Teaching Tips and Discipline
Be an active and engaged presence throughout the entire day that you are substitute teaching. Please refrain from being on your cell phone or tablet while supervising students.
These are some general techniques that serve well for any teacher:
- Students will be comfortable and responsive if they have a sense of direction. Be prepared to (a) identify yourself; (b) state reasonable expectations; (c) start work immediately, (d) keep students busy and (e) follow a plan
- Move around the room as this will increase supervision, and eliminate the need to raise your voice
- Your authority with students will be reinforced through your effectiveness as a teacher. Try to anticipate and avoid needless confrontations. Exercise caution in making accusations, and be careful in assessing responsibility for incidents
- Be aware of student traffic in and out of the Monitor the amount of time a student spends away from the class. Try to determine the real need for a student to leave your classroom.
- Minimize student movement or physical activity as much as This is applicable in or out of the classroom.
- The most important factor for a successful day may be for you to demonstrate a genuine interest in the class, the work the children are doing, and the individual students.
- Finally, become skilled in the use of assertive discipline techniques in line with the following:
A. Communicate your displeasure with a student's misbehavior, but then be sure to tell the student what to do. For example: "Bill, stop writing and pass your paper forward." Notice that the teacher told the student what not to do, but also told the student what to do. Many students continue to display inappropriate behavior when they have been told to discontinue because they do not know what they should be doing. Now that you have given a direction, you can reinforce the student for compliance or punish him or her for noncompliance. Be sure to add emphasis to your directions by using eye contact, hand gestures, and the student's name.
B. Recognize and quickly respond to appropriate behavior. This quick action will encourage the students to display the desired behavior more often. Be aware that some students may need to be reinforced quietly or nonverbally to prevent embarrassment in front of peers.
C. Learn to use the "broken record" technique. Continue to repeat your command (a maximum of three times) until the student follows your directions. Do not be sidetracked by the student's excuses. For example:
Teacher: "Tara, you have work to do. Get away from that window and sit in your seat." Student: "But I want to see the rabbit walking in the grass."
Teacher: "I understand, but I want you to sit down now." Student: "'Just one minute, OK?"
Teacher: "'No, Tara, I want you to sit down now."
Student: "Aw, OK."
If the command is not followed, you might issue a choice to the student. This can be done after the first, second, or third request. Give the student a choice between following the command or facing a consequence for disobedience. For example: "Tara, you have a choice. You can sit down now or I will contact the main office." If you find it necessary to implement the consequence, make it clear to the student that he or she made the decision as to which option will occur. The consequence should be administered quickly and in a calm, matter-of fact manner. In the above situation, you would move through your list of negative consequences until the student complies.
A. Learn to use the "positive repetitions" technique. This is a disguised way of repeating your rules so that all students know what to do. Repeat the directions as positive statements to students who are complying with your commands (e.g. "Jason raised his hand to be recognized. So did Harold and ").
B. Use "proximity praise". Instead of just focusing on the misbehaving students, praise youngsters near them who are doing the correct thing. It is hoped that the misbehaving students will then model that appropriate behavior. The comments can be specific and obvious for younger students. More subtle recognition is required for
C. Use proximity control. Move towards misbehaving students (younger kids). Invite adolescents into the hallway to talk to avoid embarrassment in front of peers (and the negative behavior that will result if you engage in public chastisement).
D. Teach and role-play to promote responsible behavior. If kids don't presently possess the desired classroom behavior, teach it to them. This involves more than giving commands.