The 11 Steps to Organizing a Student Discipline System

With the new school year quickly approaching, teachers everywhere are preparing to go back to the classroom. In the case of new and relatively new teachers, learning how to handle student misbehavior will be their toughest challenge.

To be a successful disciplinarian, you must have a student discipline system that governs how you will handle student misbehavior. To help you get started, we have created a handy resource that outlines the 11 steps that you need to take when organizing a student discipline system.

Decide in advance how you want students to behave. You have to know what you envision your student discipline code to look like, how you want it to operate, and how you want students to behave.

Design the supporting structure. This deals with the development of procedures that will support your goals.

Establish a threshold for behavior at school. You can accomplish this by creating a clear separation between school and the outside world.  Then enforce the courtesy, rules, and work habits required in your class.

Run a two-week training camp. During the first two weeks, establish clear limits, expectations, routines, appropriate behavior, and compliance.

Teach students to behave appropriately. Students should be taught any skills required for school (and life) success.
Set the stage for quality instruction. Make classes interesting and worthwhile; ask questions to force students to expand their thinking; increase hands-on activities; use group learning activities; include activities based on sports, music, drama, and crafts; and ask students to make presentations to the class and younger students.

Provide active, assertive supervision. Remind students of rules, expectations, and limits ahead of time; correct small misbehaviors; reinforce good social skills; and “be present”—move with purpose about the room, make eye contact, and talk to students if talking doesn’t interrupt their work.

Enforce rules and expectations. It is the teacher’s ability to require good behavior that determines student success. 

To establish natural authority and take charge of students, connect with them on a personal basis, listen, and be understanding and supportive.  Establish rapport, but combine it with insistence.  Begin with small infractions associated with courteous language or clean up.

Focus on prevention. It is what you do in advance so students won’t misbehave.

Set high standards. Underachievement is not a student choice, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to see that it doesn’t occur.

Treat caregivers as partners. Talk with caregivers and keep them informed about serious incidents and repetitive misbehaving involving their child, not minor incidents.

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