How to Develop Positive Classroom Management
According to a survey that was published not too long ago, educators believe that the key to effective student discipline is not to respond punitively to student misconduct but rather to proactively create relationships with them. The lack of a cohesive culture and positive relationships between staff and students was cited as the most common cause for concern among the three hundred public school teachers in New York City who participated in surveys that included an open-ended question about the most significant risk to school safety. (The report titled “Teachers Talk: School Culture, Safety, and Human Rights” is available for download as a PDF.)
Additional important findings underlined the teachers’ belief in positive pedagogical approaches that place a greater emphasis on social and emotional learning than on disciplinary practises that involve physical punishment:
The vast majority of educators are of the opinion that the only way to effectively address even the most serious dangers to school safety, such as gangs, fights, and conflicts between students, is to cultivate positive relationships within the school.
Less than forty-five percent of teachers believe that suspensions are an effective method for improving classroom discipline, whereas eighty percent of teachers believe that other methods, such as classroom management training, conflict resolution, guidance counselling, and mediation, are more effective.
But how exactly do teachers, who are typically overworked and undersupported, go about cultivating strong relationships with their students and establishing constructive strategies for conflict resolution? We asked teachers for their suggestions on how to maintain order in the classroom, with the goal of sparking a discussion about effective strategies for classroom management.
Nevertheless, this is merely the beginning of a sequence of concepts that will be applied to a more complicated subject. The destination, to the extent that it is even possible to go there at all, is in your classrooms. We are aware that even effective techniques do not always produce the desired results, and there will be moments when it seems as though nothing at all is producing the desired results.
Therefore, at this point, we would like to hear from you. Share with us the things you’ve tried that have been successful, along with the when and how of those successes, as well as the things you’ve learned and the things you’re still learning. We can come up with a plan for a productive and harmonious classroom in the 21st century if we work together.
Here are some tips for starters:
AGREE ON CLASSROOM RULES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR
Taking a few minutes out of your day to perform this one easy task will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. When establishing a list of guidelines for the classroom, seasoned teachers recommend soliciting the active participation of the pupils. Taking this precautionary action establishes a favourable environment right from the beginning.
CHECK IN WITH STUDENTS AT THE START OF CLASS
Even just three minutes might make a significant impact. You can accomplish this by asking questions such, “What do you want to get out of class today?” and “What do you want to learn today?” The instructors are welcome to share their objectives with the students as well.
According to Liz Sullivan, coauthor of the “Teachers Talk” report and education programme director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, “This is a way for the teacher to share with kids at their level while yet maintaining control of a classroom.” “Ask each child to provide a brief response. It is a method via which we can communicate with them. A good attitude is established when you give them the impression that they are participating in the process.”
BE CONSISTENT ABOUT EXPECTATIONS
Individuals may find this to be the most difficult problem to solve; however, it is essential to keep in mind that the faculty and staff of the school should collaborate as much as possible in order to promote uniformity in the disciplinary practises and standards that are applied across the institution.
“Nancy Franklin, a veteran educator with more than a decade of experience in the classroom who now provides training and support for the Positive Behavior Support policy implemented by the Los Angeles Unified School District, explains that sometimes staff members set up gaps in the system accidentally. “Students can reason like follows: “If I go to this instructor, I will get that answer; however, if I go to the principal, I will get a different answer.” It is similar to a child who receives different responses from his or her mother and father.”
REINFORCE APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR
According to Franklin, “kids are able to find a sense of serenity when they are in a classroom with a teacher who rewards positive behaviour.” “For every piece of critical input, think of four positives.”
Franklin contends that reprimanding kids is the least effective method of instructing them in the rules. She explains, “It’s not about pointing fingers and saying, ‘Gotcha — you did it the wrong way; here’s the proper way.'” “The students have to have faith in you and feel that they can confide in you. Because of this, they are able to maintain healthy emotional states and thrive.”
MAINTAIN STUDENT DIGNITY
When there is a need to make corrections, experts recommend addressing circumstances in a calm and peaceful manner. Do not act like this is a major problem in front of the entire class.
An approach to school discipline that is respectful of human rights and maintains student dignity leads to a school that is inherently safe, according to Sally Lee, a former educator who is now the executive director of the organisation Teachers Unite in New York City. Lee is also the coauthor of the book “Teachers Talk.” “An atmosphere of fear can easily be created in a school if neither the pupils nor the staff feel comfortable there. When there is an atmosphere of fear, there are also fewer expectations for adherence to rules and regulations.”
BE NEUTRAL, NOT ACCUSATORY
When there are issues, you shouldn’t ask questions like, “Why did you take Sally’s pencil?” for instance. This strategy frequently elicits defensive comebacks such as, “She was rude to me.” Instead, you should ask the pupils what occurred, which will give them the opportunity to tell you their tale. Continue the conversation by asking follow-up questions like, “How do you think that made Sally feel?”
SEARCH FOR THE REASONS WHY.
Educators suggest that one should take note whenever pupils engage in disruptive behaviour. Is this something that just happens while the child is reading or performing math? Keeping track of when issues arise will help you better understand their root causes.
In a similar vein, it is beneficial to identify the primary source of the problem. “If it’s a skill deficiency, a youngster doesn’t know how to behave,” says Joseph Ryan, a special education researcher at Clemson University who has worked in schools for challenged children. Ryan has previous experience working in schools for children with disabilities. “If it’s a performance issue, the youngster knows what to do but lacks the motivation to really do it,” you may say.
ESTABLISH A FAIRNESS COMMITTEE
“According to Josh Heisler, a teacher at the Vanguard High School in New York City, “Most of the time, an individual who is acting out wants to make amends for what they’ve done.” They won’t be able to get back to normal unless they address the issue.
The school where Heisler teaches has instituted a Fairness Group consisting of both teachers and students. This committee encourages a restorative response to wrongdoing rather than a punishing one: Teachers should encourage students who have broken the rules to go to the committee to explain their side of the story and, hopefully, make apologies rather than sending them to the principal’s office or threatening to suspend them. When the committee gets together, it will ask the kids a variety of questions, such as “What happened?” and “Who else has been affected?” as well as “What do you need to do now to repair the harm?”