Before the COVID 19 crisis, it was obvious that students were taking over the classroom and teachers were having a difficulty time instructing. Many experienced burnouts and left the profession for a less stressful career.
However, studies show that many teachers failed due to the inability to implement the right disciplinary approaches when it came to redirecting students. Some teachers even explode emotionally after having had enough of the non-sense coming from challenging students.
If you are one of those teachers who are dreading to go back into the classroom, then you are in luck to receive 10 effective disciplinary tools to keep your classroom from getting out of hand. They are simple and should be implemented on the first day of school.
Be a role model. Let your behavior and the way you respond to stressful situations teach students how to conduct themselves. Students are watching you from day one. If you lose it and explode due to inappropriate behavior, they will imitate you.
But if you keep a professional demeanor while interacting with a challenging student, you will be teaching a valuable lesson.
Avoid Power Struggles
Refuse to go head to head with a challenging student. You will most likely lose. I have known several teachers who became so emotional defeated that they were ineffective in teaching the rest of the school day.
Challenging students love power struggles. If they can get your emotional upset, they know that they have won back power and have taken charge.
Instead of getting in a power struggle, be firm and stick implementing responsive classroom techniques only.
Planned to Ignore, Consider CIQ
One way to prevent a potential power struggle is to ignore the student. Three cool question I learned at a teacher seminar on classroom discipline are worth answering: Can I Teach? Can They Learn? And Can he/she still learn? I the answer to these three questions is Yes, then you can continue teaching and ignore the behavior until it goes away.
Many times, when you are not giving a student the attention he or she want, their behavior and attention return to the subject at hand. Classroom Integrity Questions (CIQ) are well worth answering for mild classroom disruption.
Sometimes all you need to do to silence a student is stand next to him or her. For example, if two or three students are talking while you are teaching, walk over to where the conversations are occurring, and pause. Many times, this approach does the trick, allowing you to finish instructing with effectiveness.
When teaching, try to make the lesson as interesting as possible. Get as many students involved in answering questions as possible. Many times, teachers just teach without engaging student’s understanding on what is being taught.
If the lesson is boring, an unengaged student will do other things to eliminate the boredom he or she is experiencing.
However, when a teacher makes a lesson plan exciting, students want to get involved. As a result, teacher can enjoy stress-free instruction time.
Non-verbal cues will go a long way in stopping classroom disruption in its tracks. If your students have been taught to recognize non-verbal cues since the beginning of the school year, he or she will respond to these cues when teachers implement them. Below are some common non-verbal cues.
- Freeze Body
- Wait Time
- Exit Direction
The effectiveness of these cues depends on what follows if the student does not comply with the meaning of them.
Coming back from a hard discipline episode is not easy. However, if you acknowledge that your students are just children who need to learn great values, you will have little problem in making positive comebacks.
For instance, if you must redirect a student to the point of sending them out of the classroom or having them escorted to the principal’s office, you can implement a positive comeback.
When they return to the room, observe them. The first thing they do that is positive, compliment them on it. Or if you are about to have student do a special project, ask the student to help you pass out the materials.
Anyway, that you can make a positive comeback after a challenging moment, do it quickly. This will allow the student to understand that your discipline measure was nothing personal. You really do care about their learning and productivity in the classroom.
Use of Humor/Drama
You may not be good at telling jokes or dramatizing something humorous but try anyone. You attempt may be humorous enough to get the students in a good mood. Sometimes it takes courage to teach a group of challenging students.
Find a book of jokes and read them to the class in moments of mild distraction and disruptions. Good laughs are an opportunity to make students feel relaxed and less defensive. As a result, they will be easier to redirect when necessary.
Appeal to Values/Infuse with Affection
Character education should be a priority in all schools. Students who practice good behavior will go a long way in creating a successful existence. Therefore, if students are being disruptive, do not hesitate to appeal to good values.
Students need to understand that the values of listening, focus, respect, kindness, productivity, and following directions are the activities that make a highly progressive human being.
Teachers should express the importance of such values with affection, not with anger or force. Be as gentle as possible. This is the best approach.
In all your redirection and discipline, be genuine. If students’ sense that you are not genuine and that you are in the classroom just for a paycheck, then nothing you can do will influence them to be better human beings.
A teacher who really loves and cares about his or her students will receive honor from them for a lifetime. I still have student who are adults send their appreciation each time I encounter them, whether in person or online. They remember me because I cared, genuinely.
Use Disciplinary Approaches the first Day, if necessary
Students will soon be back in the classroom, both those who are attentive as well as those who are challenging. However, you have an arsenal of effective disciplinary approaches that are second to known. If correctly used your classroom environment should be ready for learning without major disruption.
You will have a classroom of empowered students who know why they wake up in the morning and come to school.
The key to success is to implement these redirection tools immediately. The first day of classroom is not only a day of getting to know students, it is also a day to establish yourself (if need be) as the one and only authority in the room.