About the author
Alan Haskvitz has taught for 45 years and has credentials in special education, gifted education school administration, and all core subjects. He has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and was chosen by Reader’s Digest as a Hero in Education.
Discipline is probably the most difficult of all areas to deal with as it encompasses issues that may be related to a vast array of difficulties that can try the expertise of the most experienced parent and educator. Contributing factors may include personal problems, improve medication, self-esteem issues, and peer pressure.
Indeed, in my 45 years of teaching at every grade level and nearly every subject, I have had my fair share of problems all of which were unique in some regard, but needed to be dealt with in a manner that resolved the issues for all involved. With this in mind, I put together a variety of free resources that may be of value in being proactive and help to prevent a discipline problem. You can read it below:
Essentially there are three main ways to deal with these issues starting with being proactive. First, let the students know behavior expectations early. From the start of the year be positive. Always look for ways to reinforce good behavior. Developing rapport with students is also essential. I used an information card that included the usual contact numbers and such items as favorite games, people, family pets, and other information that would enable me to get to know the students better. If students feel you are approachable it helps eliminate problems and also encourages them to confide in you of concerns that would otherwise be kept secret.
Consequences are important, but they need to be appropriate and consistent, but always leave yourself room for accommodations depending on the circumstances. The ideal combination is to be firm and fair and calm.
Perhaps the most important way to prevent behavior issues is to establish good communications with the student, parent, and administration. Keeping them informed of issues can help prevent an escalation that can take the joy out of teaching. I try to contact parents the first week of school and have a handout for Back to School Night that explains classroom expectations. As well, I document what I have done to keep the parties involved aware of the situation.
Expect the Unexpected/Teachable Moments
One day some students in my classes jumped out of their seats and ran to the back of the room. Some were screaming. Now, this could have been a planned event to challenge me, but from experience, I knew I had to remain calm. I walked over and saw a large spider had entered the room and caused the students’ reaction. I quickly handled the situation, but the students were unsettled. And so I turned it into a teachable moment by asking them to describe what they had seen and their actions. Some indicated a fear of spiders and were swept up in the reaction of the crowd. The appearance of the spider provided a teachable moment that even extended outside of the classroom. Most importantly it turned what could have been a behavior problem into a learning opportunity.
Here are a variety of sites that can provide ideas and resources to help you with discipline-related problems. They run the gamut from simple to complex, but each of them does provide insights from teachers, students, parents, and theorists.
Classroom and Site Discipline ideas and strategies
Methods and Practice of Discipline
- An interesting selection, but check the teacher caused discipline section first: http://teacher2b.com/discipline/discistr.htm
- Ways to encourage good behavior from Canada: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/classman1.html
- Rewarding younger children in class: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/classman2.html
- Dealing with tattletales: http://www.teachnet.com/how-to/manage/tattling100600.html
Classroom Management Plan
- A Large link site of good ideas from the United Teachers Association includes legal ramifications. http://www.ueatexas.com/Links/Classroom_Help/Links_Classroom_help.html
Relational Discipline Strategies
- “When a teacher, parent, or paraprofessional engages in a power struggle with a student, the student will always win. While the adult may be able to eventually elicit compliance, the student has controlled the situation.” http://www.teachersworkshop.com/twshop/relationaldisc.html
- What is your classroom management style? : http://www.pent.ca.gov/pos/cl/es/classroommanagementstyle.pdf
- Tips for school counselors: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr198.shtml
- Information on dealing with bullying: http://beyondbullies.org/
- Printable good behavior charts: http://www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com/
- Helping students develop their own behavior modification program: http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/eres/docs/eres/EDSPC715_MCINTYRE/715TipsInsert.html
- Positive discipline for younger children: https://afineparent.com/be-positive/positive-discipline.html
- Research on school and class discipline. A great many links are provided with the emphasis on disparity.: http://educationnorthwest.org/search/site/discipline
Special Education Related Behavior Sites
- Adjustments for students with learning problems: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6182/
- Management problems for children with special traits such as ADD: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/teaching-students-with-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder.html
- Adjustments for students with learning problems. : http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/teaching_techniques/class_manage.html
- Dr. Mac’s site – You must go here and see the oodles of ideas on discipline.: http://www.behavioradvisor.com/oldindex.html
Sometimes a lesson plan might find some students are done early. This site has some ideas. I would also add that having the students create a newspaper of what happened that day in class is very good and it could be given to those that were absent. You can keep them to augment your lesson plans, too, and check to ensure learning.
- Dealing with the student who does not care: http://www.teachhub.com/when-kids-dont-care-battling-student-apathy
- Huge array of classroom management links: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/archives/classmanagement.shtml
- Frequently asked questions and great tips: http://www.cortland.edu/flteach/FAQ/FAQ-Discipline.html
- Student discipline and the new teacher five tips: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/classroom-management-tips-novice-teachers-rebecca-alber
- Management ideas for new teachers: http://www.nea.org/tools/management-tips-for-new-teachers.html
- Short slideshows on the essence of student discipline: http://www.slideshare.net/LATTC/student-discipline-1873546
- Slide shows on school discipline: http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=school+discipline&ud=any&ft=all&lang=en&sort=
- Resource list: http://www.mathguide.com/services/Discipline/Resources.html
- Excellent collection of teacher ideas and articles and printables: http://www.theteachersguide.com/ClassManagement.htm
- Check out this site and provide the information to parents who are having problems with their children: http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/parenting/elaine/discipline.html
- Teaching responsibility lessons : http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/teacher-made-activities-teaching-responsibility
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