Feb 23 2011
Creating a Disciplined Classroom, Part II–Life Skills For Every Student and Teacher
This is the second post in a series…read THIS post if you’d like to start at the beginning=)
The first post was about student behavior in a classroom; this post is arguably more important…the teacher’s behavior in a classroom.
My first year of teaching was pretty rough because the only form of discipline my building implemented was sending a misbehaving student to the office. What’s worse is that this school also practiced corporal punishment so I was often hesitant to send a student to the office for fear of a paddling; we had no voice once the student went to the office. That left me with an unsettling feeling; things could, and did go badly…quickly!
My first year taught me much, and I’m ashamed to say that I may have been the culprit in my undisciplined classroom more than once; I was the adult who propelled a misbehaving student on a few occasions. A few of my actions are listed below:
- I engaged students in an argument when I should have placed them in a safe area until they were able to talk to me about their problem
- I nit-picked and nagged about everything from a missing pencil to an assignment–this incited students to talk back
- I got angry when a student got angry
- I dolled out punishments that may have not fit the “crime”
- I didn’t always act like the adult–I let my irritation show through and that incited bad student behavior
It took an entire year, but I learned that I wasn’t being fair to my kiddos..Even though I didn’t make them misbehave, I didn’t have have the tools I needed to teach them how to behave. I now teach BIST’s example for life skills and try to remain slightly passive,completely neutral, and always in control. I do not intimidate my students (note my 5’4 stature to the right=-), and I do not threaten; I do not raise my voice, and I do not pick. The biggest lesson I have taken away from teaching the following life skills is that I too must follow them. Here they are:
- I can manage an overwhelming feeling–One can feel some discomfort, even annoyance, but can still act appropriately
- I can be okay when others around me are not–One can act appropriately even if those surrounding him are not
- I can do something even when I don’t want to–One has to follow certain rules in certain situations
***P.S. The three life-skills are on a poster in front of my safe seat, and on a poster in front of my room***
Hopefully this second post will add a little more depth to the first. Classroom management is the most important part of teaching in my eyes–no learning can happen in an undisciplined or chaotic classroom.