1. Seek long-term behavior changes instead of short-term fixes.
Effective discipline really means teaching kids how to become responsible. There are far too many children and adolescents who have little idea of what it means to be responsible. They need to learn that they have choices and that they can learn to plan their behavior.
2. Stop doing ineffective things.
When a solution either does not work or matters become worse, the solution itself is probably part of the problem. Let go of doing things with either groups or individual students that are not effective.
3. Be fair, and don't always treat everyone the same.
Being fair means giving each person what he or she needs, but not treating everyone exactly alike. just as children need different approaches to reading, they need different approaches to discipline. Discipline codes that 'uniformly' or 'consistently' treat all kids the same are doomed to failure.
4. Adopt only those rules that make sense.
Rules viewed as stupid are the least likely to be followed. Students need to see how a rule benefits them. They need and deserve an explanation for why things are the way they are.
5. Model the behavior you expect.
What teachers do, and more importantly,, how they do it, has far more impact than what they say. If promptness in turning in ho'jmuework is important, then promptness in returning it is also important.
6. Teach responsibility instead of enforcing obedience.
Obedience implies the power of the few over the many and leads to retaliation
and rebellion. Obedience relies on rewards and punishments.
responsibility get information, identify options, anticipate consequences, and make decisions. To learn, they must have opportunities to make bad decisions.
7. Treat students with respect and dignity.
Discipline techniques must be compatible with helping students maintain or enhance their seff-esteem. Listening to them, acknowledging their feelings, describing your own, explaining reasons for actions, and giving students a say in classroom affairs are all techniques for permitting them to preserve their dignity.
C1994 National Educational Service
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