Any teacher that seeks to be successful in the classroom must incorporate good discipline habits for their students. From the very first day of class, students need to be aware of what type of behavior you expect in the classroom. A teacher needs to model the same behavior that they expect from their students as well. Among the things that I expected of myself and my students were respect and politeness. I made sure that everyone was provided an equal opportunity to succeed. I listened to what students had to say and at no time did I ever ridicule any of my students or laughed at their answers. I expected my students to do the same. I did my best not to be sarcastic in my responses and mainly focus on the lesson. There were times when I permitted the injection of humor in the classroom, but at no time did I let discipline get in the way of what I was teaching. It was very important that the classroom environment was relaxed. I did my best not to intimidate my students. Students were encouraged to be inquisitive and encouraged to take risks. Each of the things that I expected from my students, were things that I modeled for them with my own behavior.
At the beginning of the school year, I informed my students that during a lesson I expected them to carefully listen to what I was presenting in the classroom. I told them that I did not want them talking without permission to their classmates when I was lecturing or during tests. Students understood that they could help each other with schoolwork, as long as they did it quietly. They were also informed that they could work on classwork for other classes as long as they had completed any work that I had assigned. If there were other school requirements, I made sure that they were aware of them. Some of these examples were the use of cell phones or eating in the classroom.
If you’re a teacher reading this, I recommend that students receive a copy of the classroom rules at the beginning of the school year and I would also suggest that they share the classroom rules with their parents and expect that parents sign the document before returning it. This will ensure both the students and parents are well aware of the behavior you expect in the classroom.