Many new teachers and even some experienced ones, find it extremely difficult to maintain discipline in their classrooms. There are a number of reasons why discipline in the classroom is such a challenge for teachers. The primary reasons being, if the teacher is under-prepared for her class, or if her lecture is not interesting enough, or if the children in her classroom are problem creators. There are a number of steps which a teacher can take for improving the overall discipline in the class. Here are a few of the most effective strategies.
Set Clear Standards and Expectations
A classroom management plan is incomplete without clearly laying down the rules and regulations for the class. Making the students clear about what the expected behavior is and what isn't, is equally important. Many times, there is indiscipline in the classroom if the students do not know what is right and what is wrong behavior. So, setting certain expectations at the beginning of the year itself, and making the students aware of it is very important to create discipline in the class.
Plan Lectures in Advance
The primary reason why children get distracted in the class and tend to talk among themselves or misbehave or create indiscipline is when the lectures are not interesting enough or are not easily understood by them. So, in order to avoid this, the teacher should plan the lessons in such a way, that they have a clear objective and they generate interest in the students. Students should be taught in an easy manner and followed by some assignments to work upon. In the end, assessment by the teacher should be checked to evaluate whether the subject has been well understood. Starting the lesson with an interesting activity such as a puzzle or a case study for elder students, and a song or play for younger ones, is a good way to hold their attention to what is being taught in the class.
Treat All Students Equally
It is very important that the teacher is fair to all his students. Similar rules for punishments as well as rewards should be applicable to all. A teacher should not be partial to some and against other students, as this might result in the unfairly treated students breaking the rules of the classroom and creating indiscipline.
If a student is creating a nuisance in the class or is continuously talking while a teacher is teaching, the teacher should try to handle the student without interrupting the entire class. A good way to do that is to go and stand near the student. This unspoken communication strategy will work in most cases. A teacher should never ever shout at the student or confront him in front of the entire class, as the student will feel humiliated, and will never listen again in future. Another way to handle undisciplined students is not to take the situation too seriously and try to diffuse it with a joke. A fun teacher is much more likely to be liked by the students than an uptight one.
A very important part of successful classroom management is the relationship that is formed between the teacher and the students. A teacher who makes an effort to create a trust between himself and the students, who tries to know about the student's life even beyond the classroom, who works as a support to his students, and makes extra efforts for their well-being, will be respected by the students, and will not face indiscipline problems in the classroom.
Besides the above mentioned strategies, it is very important for the teacher to be very consistent regarding the rules and behavior expectations. Ignoring misbehavior one day and punishing the students for the same the next day can confuse them and create indiscipline. Also, starting with a positive frame of mind everyday, with a belief that today the class will be disciplined, contributes to successful classroom management.