The Similarities & Differences Between Classroom Management & Discipline

The Similarities & Differences Between Classroom Management & Discipline

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Teachers often use the terms classroom management and classroom discipline interchangeably. However, the two ideas are very different in how they are applied in a classroom setting. Classroom management is the responsibility of the teacher to provide procedures and routines. Classroom discipline is the student’s responsibility for following rules and facing consequences of breaking rules.

1.     Classroom Management

o        Classroom management is the teacher’s responsibility, and good management requires the use of procedure and routines. However, these are not rules. A procedure is what the teacher wants done. For example, each morning there are worksheets for the children to complete before class starts and will be gone over first thing. That is the procedure. The routine is the students getting the worksheets and completing them without being told every morning. Procedures and routines should be established early in the school year. Students in classes with good management will know what to do and when they are supposed to do it.

Classroom Discipline

o        Classroom discipline refers to negative consequences for a student who does not follow the rules. One of the rules might be “Keep hands and feet to yourself.” If a student keeps poking his neighbor with a pencil, the student must be disciplined. Well-disciplined classrooms have discipline escalation. A child might be reminded of the rule first. If the child repeats the mistake, his name might be written on the board. Each action requires a higher level of discipline.

Similarities of Management and Discipline

o        In both classroom management and classroom discipline, the teacher sets expectations for the class. The students must know at all times what is required of them, and they also must know what the consequences are if they do not adhere to those requirements. Teachers must be consistent in their application of management and discipline policies with no favorites in class. If a normally good student starts to misbehave, the same policies will apply to that student as it would to the class troublemakers.

Poor Management and Discipline

o        Teachers who have poor classroom management skills will commonly use discipline to gain control of their students. Instead of children knowing what is expected of them and responding to procedures and routines, the children are worried they might get in trouble. A classroom run by discipline might not result in a positive learning environment. If a student does not know what is expected of her, the chances she will misbehave increase, resulting in the need to discipline.


 

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