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My personal weakness as a teacher is to be too relaxed in discipline especially at the beginning, so the class can get out of hand quickly. I researched discipline in the classroom to improve my tactics as a teacher. In researching this topic I learned that if a teacher is prepared, consistent, firm, fair, and has high expectations they will have good classroom management. Initially, the teacher should have the rules written down and posted. By consistently enforcing the rules in fairness, this will lead to a peaceful learning environment where students know what the behavioral expectations are. Ideally you will warn the student before punishing them. An example discipline plan could be: first offense=verbal warning, second offense= detention with the teacher, third offense= referral. (2) Discipline should not be raised voices and confrontations but rather consistent application of established rules. It is always a good idea to start the very first class off with strict discipline as it is always easier to lighten up, than tighten up. The old adage: “Never smile until Christmas,” does have its merits. Fairness, firmness, and consistency are important when dealing with the students. Make sure all students are treated equally not just the best students. (2) When making a seating chart, do not seat friends together as they will talk. It is wiser to split them up from the beginning. (3) Keep expectations high in your classroom. Set the tone for their day when they first come in by stating your expectations beforehand. “Class I expect you to raise your hands and wait to be recognized before you start speaking. Please do not speak while someone else is speaking. Respect other people and listen to what each person has to say.” (2) In order to prevent any unwanted behaviors, it is a good idea to keep the students busy. (1) Idle time can cause problems with boredom, and misbehavior. Try to cut down on transitional times as these are usually when disruptions can occur. Be prepared and have the worksheet ready to hand out versus having to go look for it and thus turning your back on the class. (2) Over- plan if necessary, but make sure the students are engaged and learning. Once behavioral expectations have been established, there are strategies to deal with unwanted behaviors promptly. Giving a child attention for bad behavior is not a good idea. But rather praise a child right next to the misbehaving child and reward them for doing what you want the problem child to do. For example, “I really like the way Junko is sitting nicely in her seat” or “Kenta is working very quickly on his worksheet, thank you, Kenta!” (1) Rewarding good behavior does not need to be with stickers or candy but can be with a thumbs up, a high five, a word of praise, or just a smile. (5) Another helpful strategy is to walk around the class. It is ideal to deal with disruptions with as little interruption as possible. If there is talking, pick a leader of the discussion and ask them a question to try and get them back on track. Teach the class that if you mention a student's name, that is a clue for them to stop talking. For example, if you hear Taro and Yoshi talking, just say, “Taro” and continue teaching. Another effective tool is to clap your hands a couple of times and the group claps back. That is their hint to stop talking. Then speak softly to the students after they have clapped, not with a loud voice as this has a calming effect on the whole class. (6) Students will remain quiet in order to hear what you are saying because you are speaking so softly. The constant disruptions really hinder the class time learning, so it is best to deal with it promptly and decisively. (2) If a class is loud, try not to raise your voice and shout over them. This will work at first, but after a while they will simply ignore you. (3) Instead of shouting to get students attention, try standing in front of the class quietly and stare at them. They will eventually become quiet and then you can start talking. (3) Use group points to motivate students to shape up. Either add or withdraw points according to their behavior. Competition between groups is a powerful tool. (4) The peer pressure from other students will get the students on task. Rarely a student will misbehave and it is necessary to confront them. If there is a confrontation with a student, remain calm and remove the student from the room as quickly as possible. Try not to have a winner and a loser and do not include the rest of the class in the dispute. (2) In conclusion, teachers can make their job easier and provide a better learning environment by having a discipline plan in place and consistently following through with consequences. Research collected from these sites: 1. http://teflbootcamp.com/tefl-skills/student-discipline-efl-classroom/ 2. http://712educators.about.com/od/discipline/tp/disciplinetips.htm 3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17044493/esl-Classroom-Discipline 4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW6L0WEsJoM 5. http://blog.esldaily.org/2009/10/18/quick-tips-for-discipline-in-the-efl-classroom.aspx 6. http://www.onestopenglish.com/support/methodology/classroom-management/classroom-management-classroom-discipline/146446.article