Classroom management strategies exist in every school around the world. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting my Discipline Without Stress methodology to teachers in many different countries. In my travels, I’ve noticed some key differences between how teachers in the U.S. tend to look at classroom management compared to those in other countries.
First, I’ve found that teachers in many other countries have more time to spend with each other in lesson planning. As a result, they focus on motivation and ways to have students WANT to put forth effort in learning. In contrast, teachers in the U.S. have very little employment time to plan lessons. They focus on what they (or the government) deem important to teach, and they focus on teaching that curriculum, with hardly any time devoted to motivation. Teachers expect that it is the students’ responsibility to learn what has been presented to them.
As a result, I’ve noticed some key mistakes teachers tend to make around classroom management.
- Teachers ASSUME students know what the teacher wants the students to do WITHOUT first modeling, practicing, and reinforcing the procedure to do what is being taught.
- They confuse classroom management (teaching procedures to make instruction efficient) with discipline (how students behave).
- Teachers assume that discipline is naturally negative. Not necessarily so! The best discipline is the type where the person doesn’t even realize that discipline is being employed.
Two of the Most Useful Things All Teachers Can Learn
- Coercion in any form is counterproductive.
- Anyone can learn the skill of asking reflective question to inspire self-reflection.
Most important, understand that no one can change another person. People change themselves, and the LEAST EFFECTIVE way to have a person WANT to change is by using commonly used EXTERNAL approaches, such as relying on rules and using threats.
Remember that change ALWAYS starts with what YOU do to INFLUENCE others in a noncoercive manner.
What are your thoughts on these tips for positive classroom management? Please share your thoughts on the Without Stress Facebook page.