Thinking about Discipline – Part 3
Some Classic Mistakes
In my first two posts in this series on Discipline, I mentioned some of the causes of undisciplined behaviour and a few proactive steps which I believe will help in creating a classroom atmosphere which promotes disciplined behaviour.
In this post, the third post in this series on discipline, I would like to mention a few points about teacher traits which may cause students not to be the angels we would like them to be!
I am an expert on how not to be an angel – being unruly was my modus vivendi throughout my school years and what follows is a list of what caused me to be rowdy and unruly; a series of traits displayed by a long line of teachers from a different century.
What my teachers did
- They lectured
- They screamed and shouted
- They punished unfairly and harshly
- They humiliated students publicly
- They insisted on having the last word
- Their body language was negative
- They used violence
- They never praised anyone but the top students
- They had irritating quirks, like keys jangling in pockets, scratching in strange places, odd gestures etc
- They never moved from behind their desks
- They droned!
- They had really boring voices!
- They recited the book and made no other effort to animate the content
- They made sarcastic remarks if you made a mistake
- They ridiculed weaker students
- They had favourites
- They were unfair
- They sulked and were unforgiving
- They made irrelevant comments
- They accused anyone or everyone
- They were vindictive
- They often lost control of their class
- They were not always well prepared
- They could be easily confused by student questions
- They made weaker students feel stupid or inferior
There were other things, too, which made me misbehave
- A teacher who dressed very sloppily or oddly
- A teacher who was personally not clean or whose clothes were dirty or stained, or who smelled musty!
- A teacher who had unpleasant personal habits, such as picking his nose, or, in the case of some male teachers, adjusting their, well, hmm… jewels
- A teacher who gave low marks to poor students and high marks to those whose parents paid them for private tutoring time
So are Students Unkind?
A way forward
At one time or another, we may have all made mistakes that caused our students to misbehave – the reflective teacher will find their way out of the vicious circle of being a poor role model and causing, rather than solving or anticipating discipline issues in their classes.
How many of those mistakes like these have you made in your teaching career? What were the results?
Do you have any stories to tell, stories which made you realise that you needed to change your tactics?
If you do, please share them in the comments.
Turn all the classic mistakes into positive teacher behaviours!
And hopefully, you, too will be able to give the same outstanding answer as one of my good colleagues who answered like this when asked the question “How do you solve your discipline issues?”
“Discipline issues? I never have any!”