Get Students Interested in Learning

One major source of classroom discipline is dealing with students who have no interest in learning. In their frustration, many teachers resort to implementing rewards (bribes) to gain students’ attention, or they use imposed punishments (detention, extra homework, etc.) in the hopes that the youth will take learning seriously.

Here’s a better approach and one that doesn’t involve any stressful classroom discipline techniques.

First, let students know that if they decide not to learn, it is their decision. You will not even attempt to force learning; it can’t be done. But you will not allow a student to disrupt another person’s learning. In this mini-lecture, let your students know that no one suffers from their lack of learning but themselves—that if they decide to put forth the effort, they will be better off, more satisfied, become more knowledgeable, and more pleased with themselves.

Most important, emphasize that the choice to learn or not is theirs, not yours.

Don’t be surprised that when you use this approach, more students will put forth effort. The reason is that you are using noncoercion and are prompting them to reflect and self-evaluate.

Finally, from an instructional viewpoint, tap into their curiosity, which is a great motivator. Have them grapple with a problem/challenge about the lesson BEFORE you start teaching. After they’re involved, then do your sharing.

This simple approach will greatly reduce your classroom discipline challenges and will help foster a more harmonious learning environment.