A fully implemented discipline routine is highly recommended in order to maintain sufficient control in a challenging classroom. The biggest mistake that a new teacher can make is to go into the academic fray believing that she can change things along the way.
Students will quickly sense a degree of weakness and incompetence in an un-organized discipline approach and will exploit these weaknesses to the best of their craftiness. However, with a fully developed discipline routine, you will make it known immediately who is in charge of the classroom. Included in a well-formed discipline routine is the knowledge to respond effectively to whatever classroom infraction that may occur.
On any given day teachers may be confronted with a wide range of challenging behavior within their classrooms. Disrespect toward classmates, constant chatter and distracting laughter, insubordination, teasing, bullying, name-calling, making weird sounds, running around in class, falling out of chairs, sarcastically repeating instructions, writing notes, making paper air planes, pencil tapping, and marking up desks with permanent markers all can drive teachers to the edge.
An effective discipline routine starts with understanding the basic order of the discipline process:
• Verbal Warning• Time Out• Buddy Room• Reflection Room• Phone Call Home
Included in the Time Out phrase of the discipline order is crucial. It offers the option of getting back on track if the student so desires. The student may lose points, tallies, top color cards or even recess minutes, depending on the reward system that has been implemented in the classroom.
If students refuse to improve their behavior after time out, the order of discipline must continue with delay or negotiation. The consistent application of the discipline order is to establish yourself in the mind of the student as a strong disciplinary source. In order for this to occur, you must faithfully commit to the discipline process without the desire to be liked or honored by students who need excessive redirection.
The determination that you will not give an inch when it comes to promoting good behavior goes a long way in helping to change a student’s behavior. When students are aware that you are not going to waver in your commitment to academic excellence, they will eventually give you respect and fall in line with your philosophy of teaching.
An highly effective discipline routine must be implemented on the first day of school and continued throughout the school year, regardless of how the class improves. Unfortunately, many new teachers compromise their discipline routine when students improve to a degree that redirection is no longer an issue. But this is a mistake. Students are very observant.
When they sense you are giving an inch, the take a yard and return to their old off task behavior. Therefore, you must, for the success of the students and the progress of your classroom, constantly execute your fully form discipline routine without reservation.