In his seminar on classroom management, behavioral researcher and professor, Glenn Latham tells the story of a teacher who had been particularly abusive to her students. Not merely was she heavy handed in her classroom, her discipline was often indiscriminate and patently unfair. To express that the students didn’t like or respect her would be an exaggeration, as was evident one weekend when they burned her classroom to the ground.
However, we’d be wise not to come calmly to in conclusion that discipline shouldn’t play an essential role in student behavior at school. What is essential is which they be treated with respect, even though they are not doing what they know they should and that discipline, when it’s necessary is applied appropriately. Tragic as it might be, this is simply not always the case in the present 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 will not possess those qualities, but creating this kind of environment requires great planning and discipline on the part of the teacher and administrators a course in miracles. Harry Wong makes this clear in his book, The First Days of School, as he tells us that success in the classroom is generally won or lost in the initial couple of minutes, perhaps even the initial couple of seconds, of the institution year. Good teachers, he tells us, spend a lot of time finding your way through the fist few days of school, and then spend the initial fourteen days developing and rehearsing procedures that may create the classroom environment to last through the entire year.
In his book, Teach Such as for instance a Champion, Doug Lemov tells of a teacher who spends the initial hour of the initial day of school teaching students to distribute papers. “We did that in 33 seconds,” he tells them, “let’s see if we can’t get it under thirty seconds this time.” Lemov continues to point out that such rehearsals aren’t a waste of time and estimates that teacher saves hrs within the span of the year by having this procedure in place.
However, this is simply not just about acquiring proficiency, it’s about developing a warm nurturing environment where students can learn and thrive. Systems and procedures must be set up and well practiced in order that students know what’s required of them in addition to what the expected outcomes is going to be for their behavior. The internet effect is just a huge lowering of stress levels for the students and the teachers, and with less stress, teachers are free to engage and instruct at a very high level.
So how do we prevent vandalism and teach kids respect? We get it done by first demonstrating ourselves the behaviors we want to instill inside our students, by treating them with respect even once we don’t think they deserve it, and by putting systems into place that may ensure growth. Kids in that kind of environment are highly unlikely to want to destroy property and, perhaps even moreover, tend to be more likely to create a significant contribution to the planet in the future.