Classroom Behavior and Management
Managing students in an academic setting has been one of the most difficult issues that teachers have been facing within their career. It continues to be a challenge to teachers, especially novice teachers in their first times within the profession or even experienced ones in a new school environment. The elements of behavior and misbehavior, discipline and indiscipline comes in when one thinks of the optimum way to manage a classroom. It is perhaps the consideration of these four elements of teaching that aid teachers in managing their classrooms and to ensure a desired flow of activities in learning (Charles, & Senter, 2005).
The general term ‘behavior’ refers to the measurable response of an individual to a certain set of circumstances in life or at a given time. Several attitudes or their combinations are applied in the expression of behavior. On the contrary, misbehavior is a measurable set of behaviors that are regarded as inappropriate, confrontational and disruptive, thus causing a negative effect in a classroom (Charles & Senter, 2005). Discipline refers to the way people carry themselves in order to ensure that their behavior does not complicate, affect or disrupt the set of circumstances in a place, and in education – a class.
Indiscipline, on its part, is the set of actions that people apply, and which frequently causes the disruption of the processes in a given place, such as a class in an academic setting (Walters & Frei, 2007). Management is the application of a wide range of techniques so that one achieves the full control of the classroom, and thus ensures a smooth flow of events. The knowledge of the similarities between misbehavior and behavior, as well as the function of discipline and indiscipline, helps one to enable successful management of discipline in a class (Charles, & Senter, 2005).
In general, different teachers could use same or similar methods and practices to install discipline in a class in an attempt to manage any disruptive behavior (misbehavior) of students. The terms behavior and misbehavior are different yet related, and depend on the situation in the classroom (Walters, & Frei, 2007). These two terms often crop from an individual student’s needs to have a feeling of belonging and to be accepted in a classroom. Students often strive to feel skillful and competent in a classroom, and thus develop a relationship that accommodates and fits into other student’s environment. Consequently, the students will choose to either behave or misbehave in an attempt to achieve the aforementioned aspects (Aves, 2010). The choice that each student chooses is quite different from those of others, and mainly depends on the individual perceptions, expectations, the observed prior experiences to misbehavior/behavior and the situation at hand (Walters, & Frei, 2007). The situation at hand may force a student, who is otherwise thought to be disciplined, to behave in a rather indiscipline manner, thus resulting into some kind of misbehavior and indiscipline.
A student’s choice in a class can be heavily influenced by the teacher’s response strategies, which might be appropriate or inappropriate for both the students and the colleagues if the desirable outcomes are achieved (Aves, 2010). Teacher-derived strategies are thus very critical in the process of classroom management if the class is to accommodate every student, and if the behavior for each student is to be accepted (Aves, 2010). The teachers’ initiative may change a student’s behavior from that of indiscipline or misbehavior to a situation where the student’s behavior is conducive, and thus acceptable as a good behavior (Daniel, 2009).
Discipline and indiscipline, on their part, are related to the general behavior of the students in a class. Discipline requires that the behavior be related to the norms of the classroom, and that it should not only be according to the teacher or systems’ requirements, but is also accommodative to and fit into the requirements of the colleagues in the classroom. Discipline requires the efforts of multiple players in the school system, and not the teacher only (Daniel, 2009).
The teacher has the role and responsibility of ensuring that the behavior of the student goes along with his or her wants, the requirements of the school and that there is little disruption caused by the behaviors. Discipline also requires that the students be responsible for their behavior, and in most cases, this is a requirement by the system rather than a student’s own choice (Daniel, 2009). This system requires that the students behave in a given manner and at the same time be accountable for their behavior, whether in class or elsewhere within the academic setting. In addition, this calls for the teacher’s responsibility on the issue, and thus the issue of classroom management sets in.
In conclusion, the terms discipline and indiscipline are directly related to the behavior of students in a class. The students’ behavior, which heavily depends on the situation at hand, may be positive or negative depending on the student’s choice. In addition, it also depends on whether the behavior is acceptable at a certain time and place. Therefore, the teachers are expected to apply various efforts to ensure that classroom management is achieved.
Aves, M. (2010). What are some similarities of behavior and misbehavior in discipline management? Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_7368943_similarities-behavior-misbehavior-discipline-management_.html.
Charles, C. M., & Senter, G. W. (2005). Building classroom discipline. New York: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Daniel, V. I. (2009). How to manage disruptive behavior in inclusive classrooms. Retrieved from http://www.teachervision.fen.com/classroom-discipline/resource/2943.html
Walters, J.,& Frei, S. (2007). Managing Classroom Behavior and Discipline. Washington, DC: Shell Education.