Managing discipline in a classroom is a trial by fire. Most of what we learn as a new teacher, it is quite difficult to manage a classroom. Teaching your students in not possible if you fail to manage discipline in the class. It is important to have a basic set of rules for your students to follow.
If you are struggling with discipline, here are five tips that you can start using right away:
Set a code of behavior
This is the most important tip. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, if you don’t have a plan for them, they’ll have one for you. Always over plan. A code of behaviors should be set with the student and must have it on the board, or on a wall or on a big sheet of paper. You should let your students know the consequences of their behavior. A few points in a code of behavior are sufficient such as “I will work harder to achieve my goals.”
Be the model
Keep the saying in your mind, “Values are caught, not taught.” If you don’t show discipline, you can’t generate it in your students so it is important to exhibit respectfulness, enthusiasm, trust, interest and courtesy in your everyday life with your students so that they may return the favor in kind.
Greet students in the morning/at the door
Interacting with your students on a personal level is quite good for building a good relationship among teacher and the students. You should greet them by their names. Interjecting a positive comment, shaking hand with them and saying them welcome into the classroom leaves a nice impact on their minds. This way, a positive tome is set for the day.
Get them focused before proceeding
Make sure that you have brought their whole attention before you start teaching them. Don’t try to talk over students. Initiate a competition to see who speaks lesser and make them feel that it’s okay to talk while you are talking to them.
Make them feel positively that you are present
Move around the classroom continuously and stay in and around your students. Don’t park yourself in the front of the classroom. Supervise your students with your physical presence. Make frequent eye contact and smile with your students.
Make use of nonverbal communication
Using hand signals and other non-verbal communication influence the students more than the verbal communication. If you ask them to stay quiet, it may not b as influencing as stopping for a while during the lecture and looking at them silently. You may also hold your hand in air and make eye contact with the students in a great way to grab their attention on you.
Flicking the lights off and on once to get the attention is an oldie but goodie. It could also be something you do routinely to let them know they have three minutes to finish an assignment or clean up, etc.
For younger students, clap your hands three times and teach them to quickly clap back twice in the same way. This is an interesting activity you can perform the get their whole attention on you.
Seeing a student misbehaving may push your anger high but you need to keep yourself relax. Be sure your intervention is quiet, calm, and inconspicuous. Use the name of the student in your presentation or lecture to bring his/her attention and make them feel that you have an eye on them.