Broadly emphasized in to three categories:
Preventing misbehavior is obviously preferable to dealing with it after it has occurred. Most experts contend that the best way to prevent classroom misbehavior is to provide a stimulating curriculum that involves students so successfully that they spend little time thinking of misbehaving. As you plan your discipline system, emphasize preventive discipline by giving strong attention to the following:
- Make your curriculum as worthwhile and enjoyable as possible.
- Remember that students crave fun, belonging, freedom, power, and dignity.
- Be pleasant and helpful.
- Involve and empower your students by asking them for input and help.
- Reach clear understandings with your students about appropriate class conduct.
- Discuss and practice behaviors to which you have jointly agreed.
- Continually emphasize good manners, self respect, and respect for others.
- Be a role model.
All students may become restive and subject to temptation at times. When signs of incipient misbehavior appear, bring supportive discipline into play. This facet of discipline assists students with self-control by helping them get back on task. Often only the student involved knows it has been used. The following tactics are suggested for supportive discipline.
- Use signals directed to a student needing support.
- Learn to catch students’ eyes and use head shakes, frowns, and hand signals.
- Use physical proximity when signals are ineffective.
- Show interest in student work. Ask cheerful questions or make favorable comments.
- Sometimes provide a light challenge: “Can you complete five more before we stop?”
- Restructure difficult work by changing the activity or providing help.
- Give hints, clues, or suggestions to help students progress.
- Inject humor into lessons that have become tiring. Students appreciate it.
- Remove distractive objects such as toys, comics, notes, and the like. Return them later.
- Acknowledge good behavior in appropriate ways and at appropriate times.
- Use hints and suggestions as students begin to drift toward misbehavior.
- Show that you recognize students’ discomfort: ask for a few minutes more of focused work.
Even the best efforts in preventive and supportive discipline cannot eliminate all misbehavior. When students violate rules, you must deal with the misbehavior expeditiously. Corrective discipline should neither intimidate students nor prompt power struggles; but rather should proceed as follows:
- Stop disruptive misbehavior. It is usually best not to ignore it.
- Talk with the offending student or invoke a consequence appropriate to the misbehavior in accordance with class rules.
- Remain calm and speak in a matter-of-fact manner.
- Follow through consistently on promised consequences.
- Redirect misbehavior in positive directions.
- If necessary, talk with students privately about misbehavior. Ask how you can help.
- Be ready to invoke an insubordination rule for students who refuse to stop misbehaving.