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In regards to classroom management and discipline, it is important to know that different methodologies are utilized for different purposes. However, the main reason for classroom management and discipline is to develop control; control of the class in its entirety and control of one's self. Not having a classroom management or discipline plan in place can result in chaos and disaccord, which creates a hazardous learning environment for all involved. An educator who possesses the ability to manage their classroom is able to create an environment where learning is the ONLY focus. Although there are many theories on how to become a positive and encouraging leader within the classrooms, all are different, and emphasize aspects of discipline and behavior. Yet, all the theories on classroom management are proven valuable methods for improving classroom management.
Discipline - "Efforts to maintain classroom decorum and secure student's cooperation in learning and exercising control" (Charles, 2011, pg. 6).
Misbehavior - "Any actions that disrupt teaching or interfere with learning, demean others, or otherwise violate the moral codes of society" (Charles, 2011, pg. 13).
Behavior - "Totality of what people do (one's physical and mental activities)" (Charles, 2011, pg. 13).
Management - "All the things that a teacher does to organize students, space, time, and materials so that instruction in content and student learning can take place" (Wong & Wong, 1998, pg. 84).
Classroom and Behavior Management Overview
There are many different types of classroom management approaches. There are many resources for teachers to use when developing behavior and classroom management plans. Teachers must use the approach that works for them and the students they teach. Each method has strengths and weaknesses. The ultimate goal is to provide a classroom where students feel comfortable in their environment so they can reach their full educational potential. One of the best ways to learn how to be a good classroom manager is to see educators doing positive and negative things and learning from their successes and mistakes.
Addressing the classroom management with organization and teaching style is key to classroom management. Classroom work routines need to be developed that involve opening activities, giving instructions, movement within the classroom, handling of classroom materials, homework and end of day procedures. When routines are established and transitions become routine, the classroom revolves much more easily (Canter, 2006, pg. 7). A teaching style comes into play when teaching the routines and transitions. All students learn differently, and may not be able to recreate all routines and transitions the way everyone else does. Therefore, there is a need to allow for simple variations of the routines to help maximize each student's productivity in the classroom. There are many different ways for students to learn and recreate what they learn. An educator's job as a teacher is to learn about their students, then teach to them and their learning style.
Many factors can contribute to a successful classroom management system. Teachers that are successful not only respond properly when problems occur, but prevents the problem before it arises (Charles, 2011, pg. 11 ). These teachers are proactive instead of reactive. Essentially, there needs to be a clear definition and understanding of guidance/discipline versus punishment. Providing guidance and discipline means to teach a new skill, as a way of guidance. According to Charles, "Modern discipline strives for three main goals: 1) to maintain productive learning environments 2) to teach students to be self-directing and responsible 3) to promote civility among all members of the class" (Charles, 2011, pg. 1). Punishment on the other hand is used as a way of producing hurt or causing one to be upset. Knowing the difference between the two will allow the teacher to stand out and put the student first in the classroom management plan.
Teachers should be good managers and project the image of being in charge of the classroom. They should be able to manage the lessons and the transitions between them (Charles, 2011, pg. 79). When there is dead time, this encourages disruptive behavior, which in turn produces teachers who punish more. As a teacher, punishment should be avoided whenever possible and discipline should be implemented. Students learn from discipline and guidance, not from punishment. To avoid the temptation to punish, teachers and students should collaborate on procedures that offer order, limits, teacher leadership, kindness, firmness, and frequent opportunities for students to choose their own acceptable behavior.
Many considerations need to be taken into account when developing guidance and classroom management. Teachers need to guide and discipline rather than punish their students. Positive guidance helps create an overall positive environment. Positive environments are created through appropriate psychosocial aspects and physical attention of the teacher towards students. It is possible for teachers having the students wanting to learn and it is possible to create an appropriate classroom behavior and management system. However, without structure in daily routines, students are left to stray from appropriate learning activities. With discipline, a positive learning environment and structure, the student and the teacher will benefit as a whole.