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The Best 9 Techniques For Achieving Effective Classroom Management And Maintaining Discipline

Even if all of your students were hard-working, motivated, dedicated, and intelligent, you would still have discipline problems in your classroom! So you are advised to follow these techniques.

These are the best nine techniques that you can use with your students to achieve effective classroom management and maintain discipline in the classroom.

And I finish the article with top tips for keeping discipline and respect in the classroom forever.

1. Focusing

Be sure you have the attention of everyone in your classroom before you start your lesson.

Don’t attempt to teach over the chatter of students who are not paying attention.

Inexperienced teachers sometimes think that by beginning their lesson, the class will settle down and the students will see that things are underway now and it is time to go to work.

Sometimes this works, but the students are also going to think that you are willing to compete with them, that you don’t mind talking while they talk, or that you are willing to speak louder so that they can finish their conversation even after you have started the lesson.

They get the idea that you accept their inattention and that it is permissible to talk while you are presenting a lesson.

Using the focusing technique means that you will demand their attention before you begin. It means that you will wait and not start until everyone has settled down.

Experienced teachers know that silence on their part is very effective. They will punctuate their waiting by extending it 3 to 5 seconds after the classroom is completely quiet. Then they begin their lesson using a quieter voice than normal.

Soft-spoken teachers often have a calmer, quieter classroom than those with stronger voices. Their students sit still in order to hear what they say.

2. Monitoring

The key to this technique is to circulate. Get up and get around the room. While your students are working, make the rounds. Check on their progress.

An effective teacher will make a pass through the whole room about two minutes after the students have started a written assignment to check that each student has started, that they are on the correct page, and that everyone has put their names on their papers.

The teacher provides individualized instruction as needed. Students who are not yet quite on the task will be quick to get going as they see this approach. Those that were distracted or slow to get started can be nudged along.

The teacher does not interrupt the class or try to make general announcements unless he notices that several students have difficulty with the same thing.

 3. Modeling

Teachers who are courteous, prompt, enthusiastic, in control, patient, and organized provide examples for their students through their own behavior.

If you want students to use quiet voices in your classroom while they work, you too should use a quiet voice as you move through the room helping them.

 4. Non-Verbal Cuing

Non-verbal cues can be facial expressions, body posture, and hand signals. Take time to explain what you want the students to do when you use these cues.

5. Environmental Control

A classroom can be a warm cheery place. Students enjoy an environment that changes periodically. Classrooms with pictures and colors invite enthusiasm for your subject.

Students like to know about you and your interests. Include personal items in your classroom. A family picture or a few items from a hobby or collection on your desk will trigger personal conversations with your students. As they get to know you better, you will see fewer problems with discipline.

6. Low-Profile Intervention

While lecturing to your class you can make effective use of name-dropping.

If you see a student talking or off task, you can simply drop his/her name into your dialogue in a natural way.

E.g. And you see, David, we match the words in column “A” with those in Column B”.

David hears his name and is drawn back on task. The rest of the class doesn’t seem to notice.

7. Assertive I-Messages

I-Messages are statements that the teacher uses when confronting a student who is misbehaving. They are intended to be clear descriptions of what the student is supposed to do. The teacher who makes good use of this technique will focus the student’s attention first and foremost on the behavior he is supposed to do, not on the misbehavior.

E.g. I want you to… or I need you to… or I expect you to…

 The inexperienced teacher may incorrectly try “I want you to stop…” only to discover that this usually triggers confrontation and denial. The focus on the misbehavior results in students saying “I wasn’t doing anything! or It wasn’t my fault… or since when is there a rule against…? and escalation has begun.

8. Humanistic I-Messages

These I-messages are expressions of our feelings. These messages are structured in three parts.

  1. First, include a description of the student’s behavior. E.g. when you talk while I talk…
  2. Second, relate the effect this behavior has on the teacher. E.g. I have to stop my teaching…
  3. Third, let the student know the feeling that it generates in the teacher. E.g. This frustrates me.

A teacher, distracted by a student who was constantly talking while he tried to teach, once made this powerful expression of feelings:

  • I cannot imagine what I have done to you that I do not deserve the respect from you that I get from the others in this class.
  • If I have been rude to you or inconsiderate in any way, please let me know.
  • I feel as though I have somehow offended you and now you are unwilling to show me respect.

The student did not talk during his lectures again for many weeks.

9. Positive Discipline

Use classroom rules that describe the behaviors you want instead of listing things the students cannot do.

  • Instead of “No running in the room”, use “Move through the building in an orderly manner”.
  • Instead of “No fighting”, use “Settle conflicts appropriately”.
  • Instead of “No gum chewing”, use “Leave gum at home”.

Refer to your rules as expectations. Let your students know this is how you expect them to behave in your classroom.

Make ample use of praise. When you see good behavior, acknowledge it. This can be done verbally, of course, but it doesn’t have to be. A nod, a smile, or a thumbs up will reinforce the behavior.

Top Tips

An effective teacher should:

  • Take care that the student should not be rewarded for his/her misbehavior by becoming the focus of attention.
  • Monitor the activities done in the classroom.
  • Move around the room.
  • Anticipate problems before they occur and be ready with their suitable solutions.  
  • Treat students with equal fairness to gain their respect.
  • Be firm but warm dealing with various students.
  • Do his best to preserve the dignity of his students not to humiliate any student in front of classmates.
  • Try to resolve disciplinary matters outside of the class time, so that valuable class minutes are not spent focusing on one student.
  • Try to find the source of the problem rather than treating symptoms.
  • Try to achieve a behavioral agreement with his students, from the first week of the school year.
  • State clearly and explicitly to his students what he expects from them regarding their behavior in class: speaking, turn talking, respect for others, group work, pair work, individual work, test talking, attendance, tardiness, absence policy and homework.
  • Consult the school counselor or administrator if he cannot resolve a recurring disciplinary problem.

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