Classroom Management: The Assertive Approach
The personality, philosophy, and teaching style will directly affect the teacher's managerial approach to classroom management. There are various approaches, or models that have been products of researchers and are applicable to classroom management. These approaches are based on psychology, classroom experience, and common sense. These approaches form a continuum from firm, direct, and structured to flexible, indirect, and democratic.
This approach to classroom management expects the teacher to specify rules of behavior and consequences for disobeying them. These rules and consequences should be communicated clearly to the pupils/students during the first day of classes. It is important that the learners know and realize that they should be held accountable for their actions. The teacher can devise his rules based on sound criteria of imposing sanctions for pupils/students who misbehave. For pupils/students who disobey rules for the first time, receive "one warning and, then if they commit another infraction of the rules, they are subjected to an increasingly serious sanctions."
It may be inferred that these techniques assume that firm classroom management liberates pupils/students because it allows them to develop their best traits, skills and abilities and provides them with psychological security in the classroom and an effective learning environment. It may also be assumed that effective teachers usually handle discipline problem on their own way and that probably teaching failure is directly related to the inability to maintain adequate classroom discipline. This approach is perhaps most effective at the secondary level where chronic student behavior problems normally exist.
There are a number of suggestions for teachers who would apply assertive discipline as an approach to classroom management.
- Clearly identify learning expectations
- Take decisive positions (Say, "This is good" or "That is not good")
- Use of firm (not soft or yielding) tone of voice
- Employ eye contact and meaningful gestures to supplement verbal messages
- Say no without guilt feelings
- Give and receive compliments spontaneously
- Place demands and set limits on the students and enforce them
- Point out consequences of behavior and explain why specific action is necessary
- Be calm and consistent; avoid display of emotion and threats
- Establish positive expectations for student behavior and try to eliminate negative expectations about students
- Gain confidence and management skills in identifying and working with chronic behavior problems in the classroom
It may be assumed that teachers who are able to apply assertive discipline techniques not only have more teaching confidence in their own abilities as teachers, but also get along better with students.