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One of the most predictable and time-consuming issues in the school is the multifaceted aspect of discipline (tweet this). It involves teachers, principals, parents, and kids. If you can lessen the time required to deal with this commitment, the school may be better served, your teachers will be more effective, and learning can replace confrontation. Here is a list of effective and appropriate actions to share with staff:

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Be the Teacher

It is a role that is difficult to define but easy to identify. There is a difference between being friendly and being the friend. Very often, teachers do not differentiate between the role they have and that of the student. It is important that you draw the line and insist that it not be crossed.

Define for Students What Is in It for Them

Specify the benefits they can expect by meeting your expectations, but stay away from bribes and deals. Let them know, too, of the consequences for misbehavior. Make these fit the act, deliver them consistently, and do not be harsh.

Start On Day One

How you start is in large measure how you finish. As is often said, it is easier to get easier. Students will test the system to see how far they can go. Let them know on the very first day. Be there on time and be direct. Establish a routine, then monitor it and maintain it.

Be Fair

Students have a powerful sense of justice and they will hold you to it. However, treating all students alike is not always fair. Some need different handling but when you differentiate, be able to explain why.

Do Not Put Students in Impossible Situations That Can Only Lead to


Deal with issues with as little disruption as possible. Do not debate with students in front of their peers.

Do Not Make Vast and Wild Consequences

Deal with each issue as it arises. Often the student supplies the best consequence. You might ask, privately, “What do you think I am going to do about this?” The student’s response—“You’re going to make me come in after school”—may be the best solution. It is self-imposed and clearly expected.

Create a Reputation for Discipline

Once students know what the rules are, and especially when they hear what fellow students say, they will know what to expect. It is much like “branding” of commercial products. It saves lots of time in choosing behavior. Teaching is much more a marathon than it is a sprint. Train for the long haul. (tweet this)

Thought for the Week

AI can teach and share knowledge, sure, but it lacks the key elements of human modeling, nurturing, and connecting that are essential components of a comprehensive learning process.

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