Teach English in Anqu Zhen - Aba Zangzu Qiangzu Zizhizhou —

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The word discipline can be defined with a famous quote by Michael J. Fox, “Discipline is just doing the same thing the right way whether anyone's watching or not.” Being a teacher maintaining discipline in the classroom is an uphill challenge at times. Emotional setbacks and personal life challenges of students do affect their behavior in school and often cause class disruptions There are different kinds of students in a classroom; individual, physical and emotional pattern of these learners; the problems in their personal lives coupled with the ability of a teacher to present the lessons determine the level of discipline in a classroom. For a teacher it’s a very difficult task to maintain discipline in the classroom given the differences between students with regard to their age, intelligence, personal inconveniences, taste for different subjects etc. Also, the ability of a teacher to present the subject of study skillfully before them with the aid of modern teaching-learning materials keeping in mind the necessity of active participation of the students in a classroom plays an important role in maintaining discipline. No matter how well a teacher is prepared for the class, it can be ruined merely by bad discipline in the classroom. But on the contrary a scene where discipline issue is used as a teaching tool among students in a classroom can lead to a successful lesson where the teacher achieves the teaching objective and can lead to a fruitful lesson for both parties. Discipline doesn’t always mean being quiet or unresponsive or not shouting or not moving around the class during lessons. The idea of discipline is to shout, scream, run, chat and play when being told to do so by the teacher and not before that. Today, the concept of discipline is a bit different from what it was a few years ago where students were expected to be calm and quiet in the classrooms during a lesson. But modern ELT lessons encourage classroom activities that involves talking, chatting and even running or moving around the class during a progressive lesson on the teacher’s guidance and instructions. It’s well known that a teacher who is ever compromising on the classroom discipline can never have a successful lesson and might sometimes also disturb neighboring classes. On the other hand a teacher who is ever frowning and never smiling can often be a turn-off for students. Along with the students it is also important that the teacher be disciplined, for example: setting positive rules and expectations at the beginning of the year will help the students get a better understanding of what is expected of them in the class. For this teachers should plan ahead and be prepared. A teacher’s personality plays a huge role in determining and maintaining discipline in a classroom. If the teacher sets behavior rules and consequences thereafter and later if those consequences are not met by the teacher, it’s one of the catalytic factors of bad discipline in the classroom. Logical and meaningful consequences do encourage good discipline in the classroom. Sometimes teachers are the only ones that students look up to and therefore teachers should be alert on what they say and do in front of their students and should refrain from creating any negative influence on their students. Also involving students in formulating these rules and violation consequences makes the students more aware of their roles and responsibilities in a classroom. It allows enough room for discussion between students and teachers about what and why the rules should be followed. Breaking rules should be taken notice of and dealt with immediately. Punishment sometimes is considered a negative form of dealing with discipline issues especially among the very young groups of learners, so instead of punishment teachers can try and control negative behaviors among students; being prepared for any misdemeanor in the classroom helps the teacher have better control over students. A number of other factors also determine good discipline among students some of which are: seating arrangements, class objective and student goals, lesson goals, student satisfaction, class environment etc. The issue of discipline is not as universal as it might seem. It depends hugely on the cultural values of a country. For example: what is considered good discipline in Indian schools in India might not even be a part of discipline issue in Turkish schools. Students going out and playing or eating during class breaks is considered a very normal activity in Turkish schools. At the same time students in India are not supposed to go out and eat or play during class breaks; they are expected to be seated in class and preparing for the next lesson though trips to the washroom are allowed. In the recent years modern schools and educational institutes tend to give more rights and freedom to students which sometimes make the job of teachers to maintain discipline more difficult. But with changing disciplinary concepts and even more evolutionary class management techniques teachers are and will continue to do what they do best – inspire and encourage students to bring out the best in them and become successful individuals and citizens of the world.