Classroom Discipline: Common Types of Disciplinary Problems
Discipline is one of the major areas of concern for teachers especially the new ones. Discipline refers to the order which is necessary in the classroom for students learning to occur effectively. Order is needed in the classroom to facilitate the teaching-learning process. If the learning activities are well-planned and prepared, the presentation elicits and maintains students' attention, interest and involvement, if the activities are challenging and offer realistic opportunities for success, then order will be established.
Discipline, as applied to classroom instruction, is any means or device adopted by the teacher to achieve orderly behavior of the learners. Today, some educational authorities agree that a classroom has a good discipline when the learners are eagerly and earnestly performing their learning tasks.
The ultimate objective of discipline is to help the learners develop ethical character and attain desirable behavior. Character traits that should be inculcated and develop are obedience, responsibility, diligence, perseverance, respect for the rights of others, cheerfulness, and fair play. They should be taught how to discipline themselves so that they can make take their places in society, as responsible and law-abiding citizens.
Discipline to be effective should be meaningful and sympathetic. The students should know why they are called upon to conform to certain rules and regulations. The importance and value of developing proper conduct in society should be very clear to them. They should realize that developing desirable habits will be of value in their future lives.
Common Types of Disciplinary Problems
To classify behavioral problems of the students that virtually disrupt the teaching-learning process seems quite difficult, because of the various intervening factors involved in each type of misdemeanor. Factors that contribute to these behavioral problems of the children are poor training, breeding, and upbringing, desire for attention, lack of self-control, poor environment, broken homes, poor vision, poverty and perhaps weak personality of the teacher. The teacher should be able to identify and determine the cause or causes of problems so that appropriate remedies can be applied.
The most common problems usually confronted by the teacher especially the new ones are: inattention, laughing, giggling, whispering, clowning, joking, making faces, talking, playing and discourtesy. These may be taken as less serious misbehavior. The more serious ones are cheating, stealing, lying, shouting, destruction of school property, vandalism, defiance to school rules and regulations, fighting in class, physical attacks, bullying and stubbornness.
It may be inferred that a teacher with a strong personality with sufficient experience will be able to deal with most of these behavioral problems. Good classroom management can eliminate many of common misdemeanors by way of making the lessons interesting and meaningful to the learners.