The 1950s marks the period when two psychologists Jacob Kounin and Paul Gump had a eureka moment after observing closely about the psychological changes that happen among children due to the strict nature of teachers. They are of the opinion that if a child disobeys and if the teacher adopts techniques like beating and scolding to get him under control, the other children in the class would imitate the child and start doing the same thing which would ruin the entire decorum of the classroom. Therefore, Jacob and Paul coined the term “ripple effect” which in simple words mean the measures adopted to create discipline in the class will have a negative impact on the children watching it and the ones who have actually ruined the atmosphere would eventually end up not realising their mistakes. It is important for the teachers to make the child understand where he went wrong and proper guidance and instructions would be helpful for their emotional as well as mental development instead of giving them unwanted pressure.
A shift from the blackboard system to white projectors have really changed the entire scenario of modern education but what still lacks is a proper classroom management. Even now teachers find it difficult to manage it and that is majorly due to lack of training. A report says that teachers lose 144 minutes of instructional time on an average to behavioural disruptions every week, which comes out to roughly three weeks over the course of a year. Recent research confirms that children’s disapproval is shown when we ask them to stop doing something without giving enough valid reasons. This stems towards causing distraction which further leads to their inability to focus in their studies
Let’s look at some of the strategies adopted by various teachers to create a hassle-free environment in the class
1. Greet, to make a difference: A good hug is considered as the greatest expression of showing love and affection. It gives a sense of worth and make the person feel that someone is there to care about him. A teacher in a school at Washington DC starts the day by giving hug to students. she says it’s a great way to connect with people.
Apparently, it is also a booster for teachers to develop positive attitude and a medicine for children to bring out the best in them. This has decreased the level of disruptive behaviour by 9% and increased academic level by 20% in children.
2. Maintain relationship, difficult to practice but good for the betterment: Good relationships are easy to create but difficult to maintain. “The stronger the relationship and the better we understand our students, the more knowledge and goodwill we have to draw on when the going gets tough,” writes Marieke van Woerkom, a restorative practices coach at the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility in New York. Generally, children are naïve and sensitive so it is important to maintain friendly relationship with them throughout the course of the year. Another important aspect for creating a healthy relationship is that one should focus on the solutions rather than problem to sort matters out.
3. Reminders and Cues: “Novelty—such as the sound of wind chime or rain stick—captures young students’ attention” writes Todd Finley, a former English teacher and current professor of English education, who suggests using these techniques to quiet a noisy class. It could be made fun and enjoyable which probably would give encouragement for them to complete the given task.
Warnings can only be implemented on older students but for children it does not work. It’s better to convince them in a fun manner taking into consideration that it won’t irritate them
4. Groom them to bag responsibilities: Students should be given a chance to select their own seats. This would give them a sense of ownership which will directly affect on their behavioural patterns. But the other side is children would most probably want to sit next to their friends which might end up in mere gossiping and chit- chatting. So, Emily polka has suggested an idea to give the rooms a little cozier effect with posters, coffee table etc and ask them to sit wherever they want to if they complete their work in given time.
5. Emphasis on positives : Instead of giving hard core punishments, shower students with compliments and praises which in turn make them to be more sincere and dedicated in their approach. A Teacher should not focus more on the flaws as it would draw low self- esteem problems. It is seen that they more listen to instructions with clear reasons than commands
6. Rules with reasons to follow: It is a universal fact that students find it hard to follow the rules. One of the best ways to make them stick to it is by providing them with various information about why those rules matter.
7. Teacher’s role in enhancement of classroom: A good classroom is an effort made by both students and teachers. The teachers are equally responsible to maintain decency and set the mood. For that they should not remain passive by sitting on the desk and give lectures. Instead they should move around the class, tell fun stories to students and engage them in various activities.
A 2017 study found that little gestures such as a teacher’s smile or eye contact can make a big difference in reducing anxiety or tension among children.
8. Unbiased : Rules in an institution is prescribed for everyone fairly without being biased. Those are to be followed by everyone irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
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Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.
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