How to Increase Student Engagement

Discipline problem often occur due to a lack of student engagement. If the teacher is promoting something interesting, students are quite capable of being engaged. So, instead of thinking, “I am going to control this disruptive behavior,” a more effective approach would be to think, “What can I do that is interesting to prevent students from misbehaving in the first place?” After all, curiosity is a great motivator.

The punishment mindset has many disadvantages, especially when you’re punishing due to student engagement issues. If punishment becomes arbitrary, any young person is going to feel angry and even disillusioned. When people in authority want others to behave responsibility, it is the leader’s responsibility to first behave in this same manner. The approach should be to avoid counterwill, the natural human tendency to resist force or coercion.

Student Engagement versus Punishment

One of the prime characteristics of Discipline Without Stress is that HOW YOU PUNISH is as important as the act of punishing itself. This is a prime reason that I teach The Levels of Development. And when a student cannot choose the correct level on which to operate, I ELICIT a punishment or a consequence, rather than impose one.

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Tip: To reduce discipline problems, pique students’ curiosity. In other words, focus on student engagement and your discipline problems will decrease substantially. Curiosity is a fabulous motivator. Set up some activity at the start of every class for your students to grapple with. Always ask yourself, “What can I present or do that will immediately create interest?”


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