Positive Discipline - Preventive Measures

Preventive Measures

Part of using positive discipline is preventing situations in which negative behaviors can arise. There are different techniques that teachers can use to prevent bad behaviors:

Students who "misbehave" are actually demonstrating "mistaken" behavior. There are many reasons why a student may exhibit mistaken behavior, i.e. lack of knowing appropriate behavior to feeling unwanted or unaccepted. For students who simply do not know what appropriate behavior they should be exhibiting, the teacher can teach the appropriate behavior. For example, the young child who grabs toys from others can be stopped from grabbing a toy and then shown how to ask for a turn. For students who are feeling unwanted or unaccepted, a positive relationship needs to develop between the teacher and student before ANY form of discipline will work.

The sanctions that are listed at the end of the article would be less needed if students have a strong connection with the adult in charge and knew that the teacher respected him/her. Teachers need to know how to build these relationships. Simply telling them to demonstrate respect and connection with students is not enough for some of them, because they may also lack knowledge on how to do this.

Teachers need to view each child as an account; they must deposit positive experiences in the student before they make a withdraw from the child when discipline takes place. Teachers can make deposits through praise, special activities, fun classroom jobs, smiles and appropriate pats on the backs. Some children have never experienced positive attention. Children long for attention; if they are not receiving positive attention they will exhibit behavior that will elicit negative attention.

Teachers can recognize groups of students who would not work well together (because they are friends or do not get along well) and have them separated from the start. Some teachers employ the "boy-girl-boy-girl" method of lining or circling up (which may be sexist or effective, depending on your perspective).

Another technique would be to be explicit with the rules, and consequences for breaking those rules, from the start. If students have a clear understanding of the rules, they will be more compliant when there are consequences for their behaviors later on. A series of 3 warnings is sometimes used before a harsher consequence is used (detention, time-out, etc.), especially for smaller annoyances (for example, a student can get warnings for calling out, rather than getting an immediate detention, because a warning is usually effective enough). Harsher consequences should come without warnings for more egregious behaviors (hitting another student, cursing, deliberately dissobeying a warning, etc.). Teachers can feel justified that they have not "pulled a fast one" on students.

Read more about this topic:  Positive Discipline

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