In his seminar on classroom management, behavioral researcher and professor, Glenn Latham tells the story of a teacher who was particularly abusive to her students. Not merely was she heavy handed in her classroom, her discipline was often indiscriminate and patently unfair. To say that the students didn’t like or respect her could be an understatement, as was evident one weekend when they burned her classroom to the ground.
However, we would be wise not to come calmly to the final outcome that discipline shouldn’t play an essential role in student behavior at school. What’s essential is they be treated with respect, even when they are not doing what they know they will and that discipline, when it’s necessary is applied appropriately. Tragic as it might be, this is not always the case in today’s schools.
As a teacher, there’s nothing more exciting than entering a well-organized and disciplined classroom and few things less attractive than one that does not possess those qualities, but creating this kind of environment requires great planning and discipline on the the main teacher and administrators teachings. Harry Wong makes this clear in his book, The First Days of School, as he tells us that success in the classroom is normally won or lost in the very first couple of minutes, maybe even the very first few seconds, of the institution year. Good teachers, he tells us, spend a great deal of time finding your way through the fist couple of days of school, and then spend the very first fourteen days developing and rehearsing procedures that’ll create the classroom environment to last through the year.
In his book, Teach Such as a Champion, Doug Lemov tells of a teacher who spends the very first hour of the very first day of school teaching students to distribute papers. “We did that in 33 seconds,” he tells them, “let’s see when we can’t get it under thirty seconds this time.” Lemov continues on to indicate that such rehearsals aren’t a waste of time and estimates this teacher saves many hours on the course of the entire year insurance firms this procedure in place.
However, this is not almost acquiring proficiency, it’s about making a warm nurturing environment where students can learn and thrive. Systems and procedures need to be in place and well practiced so that students know what’s required of these along with what the expected outcomes will soon be due to their behavior. The internet effect is a huge lowering of stress levels for both students and the teachers, and with less stress, teachers are free to activate and instruct at a very good level.
So just how do we prevent vandalism and teach kids respect? We take action by first demonstrating ourselves the behaviors you want to instill within our students, by treating them with respect even once we don’t think they deserve it, and by putting systems into place that’ll ensure growth. Kids in that sort of environment are highly unlikely to wish to destroy property and, maybe even moreover, are far more likely to produce a significant contribution to the planet in the future.