During your tenure as a teacher you will experience students from diverse backgrounds, different experiences, different schools and studying different curriculum. Their values may differ as well as their level of confidence, if you are a seasoned educator you would agree that there is nothing like a perfect classroom. Many students live through their school life without participating in the process to the fullest and not everything is in the teacher’s control but the key ingredient in creating a perfect classroom is harmony, a sense of unity among the class so they can identify themselves as a single functioning unit and even if one student is struggling, their peers lend a hand to help them without their teacher asking.
There are many different ways for a teacher to manage the behavior of their class, it is not a constant effort but will take its share of your time after that it becomes a part of the class and school discipline.
So let us move forward and talk about everything that can change your classroom’s behavior for good.
1: Give you class an identity
The concept of unity starts with a classroom identity, name or a description. Start the school year by deciding a name for the class, you don’t have to follow the piper, the centuries old tradition of giving color names to your class instead you can use this opportunity to involve your students and they can come up with a name by discussing. You can organize a poll with suggestions form students and they all can decide a cool name for their class like Avengers, the ninja turtles, breakfast club, it depends on the grade they are in, let their imagination go wild, this simple activity will have a huge psychological effect as it will give students a sense of belonging and that they are part of a team, it has a long lasting effect and since they belong to the same identity the sense of individualism eventually rules itself out.
2: Build relationships
Building genuine relationships with students shows that you care about them and are invested in their well-being. At the start of the year, surveys and get-to-know-you activities are a great way to begin to build a relationship with students. As the school year continues, community circles can help maintain your community and create a space for open dialogue and familiarity. Once students realize you are invested in them as individuals you can build respect, which will make a difference when holding students accountable for their behavior.
Depending on your class needs you can also; do the following: like making —
-Positive phone calls home
-Getting to know older and/or younger siblings who go to your school
-Visit their families and homes
-Prepare Personalized notes
-Support students at extracurricular activities
-Eat lunch with them
3: Create Collaborative class rules
When teachers and students collaborate to make rules, a great classroom environment is cultivated. Create rules that address how students are expected to interact with each other, how students are expected to interact with the teacher, and how students are expected to interact with the physical space. When students are given the opportunity to contribute to the rules that will govern their class, they develop a sense of ownership for their classroom.
4: Set Routines
Set clear routines for everything you would like students to do in your classroom. Although it can be tedious, be explicit about everything. Do not assume that students know the expectations for your classroom and be sure to show them how you would like things to be done. Give students multiple opportunities to practice the classroom routines; provide ongoing support for routines and behaviors; reinforce expected behaviors and explain the consequences if the expectations are not met.
Teach your routines and expectations in a way that allows you to differentiate lack of not knowing versus defiance. Students often get in trouble because they genuinely did not know what they were expected to do. Once you are sure that students are aware of your expectations in all areas of your classroom, administering consequences becomes much easier because you know students are aware of all routines.
Some examples of class room routines include:
*Transitions between activities
*Asking for help
*What to do after work completion
*Turning in homework or completed work
*Using the restroom
5: Set Rewards
Rewards can be individual, group or class-based. In the same way students contributed to the class rules, allow them to contribute to the rewards. This will create buy-in and motivate students to work toward rewards they really want. Students are very creative, Choose a reward system that is easy to manage. Consider rewards that do not require additional preparation or a burdensome financial investment on your end.
6: Quiet, quick corrections
When a student is off task they are often seeking attention, so it is important for teachers to remove the stage when addressing them. Use a silent signal, or proximity, to address a behavior. If that still does not work, quietly and quickly bend down and whisper to the student what you would like them to do and the consequence they will receive if the expectation is not met, then move away. If the student still does not comply, administer an appropriate consequence. Avoid using shame and intimidation to correct a student. Quiet corrections allow you to remain in control of the situation and keeps the public stage out of the student interaction.
7: Public praise
While corrections should be quiet, praise should happen often and publicly. often use “Shout-outs” to call attention to a positive behavior that a student is doing or the way they are working. Praise focuses on the specific behavior the student is doing correctly. Praise students to other students, teachers, and administrators. Highlight positive behaviors enthusiastically, students love to be acknowledged for a job well done.
8: Be calm, firm, and consistent
When administering corrections be sure to stay calm. Giving a behavioral consequence should not be emotional, rather it should be a response to the clearly outlined rules and routines of your classroom. Avoid threats like, “If you don’t…then I will…”, but instead deliver consequences firmly, as they have been outlined to your class. Consistently give consequences to all students 100% of the time they are not meeting expectations. Students will quickly notice if you do not always give a consequence or if you give consequences to some students more than others.
9: Set high expectations
Set high behavioral and academic expectations for all your students. Have a clear vision of how you want your classroom to look behaviorally and how you want your students to perform academically, and then plan backwards from your vision. Be prepared to scaffold students behaviorally and academically, if needed. Students will work to meet your expectations, so keep them high. Creating an academically engaging, rigorous class is a great way to manage behaviors. If you make your class engaging students will be invested in the learning experience and less likely to be off task or misbehave.
10: Be an example
Model the behaviors you would like your students to display. Be open to the fact that you make mistakes and be humble enough to admit your mistakes to your students. Do not shy away from apologizing to students for assuming they have done something that they did not do. Remember that respect is reciprocal so be sure to show respect to students if you expect to be respected in return.
Now that we have addressed best practices for creating a better and full filling class room behavior, lets talk about the challenges educators struggle when it comes to behavior of their class room.
- Types of Student Disciplinary Problems
Students act out in a variety of ways, impacting their own ability to learn as well as those around them. Some of the types of disciplinary problems that are most common are:
A: Disrespect: Students speak and act in a disrespectful way to adults and peers, there can be multiple reasons driving their actions but most of the times, with proper counseling and help they can be fixed.
B: Defiance: Students openly refuse to listen to adults or follow directions, which indicated a communication gap, young people automatically assume adults do not know their problems nor they can help them, building frustration leads to defiance.
C: Bullying: Students consistently intimidate others, often to make themselves feel better or to simply assert dominance, bullying is a seriously growing problem and needs to be addressed In any school setting in the very beginning of the year, schools are for equal opportunities and not for some students to take advantage of those who are not as physically capable.
D: Aggression: Students become physically or verbally violent, such instances require high-level disciplinary actions.
Although it has nothing to do with your teaching style, resources that the school provides or which subject you teach as an educator, these issues become a burden for you if there are a few students with these problems in your class.
There are many addressed and unknown factors behind the behavioral choices that students make, I have tried to list some of the most common challenges that create a hindrance in the classroom and disturb the overall environment.
1: Impact of Home Life.
Student’s misbehavior can often be rooted in a dysfunctional home life, one that isn’t operating in healthy ways. Things like economic instability, parental disharmony, changes in family routine and relationships, and parental views on education and discipline, all impact a student’s ability to make good choices.
When a student’s family struggles with poverty, he or she is affected in many ways. The stress that results from lack of money, inconsistent employment, and overall financial instability, can cause students to feel overwhelmed at school. Unstable times are confusing for students and often result in behavioral issues. Finally, some families have a negative view concerning education and share their thoughts openly with students. These students then bring preconceived ideas to school that interfere with their ability to succeed.
2: Peer Issues
Students often make poor choices in response to the actions of their peers. Students often want to fit in and succumb to peer-pressure, following the actions of others, even if they don’t believe in the action or know it is wrong. Some well-behaved and successful students may suddenly pick up disrespectful actions to be better liked and accepted by other students.
Sometimes students may cause problems inside class because they feel worried and even depressed. One reason could be because of the strict rules imposed by the teachers .Some times the speed of the teacher in giving out material to his students feel that they don’t understand any thing which leads to depression.
When students feel depressed, violent behaviors are expected. This is a natural reaction to express their anger and disapproval of what’s going on. For instance, certain critical remarks from their colleagues, or being insulted by their classmates could cause students to be involved in violence.
5: Attracting the Attention.
Some students, especially the adolescents, tend to attract the attention of both the teacher and their classmates . So, it is expected that they will try to attract the attention by getting good grades, or by demonstrating good character, or exhibiting different skills. However, some students fail in attracting the attention using the previous ways mentioned; instead they tend to make disputes inside the class as a way of attracting the attention. The teacher is advised to deal wisely with this group of students because they are not really bad; they can be redirected towards a favorable activity that could attract the attention of other students to them instead of this negative behavior.