Discipline and Management: Different Yet Related Classroom management and classroom discipline share a correlation with one another yet; they are uniquely different issues and should remain a separate focus of the teacher. (Cantor, 2006) Behavior and misbehavior also share a connection but represent different degrees of infraction. (Charles, 2008) This essay focuses on the differences and similarities of these topics and their relation to the classroom. Classroom management focuses on the way the classroom is run.

It is proactive and requires preparation on the front end before activities begin. Classroom management is initiated by the teacher and the students react appropriately. Classroom management allows procedures, in the classroom to remain structured and to run smoothly. As the teacher instills proper classroom procedure the students are able to relax and enjoy the structure of their learning environment. (Cantor, 2006) Classroom management is most effective when procedures are explained to students, put into practice by students, and reinforced by the teacher.

In order for students to learn in an efficient and consistent manner classroom management is essential. Classroom management is the unsung hero of the learning environment. One might hardly notice when classroom management is good, but when classroom management is bad it is impossible to ignore. (Cantor, 2006) Discipline, on the other hand, is a reactive process. Discipline is initiated by the student and the teacher reacts accordingly. A good discipline program must fit well into the teacher’s classroom management program.

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Discipline is the process of managing student impulses. While classroom management is a tool that maintains order, classroom discipline is a tool that teaches and is designed to help the students learn a new behavior. (Charles, 2008) In order to discipline effectively, a teacher must remain calm and avoid the mistake of taking the misbehavior personally. Fairness and consistency are the teacher’s most powerful allies when it comes to classroom discipline. Misbehavior is an opportunity to show the student that the teacher believes they are capable of a higher standard.

The objective of discipline is not to punish but rather to teach the student to act differently in the future by imposing an unwanted consequence based on unacceptable behavior. Punishment alone without the goal of retraining student behavior may cause resentment and further problems down the road. (Charles, 2008) When implementing a discipline program, it is important that a teacher identify the difference between misbehavior and off task behavior. Misbehavior is a more serious action and should be treated accordingly. Misbehavior includes actions that are pre-meditated, habitual, unsafe, or demeaning.

Off-task behavior includes actions like, talking out of turn or with other students, doing activities other than what the teacher has assigned, and lack of following instructions. While both types of behavior cause unwanted classroom distraction and should not be tolerated, there is an important difference between the two that must be identified. In the case of off-task behavior, the strategy to guide the student back on-task may require imposing a consequence as well as making an adjustment to the classroom management plan in order to re-route the student.

In the case of misbehavior, imposing a consequence along with the addition of recruiting support from parents or administration may be needed to retrain the behavior. (Ross, 2009) Although classroom management and discipline are related to one another they are issues that should be identified and nurtured separately. Classroom management is proactive and initiated by the teacher, while classroom discipline is reactive and initiated by student behavior.

When reacting to behavior it is important for the teacher to recognize the difference between off- task behavior and misbehavior and apply appropriate consequences. (Charles, 2008) References Canter, L. (2006). Lee Canter’s classroom management for academic success. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. Charles, C. M. (2008). Building classroom discipline (9th ed. ). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Ross, D. , & Frey, N. (2009). Learners Need Purposeful and Systematic Instruction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(1), 75-78. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.


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