Behavioral Techniques in the Classroom
Very often, American parents complain that schools are disorderly and undisciplined. They claim that their child’s behavior has worsened and the child is using vulgar language. Teachers, however, complain that students arrive at school lacking common courtesy and respect for authority. Because of this, instruction time is wasted trying to obtain order (Bennett, et. al., 1999).
Student discipline is affected by classroom management. The way in which a teacher manages his/her classroom delineates the type of instruction that will take place in the classroom. A classroom in which the teacher takes total responsibility for guiding students’ actions comprises a different learning environment than one in which students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions (Evertson, 2003). Many schools are reluctant to hold students accountable for their own actions. The education establishment warns teachers that they will be placing themselves in a questionable role if they emphasize rules, punish bad behavior, and reward good conduct (Bennett, et. al., 1999). Teachers need to create a learning environment in which students are encouraged to do their best and therefore, motivated to work to their highest potential. Teachers need to also set expectations and maintain the learning environment they have developed. Even in effectively managed classrooms, however, problems may occur.
Effective teachers handle the problem quickly when inappropriate behavior occurs in order to keep the behavior from continuing and spreading. Most behavior can be handled with unobtrusive techniques, though some misbehavior requires more direct intervention. Whether orderly structures have been created and implemented at the beginning of the school year determines the success of intervention (Evertson, 2003). The clearer the structure in the classroom, the more freedom the teacher can allow students (Slavin, 2003).
Classroom rules are important in the smooth management of classrooms (Wardle, 2003). Effective schools ensure that parents and students know what is expected of them. Their written rules clearly define acceptable behavior and the consequences for breaking the rules (Bennett, et. al., 1999). Class rules should be few in number, should be seen as fair and make sense to students, and be clearly explained and taught to students. Class rules should become second nature to students (Slavin, 2003). Not only must rules be clearly presented to students, they must also be implemented. Students need to know that there will be real consequences for their misbehavior, not something that they will feel is not a big deal. The teacher needs to be the moral authority in the classroom and it is imperative that school officials and parents back up the teachers decisions (Bennett, et. al., 1999). Teachers who do not establish their authority in the classroom often spend a lot of time dealing with...