For beginning teachers, dealing with misbehavior in the classroom can be a frightening prospect. Early education courses in classroom management instruct teachers to adopt and implement a strong comprehensive discipline program, as well as develop a preventive discipline scheme. Courses that focus on classroom discipline and management teach beginning teachers how to incorporate a preventive discipline plan into their classroom.
It is wise to have a successful prevention model in place. A good preventive plan has several important characteristics. The first provision is a student’s need. Human needs include control, freedom, fun, love, and acceptance. When these needs are not being met, misbehavior often ensues. Because children spend so much time at school, it is important that teachers try to meet these needs. Doing so decreases the possibility of negative behaviors; thereby preventing discipline problems.
Student-teacher collaboration on curriculum is an effective preventive discipline measure. When students have a say in what they learn and how they learn it, they are more apt to maintain a positive and constructive attitude. Students that have significant interests in their work, spend less time disrupting the class and more time participating in the class. They devote less time to misbehavior and more time to learning.
A preventive discipline should include expectations and rules. Once students and teachers coordinate curriculum, they should jointly formulate the rules and regulations governing the classroom. A student typically takes genuine ownership of rules if he or she helped create them. If one does not recognize them as his or her own, the student may have difficulty following them. Students are also known to enforce those rules that they helped to create.
Determining the teacher’s role, via the students, is an essential element of the preventive discipline plan. Students and teacher are encouraged to participate in a community classroom to discuss the students’ perspective of how the teacher can be an even more effective instructor. Students are inclined to request a number of things including fewer tests, no weekend homework, different subject topics, or no pop quizzes. Students should feel at liberty to throw out any idea without the fear of being made fun of by classmates.
Fostering good student-teacher relationships is key for preventing classroom discipline. Teachers experience less discipline problems when they have a respectful and positive relationship with their students. Mutual respect is key; this type of relationship develops over time when teachers help students become personally responsible and self-directed. If students like and respect their teachers, they will be less likely inclined to participate in ill behavior.
Student evaluation is a critical component for deterring and preventing misbehavior. When students have a stake in their own evaluation, they take on personal responsibility for their actions, and that includes behavior. Helping students evaluate their own work helps them become more self-directed, which results in better discipline.