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For many teachers, one of the most frustrating elements of the job is learning how to deal with students who refuse to comply with school rules.

Even the most well-behaved classes can act up on occasion, requiring educators to employ behavior management techniques in order to reassert their authority and facilitate learning.

If you’re new to teaching or would simply like to brush up on your ability to deal with mischievous students, take a look at our helpful behavior management tips below:

1. Establish good behavior rituals

Ensuring that students are able to enter your classroom in a calm and orderly fashion is one of the first steps towards good behavior management.

During your first lesson of the year, tell students that you expect them to file into class quietly with all of their necessary learning materials in hand. At the same time, make sure that you greet them with a smile. This shows a firm kindness and will encourage kids to listen to you, keeping disruption to a minimum.

If you need help establishing your own set of classroom rituals, this article may prove useful.

2. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself

Sometimes, you may find yourself getting tired of reprimanding the same kids over and over again. It may take a while to get non-compliant students to listen to you, but perseverance is key. Repeat yourself enough times, and students will quickly start to prefer sticking to the rules over being reprimanded. Of course, if constant reminders do not seem to have any effect on a student’s bad behavior, you will need to look into further options such as sending them to the principal’s office.

3. Pick up on ‘low-level’ misdemeanors to prevent bad behavior from worsening

The best way to prevent a classroom riot is to stop bad behavior in its tracks. This means addressing minor rule infractions from the outset.

These could include:
  • Keeping hands in pockets.
  • Turning around to talk to classmates.
  • Putting heads on desks.
  • Flicking stationery around the room.
  • Staring out of the window during lessons.
  • Failing to listen to instructions.

When kids are well aware of expectations from their first lesson, you will find behavior management relatively easy throughout the rest of the year.

4. Try not to say ‘please’

Rather than saying ‘please’ when asking students to do something, say ‘thank you’. This will remind them that you are in charge and will seem more like a command than a request.

5. Try pausing when you spot a misdemeanor

Students that start chatting with their friends in the middle of a lesson will quickly stop when they realize that the teacher has stopped talking. Your silence will shift everyone’s attention straight to the rule-breakers and will remind students of who is in charge. To find out more reasons why pauses can be so powerful in the classroom, take a look at this great article.

6. Give students an appropriate amount of responsibility for their behavior

Rather than simply disciplining students, it is important to help them understand what they have done wrong and allow them to grow from their mistakes. When a student does something wrong, ask them to reflect on their behavior and to discuss how they will prevent anything similar from happening again in the future.

This will show them that you care about their thoughts and feelings and are not simply a disciplinarian.

7. Call home if necessary

If a student starts to act up on a regular basis, it is important that you get to the root of the problem. Make sure to call home to ascertain whether there are any family issues going on that might be causing behavioral issues, working with parents to come up with a plan of action.

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