Discipline

August 9, 2018 Teaching

Discipline is more than keeping a group of children or young people quiet while being talked to. Preserving goodbehavior is certainly one aspect to discipline, for learning it in an atmosphere of confusion is difficult. Children haveto learn to conform to the rules of behavior needed in a classroom. Teachers have the right to ask for a quiet class,keep the students in their seats, and have the right to discipline them if they do not cooperate. When a teacherexpresses his or her thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in direct, honest, and appropriate ways that do not violate theright of others, and when the message does not humiliate, degrade, or dominate the one being talked to, he or she isusing Assertive Discipline. In order for a teacher to maintain control of his or her class they must use AssertiveDiscipline.

In order for a teacher to have his or her needs met, they can influence the behavior of the children. Without influencea teacher is “powerless” and will become “burned out.” (Canter, 2) There is no simple answer to why this happens.

A number of complex factors have combined to create an environment in which teachers are having trouble ingetting personal and professional needs met. Until the past decade, the teacher was looked at as the main person inthe classroom by students and parents. The teacher, simply because of their role status, had respect and authority.

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Thus, the teacher was a “powerful” figure in the eyes of the students and could easily influence the student’sbehavior, often with just a look, smile, or a threat.(Canter,3)All of that is now changed. Today, a teacher has to earn the respect of both the students and their parents. Ateacher’s basic techniques of influence, or discipline, is no longer as effective as getting the desired results. Thediscipline approaches of the 1950’s and 1960’s do not work with the students of the 1990’s. In addition, the teachercannot rely on the strong support of the parents anymore. Many parents are openly questioning, the education thattheir children are receiving, and do not feel they want to support the needs of their child’s teachers.

Teachers cannot get their needs met in a classroom unless they have an effective method of discipline in which theythoroughly understand and comfortable utilize. An assertive teacher is: “One who clearly and firmly communicateshis or her wants and needs to his or her students, and is prepared to reinforce their words with appropriate actions.”(Canter,9) When a teacher is assertive, and clearly and firmly communicates their wants and feelings to a child, theysend a clear message. This message simply states: “I mean what I say and say what I mean.”(Collins, 155)Lee Canter, a child guidance specialist, has found that while most teachers make lesson plans as a routine matter,very few make discipline plans. Planning is essential to teaching well. Lesson planning is second nature to teachers.

Lesson plans are part of a professional routine, and are done almost automatically when the need arises. However,planning for discipline is an entirely different story. The vast majority of teachers have learned or have been exposedto the steps involved in planning discipline programs, especially those to be used specifically with disruptivestudents. Because of teachers’ frustrations, all we often hear is their complaining about how difficult the studentsreally are.

Such complaining may help to relieve the strain of dealing with difficult students, but it in no way helps to solve theproblem. Planning your discipline efforts, and utilizing assertive principles, are as essential to teaching as a lessonplan. (Charles,128) Discipline planning will structure and guide classroom management efforts the same as lessonplanning for academic efforts. Discipline plans are important and helpful to all teachers. Charles, urges to makediscipline plans according to the following steps: 1) Identify any existing or potential discipline problems. 2) Specifythe behaviors you want the students to eliminate or engage in. 3) Decide on negative and positive consequencesappropriate to the student and situation. 4) Decide how to execute the negative and positive consequences.(Charles,129)Discipline planning is the systematic applications of the assertive principles the teacher exhibits. It involves focusingyour attention on any existing or potential discipline problems you may have. These discipline problems mayinvolve an individual student, or a group of students, or an entire class.

Having good discipline enables the teacher

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