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9/23/2005

Classroom Management - Discipline


In today's world classrooms are different than they were when I went to school. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating a common fact. If you're a teacher, you need to sometimes be creative in your discipline plan. I would like to share the things that I do in my classroom, and if any teachers would like to share with me what they do, I'd greatly appreciate it.

When I went to school we all FEARED the "Board" of Education. Which was actually
a paddle that you got a good whack on the backside with if you were incorrigible. Back then I behaved, and I really didn't want to see the BOARD. And you know what else? I really don't remember too many discipline problems in my classrooms when I was in grade school. Maybe it was just the school, or my peers, but I do not recall anyone being sent out of the room, arguing with the teacher, challenging authority, or anything else of that nature. Just the possibility of it happening was enough for me to mind my P's and Q's.

So what do I do in my classroom to keep things under control? First of all you've got to understand that my style isn't every teacher's style. I'm different, and what works for me, won't work for all, but maybe if it's modified it could be put to use. I like to have fun in my classroom too. I joke around, but take my job seriously as well. I'm there to prepare my students for the next year of school, and I tell them that.

I tell them, "I'm here for a reason, and the reason is YOU. I expect that when you come into my classroom you come here to learn, you'll be prepared, and you'll try your hardest. If you fall short of any of those three things, there may be consequences."

I begin the year quite strict, but still approachable. I appreciate questions, but still deal with any disruptions, rule-breaking, or other nonsense IMMEDIATELY. The first incident of the year I usually give a warning, and then use it as a class example.

I keep a chart made on a spreadsheet with each student's name on it, and this has boxes that we can keep a tally of minor rule-breaking. I choose a student to keep track of the chart for a marking period, and they give a "mark" to a student if I tell them to.

If I'm explaining how to add like variables in Math class and "John" is talking and disrupting others and my lesson, I'll stop, and say "mark for John." This immediately quiets them down most of the time.

If the whole class is loud, and they shouldn't be, I give them a class warning. If this continues later on, I say "class mark" and every one that is present gets a mark. This works on keeping the atmosphere quiet enough to get work done.

Five marks in one week = a lost recess. Ten marks in a week = a trip to the principal's office. I rarely have to give 10 marks in one week, but I also take marks away if I witness good citizenship, or if the whole class is exceptional. At the beginning of the next week everyone starts out with a clean slate, zero marks.

Sometimes things happen that require immediate action. I just consider that an automatic 10 marks, and send them to the office. A lot of times I also talk to students one on one in the hallway and give them a second chance. I find it's much better to handle conflict with a student one on one, instead of talking to them in front of their peers.

This has worked for me for six years so far. I can't guarantee it'll even work for anyone else, but I wanted to share it with you.

*** School starts for me next Tuesday. I may miss a few days of posting here and there until things get settled. Thanks for visiting!

13 Comments:

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Mama Mouse said...

Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. Good teachers all have plans that work for them. In order to be a good teacher you need to be ble to teach ... and that requires that the students understand DISCIPLINE!

Once upon a time the 'board of eduction' worked. When I was little it was 'Sister says!" and Sister's ruler that would rap us across our knuckles.

There are lots of ways to discipline children ... and the system you use seems pretty fair to me.

 
At 3:00 AM, Anonymous CaptainJeff said...

I went to Catholic school... nearly got my knuckles hit with a ruler a couple times... even though it was against the school policy... I'm glad they didn't do it to me... but the kids today... punch em in the gullet...

BA~~4

 
At 5:30 AM, Blogger Clublint said...

I walked into my daughter's class last week and witnessed a punch up fight between two boys while the teacher stood by with her hands on her face.

I picked the one screaming out "I'm gonna f***n kill you after school" up and tossed him into a chair and told him to shut up.

Personally I think they should bring the board or the cane or the ruler back into the school and teach these little snots that they're there to learn and not misbehave.

I wouldn't be a teacher for any money in the world and I admire those that do. Your job sucks and when you have a little cretin who flaunts the authority and doesn't care how many times a recess is lost or how many times they enjoy the attention of the principal, then you can't really do much of anything.

The thought of 30+ children like that in one room terrifies me.

You're very brave.

Deb
BA~~19

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Dirty Butter said...

After Columbine, our school authorities finally changed their tune and started supporting the teacher, when it came to class control. There was a "no tolerance" rule in effect for threats or actual bodily harm. I hope it's still that way, but human nature being what it is, I rather doubt it.

BA~~82

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Cary said...

Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for instilling discipline in your classroom. What a rude awakening for the kids who were never held responsible for their actions when they hit the real world...

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

This is a good post--I'm sitting in my grad class on classroom management...and yet I'm more focused on blogging! :)

Good luck.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Lillian said...

Great site! Good luck this school year.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You happened to touch on a topic that totally has me confused as to where I should stand on it: corporal (sp?) punishment! I got spanked as a kid (frequently), & it seemed to keep me in line. But now as an adult I am totally irritated with the idea of hitting children. Can we teach them consequences without hitting them? I have NO IDEA. I suspect that a week in a classroom would help me clear THAT question up!

Keep up the good teaching work!

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Jen said...

That sounds like a good plan. It's so scary how out of control some classrooms are!

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger THE MATERIAL BOY said...

I have always been in admiration of teachers. I even wanted to be one at some point.

Good luck this school year. May the force be with you! ;-)

BA~~68

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Art said...

I think that corporal punishment should be available as an option although it shouldn't be widely used. The threat of force would be sufficient to deter many from acting out. When I was in grade school, the principal had a paddle known as the Black Cat. No one I know ever saw it used, but everyone feared it. We evolved pain as a mechanism for learning behavior that would hurt us. (i.e. Touch the stove, get burned) Why deprive children completely of such an effective learning tool?

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Kirsten said...

I use a little book for my kids that they all keep in their desks called a "behaviour book". In the front they write down all the good things they do. For example if they have been working really well, or done something nice for someone, I ask them to write it in their book. They get a raffle ticket for a prize as well for each time they write in the front of the book.

In the back they write down any rule-breaking. They must write down what they did and which school rule they broke.

At the end of the week, the students have to take the books home to show their parents. There are consequences for the broken rules (I usually try to make them relevant - if they have been wasting learning time, they make it up at lunch time, if they have hurt someone else, they write an apology, etc.). But I find that the parents finding out about it is a pretty good consequence as well. The best thing is the parents get to read the front of the book and see all the great things their kids are doing at school as well!

Sorry this comment is so long!

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger cheayee said...

Hi. This is just to tell you that I linked your site to my blog.

Casa Del Bambino.

Hmmm...using the cane does not seem to work for me, as in I don't think i would use it,except as a last resort!
Mostly just to scare the kids, but i don't think anyone actually wants to use a cane if they could help it?

 

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