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Keys to Effective Discipline

Contrary to popular belief, discipline is not punishment, but guidance. Discipline means to teach anyone how to properly behave or deal with something. Discipline is leading by example, you cannot expect a child or a student to listen to you if they see that your actions contradict what you’re teaching them. Leading by example instills a sense of self-respect to you and to them.

There are keys to effective discipline. The list below are just some tips and guidelines on how you can set effective discipline in the classroom.  

  1. Set reasonable expectations and communicate them

Communicate your expectations with your students. Tell them on the first day how and why they should behave in a certain matter when inside the classroom.

Run down your rules, and why those rules are established. For example, “Don’t run inside the classroom because you might accidentally injure yourself or your classmate.”

Make them understand why there are rules and why they should be followed.

  1. Be consistent

Discipline will only be established if you are being consistent–with your rules and

consequences. Reminding your students about the rules from time to time would not hurt your relationship with them.

  1. Compromise and cooperate whenever possible

Students are not your friends. Treat your students as if they are leveled with you. BUT of course you must establish that you are the leader of the classroom, and that they should still respect you.

Allow opportunities where children can work with you. You can compromise with them. If what they want are reasonable and nobody will be harmed and nothing will be disrupted, allow them to do what they want. They’re kids anyway.

  1. Offer choices

If your students want something, you can offer choices so they will learn the value of decision making. Decision making can teach them that all their choices have different outcomes and consequences. For example, when they want to play tag in the classroom, you can say, “Are you sure you want to play tag in the classroom or outside in the playground?”

  1. Ground your relationship in honesty

Honesty is the best policy. We’ve all heard this. Be honest when you’re the one who’s wrong so your students will also be honest with you. You should also try to understand where they’re coming from when they did something that wasn’t so nice and they lied about it.

You can also give them incentives or rewards when they are being honest.

  1. Make the punishment fit the crime

Always match the punishment with the broken rule. Explain to them why you’re giving them that specific punishment for their bad behavior. Never give the punishment without an explanation because sometimes, they wouldn’t even know what they did wrong!

For example. if they destroyed a wall decor because they’re being rowdy inside the classroom, explain what happened–how you felt (you put in time and effort to make that decor), and then you can give them a punishment where you make them help you make a new decor, if they can’t do it themselves yet.

  1. Give respect, get respect

Respect is should always be mutual. If you respect others, they will respect you. Same goes to your students. If you show them respect, they will respect and love you.

Treat your students as a thinking individual, always taking their opinions to mind. Include their opinions so that students will feel important and they will build self-esteem because they know you listen to them, you try to understand where they’re coming from.

Explain, so that they understand. Respect sets a platform in which students will be able to make right and simple decisions at an early age.

  1. Make sure discipline begins and ends in love

I’ve heard this from a veteran teacher: Discipline without love is abuse. Always tell your students you love and care for them.

At the end of the day, you’re their teacher and they look up to you. Don’t break their trust.

Don’t let them be afraid to go to school because of you. Discipline doesn’t mean that you have to punish. Discipline is guidance, and there is a lot of respect in discipline.

 

What are your ways to effective discipline?

 

Why The Average Inclusion Class is Failing Children and What to Do About It

There are mainstream schools that include children with special needs in a typical classroom. Inclusion requires a child with special needs to be included with the same routines, experiences and boundaries just like everyone else. The special attention that they need is given by a teacher and a teacher aide.

A teacher teaching a junior school classBut this kind of inclusion can be breeding grounds for failing children with special needs and their classmates. The Special Needs Students can be deprived of expert individual attention, and their classmates also might not get the attention that they should be getting from the general education teacher.

Picture this. When there is a child with a autism in an average classroom, and he doesn’t get his way, there’s a big chance that he will seek attention for him to get his way. This disrupts the whole class, and the teacher doesn’t really have a choice but to give attention to the child. She consequently leaves the class in whatever they’re doing so that the child with special needs will be attended to.

Now you might say that there is a teacher aide–he/she can handle the child with special needs.

No.

Most teacher aides wouldn’t really know how to handle him unless they go through extensive training on how to handle such outbursts. 

Teacher working with elementary school reading group

Schools and teacher should be very careful when it comes to having a truly inclusive class. They should be wary of giving specialist provision they need, while not depriving others in the process.

What should we do about it, then?

This is just my opinion, but I (think) believe that in an inclusion class, there should be specialists. SNS need special attention. A resource teacher would greatly benefit them. SNS will be included in the class. They follow the same rules and routines, be expected to behave during discussion, physical education, and special subjects. But during lessons and seatworks, there is a Special Needs teacher by their side to help them understand the lesson better and follow the pacing of the class.  Unfortunately, due to budget restrictions this is not always the case especially in the inner city school districts.

In this way, all students get the education that they deserve. Special Needs Students also flourish with the class socially, and educationally, they thrive with their resource teacher.

 

Creating Organic and Valuable Friendships in the Special Education Classes

Forming friendships is a natural part of human nature. Everywhere you go, there is always an opportunity for friendship. Having friends is vital for a person to progress and have a generally happy life. You know there’s someone out there who you can share your joys and woes, someone or a group you know you belong with.

Elementary school class with teacher outside

A child with special needs also needs to genuinely feel included. May it be the in the community or in the classroom. There is a sense of emotional well-being and stability derived from friendships that allow children to be more receptive and open to learning new concepts. A child with special needs is not excluded into this sense of inclusion. They should also have friends–friends who have and don’t have special needs.

Friendship in the classroom stems from a sense of belonging and relating to other children in the class. It is the teacher’s role to help create these friendships and teach how to maintain them among the students in the inclusive classroom.

There are several ways for the teacher to stimulate friendship in the classroom.

One is to identify her all her students’ interests and create groups for those who are like-minded. This requires that the teacher knows all her students personally. You can start with observations; what are the things they like to play with? What are the things they are good at? What do they like to do after school?

Special needs students all have a talent or an ability that they are especially good at. You can find them a group that has the same interests or have the same talents as they are.

You can also spark up conversations, say about the latest and greatest movie in the theaters. See how your students react. During recess or lunch time, they might talk about it.

Kindergarten teacher sitting with children in libraryAnother way to stimulate friendships in the classroom is to highlight their strengths. Each student has a different skill set apart from their classmates’. The teacher can recognize and highlight these strengths during class discussions, activities, and projects, by giving leadership opportunities so they will feel valued and confident.

 

When there’s an opportunity, encourage students to showcase what they’re good at. This will also bring mutual respect among the students and eventually form friendships.

The last technique you can do as a teacher to create friendships inside the classroom is to provide opportunities to emphasize social skills. You can have group plays, group activities and group projects to teach skills like how to communicate and problem-solve with others. You are also encouraging teamwork. And teamwork always leads to friendships being formed.

 

These are just some techniques you can do in the classroom to encourage building of friendships in the classroom. There are more ways and strategies that are “not in the book”. Feel free to share with us your strategy–how do you create organic and valuable friendships in the Special Education classes?

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