One day, I was sitting in the staff room with a couple of other teachers. One of them was describing her experience to all of us. “Until that moment, the students were all calm. Then suddenly, without warning, the classroom turned to utter chaos. All I saw was students yelling and fighting with each other and making loud noises. I tried to calm them down. But it was in vain. They were screaming like anything”. She explained the alarming situation she faced, with severe distress. Her situation made me think. This was only a classroom fight and managing it seemed to be an uphill task. Just imagine if it was a large scale student fight or unacceptable behavior from teachers and other staff!
Why do discipline problems arise?
After pondering over the question of what actually causes discipline problems in schools, I understood one thing. There are a plethora of reasons that directly or indirectly influence the behavior of students, teachers and other staff working in a school environment. The personality of teachers, characteristics of students and the whole school environment are determinants in effecting changes in the disciplinary procedures in the school.
How can we address discipline problems?
A couple of years ago, during a discussion, it was my friend Anna who opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about addressing discipline problems in schools. She said:
“The discipline of students and staff should be maintained through teaching and not by punishment”.
Her definition of discipline forced me to analyze disciplinary measures that deal with problems between students, teachers and other staff members in a school, such as the following:
These measures can be of great help in maintaining school discipline and creating a harmonious school environment. But do you find these measures easy and trouble-free to implement? Definitely not! Tracking student discipline and managing teacher performance is a difficult and time consuming task. So what can we do to measure disciplinary activities and make a positive change? The solution is right around the corner. We’ll discuss about it in the coming days…
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