Monday, September 16, 2013

Answering your questions: discipline problems

The next question I am going to answer comes from Anastasia Pistopoulou who is a dear friend, an old student and a fellow colleague (btw I just love when that happens! I am so proud!)
What happens if one or more students have discipline problems? What do you do to deal with it?
I do not work at a school anymore, but I've had my share of teaching a class.
Well, we have to admit that every class has its "entertainer"! Sometimes they are just funny, sometimes they do disrupt our lesson in a very negative way.
I remember when I started teaching I had a class with two very aggressive teenagers, they didn't care about anything, they didn't study, they laughed at their fellow students, they made noise, they destroyed things. Ι was in a very difficult position, because the director did not help me at all with this, as they didn't want to lose money in case the students left the school.
I researched A LOT, joined teacher forums, talked about the problem, read books - one of the best books I have read is "Setting limits in the classroom" by Robert J Mackenzie - which helped me a lot with techniques I could never imagine.
  • First step was talk to the kids. The specific ones never took me seriously, but at least we identified the problem
  • Second step is talk to the director. As a more experienced teacher maybe she could have a suggestion
  • Talk to the parents - some parents just don't care, but most of them do, especially if you tell them that you personally want to find out why their children are so aggressive or disruptive. 
  • Give students something to do! Put them in charge of something! They always feel proud!
  • Praise them if they do something right
  • Yelling is not a solution
Well, I hope I have helped a bit!
Keep the questions coming!!!

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