#84 Discipline


An earlier post referred to a discipline policy, and how this should fit in with school policy.

Writing a discipline policy is fairly easy, particularly if you base it on the whole school policy. Keeping order in a busy school library is not so easy, and requires a great amount of patience, perseverance and a certain amount of psychology.

First, what not to do.
Lose your temper. This instantly marks you down as the loser in any conflict. Respect goes out the window on both sides.
Get personal. Deal with the behaviour, not the pupil. Don’t slag them off or humiliate them, this will often backfire on you.
Get involved with a fellow professional’s pupils. Deal with it personally, after the class.

I’ve seen teaching staff shouting loudly at pupils within an inch or two of their face. Where do you go after that?

Things to do.
Keep calm. Even if you’re irritated internally, keep a calm exterior and a level tone of voice and manner.
Concentrate on the behaviour, repeatedly pointing out that it is unacceptable, if necessary.
Isolate the poor behaviour. If a pupil refuses to leave, clear everyone else out. The miscreant will usually leave of their own accord before the room is cleared.
Follow through. If an incident is unresolved, ensure you follow it through to the bitter end. Involve guidance teachers, teachers, managers and the headteacher if necessary. This is not usually necessary, but take it as far as it needs to go.

This is a very difficult topic, and one that doesn’t get any easier. However, if you are observant, attend relevant training and learn from your fellow professionals (particularly good teachers) your working life can be relatively calm and satisfying.

The tips here are short, but fairly sweet.

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