problem is to monitor students strictly while working in computer lab.
- Sleep deprived and lethargic students are quite irritating for teachers. Such students find it difficult to concentrate on lecture and appear bored. Lethargy and exhaustion may be caused by many factors one of which is doing job in parallel to studies. To solve this problem, teachers need to talk to students and their parents as well.
- Teachers are sometimes afraid to discipline a student because of risk of lawsuit if they fail to handle situation correctly. Teachers require support of parents, administration and school board in this regard.
- Teachers must prepare preschool lesson plan in order to co-op with the challenges of teaching students in a systematic way.
Teachers have a great responsibility and to meet this responsibility, teachers need support and help. Parents and school administration should communicate properly with teachers for betterment of students and class discipline.