If I had to give one answer to the problem of badly behaving students I would sum it up in 7 letters—R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And no, I am not talking about the teacher demanding respect from the students. I am talking about teachers showing respect to their students—as much as they possibly can.
There are some kids who have been getting in trouble for years, and they are used to thinking of the teacher as the enemy. Here are some ways that teachers can turn this attitude around and show respect to their students:
*Be as unemotional as possible when giving them consequences for bad behavior. The consequence should not include the added price of your surly attitude. This is one of my main discipline principles.
*Do not try to find out who the badly behaved students are before your term starts. Give every student a clean slate from the beginning.
*Do not insist on students earning your respect-make them have to lose it. You should treat your students with dignity from day one.
*Do not talk about how bad your students are publically. This includes talking about them individually or as a class.
*Avoid acting superior. Sarcasm and lecturing are sure ways to turn your students against you. Avoiding both of these things could make a huge impact on the vibe of your class.
Be sure to note that I am not talking about kissing up to students, giving them excessive extra chances, trying to be their buddy, or sugar coating your discipline plan for them. Far from it. I am simply suggesting that teachers do whatever they can to show that they are on the side of the students, not the opposition.
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