Management & Discipline
Let's think about the goal of teaching: we want our students to learn! In order for students to learn, we need to have an effective classroom environment that promotes learning. If teachers cannot manage a classroom, learning cannot take place. Thus, one of the first steps teachers should take is to devise a plan that illustrates what they will incorporate into classroom management and discipline. In order for this to occur, teachers must have a clear and concise understanding of management and discipline. Management is viewed as the preventative dimension, while discipline is the reactive dimension. If a teacher effectively manages a classroom while having a discipline plan in place, he or she should have a well balanced classroom environment that fosters learning.
"Management refers to your role as a teacher in creating a classroom environment where success is possible. It refers to how order is established and maintained in the classroom" (Savage & Savage, 2010, p.6).
"Discipline is defined as the actions that facilitate the development of self-control, responsibility, and character" (Savage & Savage, 2010, p.8).
Good classroom management is important because it can prevent many discipline problems. In order to avoid becoming overbearingly bossy, Savage & Savage (2010) recommend that teachers partake in lead management. As implied in the term, the teacher and students should view the teacher as the leader, rather than the boss. "In lead management, power among classroom participants is shared and teacher power is used in service to others rather than as something to enhance one's status" (Savage & Savage, 2010, p.7). Characteristics of teachers with lead management include:
Because there is not a constant struggle for power, students feel a sense of power, influence, and importance to the teacher. This, in turn, gives the teacher more power and influence (Savage & Savage, 2010).
- Allowing student input when making classroom decisions
- Communicating clear expectations to students
- Listening to students
For example, in the beginning of the year, teachers usually provide students with expectations. As a form of lead management, teachers can create a classroom contract with the students. This contract is a two-way contract that is put together by both the teacher and the students. The teacher can detail what she or he expects of the students, and the students can detail what they expect from the teacher. For example, the teacher will expect that students turn their work in on time. In return, the teacher promises to return their work graded within a week.
As a teacher who desires for a classroom that is conducive to learning, I must make sure that discipline is not an intruding problem. One of the best ways to prevent discipline problems is to establish effective classroom management. I will do so by utilizing the lead management style within my classroom. Another way to do so is through the implementation of discipline within my classroom.
Aspects of management discussed on this website:
- Authority and leadership
- Physical environment
- Mobility and proximity
- Preferred Activity Time (PAT)
The classroom is not just a place for academic goals. One of the goals every teacher should have is to help students develop not only academically, but socially and personally as well. Proverbs 25:28 says, "A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls." Self-control is a crucial aspect of humanity and life, an aspect that separates humans from animals and denotes impulsiveness. Naturally, some students possess more self-control than others, but each student will fall short at one point. Savage & Savage (2010) recommend that their definition of discipline (namely, helping students develop self-control), should dictate how teachers respond to misbehavior.
Before responding to student misbehavior, teacher's should ask themselves the following:
- "What action will be the best choice in helping the student move toward self-control?" (Savage & Savage, 2010, p.8).
Because I believe that having adults possessive of self-control, character, and responsibility are vital to the future of America, it is one of my main goals to see students develop and demonstrate self-control. Therefore, I will always ask myself the above question when dealing with misbehavior. For example, let us say that a student is talking to his neighbor while I am teaching a lesson. Rather than immediately putting his name on the board, I will insert his name into the lesson in order to get his attention. By stating his name, the student will become aware that I know he is not on task. Thus, he has an opportunity to stop talking to his neighbor before experiencing consequences.
Aspects of discipline to be discussed on this website:
- Responding to inappropriate behavior
- Responding to minor problems
- Limit setting