Discipline in Modern Education- A Guest Blog Post

I was recently approached by someone interesting in being a guest blogger for Principally Speaking. I had never thought about sharing this space with anyone, but it felt right, and so we are going for it. If you are interested in adding to this blog, I welcome your ideas and thoughts.

Discipline in Modern Education by Lindsey Wright

Although we are well into the 21st century and have developed several alternative approaches for educating students, like holding classes at an online school instead of a brick-and-mortar campus, many teachers still rely on traditional discipline methods to keep control in the classroom. The majority of these techniques involve time-tested protocols such as giving warnings, keeping a child in from recess, keeping him or her after school, or sending the student to the principal’s office. In some cases teachers have blindly adhered to such practices without considering if there might be a better, more effective way to gain and keep control of the classroom.

However, there are other teachers who have been significantly troubled by what they see as the shortcomings of a time-honored tradition whose day has come and gone. Yet traditional discipline methods are still embraced in the majority of schools across the U.S. How can teachers begin to implement a more enlightened approach to discipline in the classroom?

Any experienced educator has long since learned that children in the classroom have a way of feeding off of a teacher’s energy. If the teacher is nervous, distracted, stressed, or angry, the students seem to have an innate ability to pick up on these negative emotions and find a way to exacerbate them. In order to avoid such a situation it's important for the teacher to remain calm and centered, particularly when taking disciplinary action. Meditation is an excellent way to achieve this, as it allows the teacher to find and develop peace and strength within. Students can also benefit from this quiet time, as studies have found that students have improved tests scores and better classroom discipline when they mediate.

Another key to enlightened discipline is getting to the root cause of the behavior. When utilizing this method, the teacher works closely with the student, and even the parents, to discover why a bad behavior is repeated. The goal is to then come up with a plan to address the issue so that it can be overcome. Once this happens classroom discipline will inevitably improve.

If none of the other approaches to seem to be effective, teachers can also try limiting classroom rules. Having some rules is always a good idea as they establish behavior standards that help students know what is expected. However, try to keep them brief and have as few as possible. Ultimately, it is through methods such as these that teachers can promote better discipline and develop more positive relationships with students.

Lindsey Wright, writes for OnlineSchools.org. She can be contacted via e-mail at lindswright82@gmail.com.