The teacher’s ability to cope with disciplinary problems means a great deal in terms of personal happiness and instructional efficiency. The teacher who has tried but failed to maintain order in the classroom walks with heavy heart of failure instead of the experience of happiness and satisfaction that can come from teaching.
Obviously, a teacher who has the ability to maintain order in the classroom is assured of effective instruction. Moreover, he has the respect of his pupils, which in turn develops his confidence and trust. Thus in teaching, the ability to maintain discipline is the keystone of success, happiness and even survival.
Here are some ways of maintaining an orderly classroom:
- Make a good beginning – A good beginning is extremely important for success in teaching. When meeting a class for the first time, the teacher should explain his procedures, standards, and regulations and the reason for them. Pupils want to know how the class will be conducted and what will be expected of them.
- Maintain Standards – Once the teacher has adopted certain standards and procedures, he should insist that they be observed. To make an exception, and another and another.
- Do not begin a class until pupils are attentive – Unless orderly conditions are present, effective learning cannot take place. No teacher should begin to conduct a class in which there is exhibited any form of disorder.
- Be thoroughly prepared everyday – Through preparation assures the teacher of knowing, during every minute of the class period, exactly what he will do and how he will do it. Such knowledge, by adding to his self-confidence, enables him to unfold the day’s activities with assurance. It is a fact that pupils are unlikely to probe weaknesses in the teacher’s armor if he appears to be a competent individual. In addition, thorough preparation keeps the work of the day moving along in such a way as to keep pupils continuously active, leaving them no time for mischief.
- Vary your procedures – Variety adds spice to teaching, whereas the same routine day after day is flavorless. It is difficult to hold the attention of pupils for long periods of time within an inflexible method of teaching. Although there is still a limit to the number of methods and techniques that can be used effectively in teaching a subject, the teacher can and should alternate the procedures to him and his subject.
- Keep your pupils active – Busy pupils have no time for mischief. The teacher’s lesson plan should include ways of keeping all pupils active at all times through written work, oral work, board work or through special projects or research works.
- Treat your pupils as individuals – As soon as possible after beginning to teach, the teacher should be able to identify each pupil by name. No one likes to be regarded as a number, a name on seating chart. If the teacher is able to call each pupil by name, the pupil feels that he is known as an individual, and thereby the teacher-student relationship is improved.
- Be Fair – A teacher who does not treat his student fairly and objectively is certain to have trouble with them. Although he is sure to like some of his students better than others, he should never allow this feeling to enter into the evaluation of their performance.
A teacher should not be afraid of classroom problems. He has been grounded in subject matter and professional education. He has been screened for traits which contribute to successful teaching. If he is properly motivated when he begins his teaching, he applies himself to the full extent of his ability, the outcome of his teaching will usually be good.
A piece of advice for the teacher to keep in mind is: “Do your best and the end result will take care of itself.”
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