Children and teenagers do not like discipline, and therefore often refuse to obey and follow the rules. To avoid the problem of poor discipline in the classroom, it is necessary to determine the rules of behaviour in the classroom.
There is no teacher who hasn’t faced this problem. While some deal with indiscipline relatively easily, others need to make great efforts to create even the basic working conditions. It usually depends on the personality of the teacher himself and their experience of working with children.
It often happens that teachers simply can’t maintain the order in the classroom. The pupils are undisciplined for various reasons – they are bored, they want to attract the attention of their peers, or test the patience of their teachers because they do not like authority.
Lack of discipline is not unique to one particular age. Seventeen-year-olds can be as equally noisy and ready for mischief as seven-year-olds and refuse any kind of cooperation.
In order to establish order and enable smooth work, it is necessary for teachers to adhere to certain rules. There are lots of tips out there – from experts’ advice, colleagues and even parents, but the most important thing is to persist in adhering to certain rules:
Come Prepared for Your Class
Preparing the class in advance allows the teacher to be self-confident. Students easily feel the insecurity of teachers and thus have a suitable ground for mischief and inattentiveness.
If you know exactly what you want to present to your students that day and in which way you want to do it, things will run much smoother and it will be a lot easier for both you and them.
Students can also sense when the teacher is unprepared and if you take too long between activities, that will only motivate the pupils to make noise and be mischievous.
Don’t Raise Your Voice at Your Students
Raising your voice could contribute to creating even more noise in the classroom.
A calm, steady voice is much more effective. Sometimes, non-verbal reactions are the best means of stopping the noise – eye contact with students who are restless; facial expressions that show dissatisfaction due to misbehaviour; moving your hand to stop the noise.
As far as verbal reactions are concerned, it is best to lower the tone of your voice and address the student who is making a fuss about the material that is being worked on.
It is very important that criticism is addressed to the student’s behaviour, and not to the student themself.
Remain Unbiased at All Cost
Unbiasedness is essential, although sometimes it is extremely difficult to escape from one’s subjective feelings. Favouring or singling out individual students is not allowed. It is imperative to alert students who, otherwise, might be diligent and attentive when it is deserved because it is natural that they also happen to be restless and noisy.
On the other hand, always praise those who are not always attentive when they deserve commendation. Children easily feel the injustice, and the objectivity of the teacher is a quality they value very much. The more students respect their teachers, the more the working conditions will be better.
Be Consistent with Your Actions and Reactions
Consistency is something that is closely related to the rules of conduct. The teacher sets them together with their students at the very beginning of the school year. The consistency in the teacher’s actions makes students gain their trust.
If the teacher responds differently in similar situations, they will confuse the students and the students will then not know how to behave. Such a teacher loses the trust and respect of his pupils, and respecting the teacher is half the work done to establish discipline.
Make Sure to Motivate Your Students
Motivation is the primary weapon for establishing discipline. Today it is very difficult to motivate students and teachers constantly lead an unfair fight with modern technologies – video games and numerous TV channels that offer fun but inexpensive content that is easily accessible to the students.
Teachers need to make a good effort to get their classes to be interesting. Being bored in class is one of the most common reasons for indiscipline and that is why making changes and introducing new activities often is very important.
Evaluations have always been the main motive for students to study, and teachers are there to show that learning is not only an obligation but that it can also be something that can be enjoyed.
The problem of indiscipline is the biggest problem for teachers when it comes to direct work with children, and from year to year, it is getting bigger. Although it is most often impossible to achieve an ideal atmosphere for work, the teacher can always work on improving it. There is no unique and simple recipe, but each teacher has one of their own, more or less successful. It would be nice to share those better ones.
About the Authorlin
Milica Madić, freelance blog/article writer from Serbia, with experience in teaching and working with young learners.