Can we define scientifically a “Desired Classroom Discipline” ? ( If yes, how? )

download (3)Just a few hours ago, while surfing through the LinkedIn, I came across, in one of the groups, the above typed headline. I found it an eye-catching and interesting so I decided to open the page and hopefully read the post as it is one of the topics that bothers most of the teachers, if not all of them. To my surprise, as I opened it I found a blank page. To make the things worse I posted I comment indicating laughter. Soon after I got a reply: ” Is that your answer?……..hahhahahah”. Only then did I realize that the question was posted by a young teacher, who has, in my opinion recently started to work as a teacher and found himself in a classroom full of students lacking basic manners and behavior. I tried to apologize trying to explain that I wasn’t laughing at him but at myself. To be precise, since I was a child I have always had the need to open up things and look what’s inside. My mother would ask me: “Why did you do that?” and I would answer:”To see what’s inside.”Apparently, the character trait stayed with me for the next 45 years. As a consequence, I paid the cost of it by getting the feedback that resonated with desperation and disappointment. So there is no excuse for what I had done.

The question was posted twice, 27 days ago. To my astonishment, the young man did not get a single answer. So, although it’s 2.45 am, and it’s raining, with the fresh air coming through my window, feeling the coldness of the night, and exchanging the thoughts with Thiago Veigga , I decided to give the issue some thought and do some research.

When I look back into the past when I was a student, I can’t recall that anyone ever taught us anything about ‘the scientific definition of the desired classroom discipline’. When I started my career, I asked the colleagues the same question. The only answer I got was: “It all depends on you!” End of story. Of course I didn’t understand what they meant by it. All I know is that is took me about 17 years of experience to learn how to develop the skill of managing the classroom, keeping a nice and relaxed atmosphere, still maintaining the position of a teacher first, then a partner and finally a friend. So, my dear young man, Mahdi Najar, again accept my apology and take my advice:

1. Think of what kind of relationship and atmosphere you want to create in the classroom.

2. Try to engage the students as much as you can through a variety of activities. Diana Larsen Freeman is a good source for teaching techniques and principles. Also, there are loads of websites and blogs where you can find wonderful teaching material.

3. Try to avoid any conflicting situations with the students or parents. If you find yourself in some of them, you should better turn to professionals or even school principal for help. The system worldwide is supporting the students rather than protecting the teacher. So, be careful.

4. And finally, keep in mind that you are also a human being primarily and then a teacher, yet do your best to be a pro.

As for the scientific definitions of the classroom management, here are some links that you can refer to for starters:

1. The Classroom Management according to wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classroom_management

2. Effective Classroom management

http://www.adprima.com/managing.htm

3. Ten Tips for Classroom Management

http://www.edutopia.org/classroom-management-resource-guide

So, that would be all from me for now. If anybody else has something to add and help the young man, please do so. We need to help each other and be humane.

Nada Radenkovic

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3 comments on “Can we define scientifically a “Desired Classroom Discipline” ? ( If yes, how? )

  1. T. Veigga says:

    Hi Nada!
    Such a difficult question! As I was reading your article, I remembered a difficult lesson observation. The students were restless and really wild and although I’d been teaching for some time, I was really struggling with that group. The observer basically said I’d learn how to deal with them one day. That didn’t help much. I wish you’d written this back then.
    Perhaps I’d add one more piece of advice to the list: have clear rules. Students need rules and a routine, specially the younger ones.
    Good luck with your students, Mahdi!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Thiaggo. I agree, a very difficult question. Teaching is a tough job. a living thing, you never know what to expect. You can plan a lesson yet if you are dealing with restless students, you never know what to expect. Clear rules, definitely.

      Like

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