Remembering that children look up to adults and learn from them is essential for any teacher or substitute. It’s also part of having self-discipline. Teachers need to watch not only the words they use, but also the way they say words. The children are affected and often respond by acting out their insecurities in displaying even more misbehavior.
In my job as a substitute, some of the worst experiences I’ve had were in schools where I notice the teachers using disrespectful disciplining methods towards the children.
I know that some children can have you in tears in a matter of hours even when you’ve used large amounts of consistency and kindness. So, I understand how hard it can be on teachers.
I do wonder myself what is it that happens these days in cases such as this. Do the children eventually get removed from the school? What about the parents? Do they have any consequences? To these questions I have no answers.
But back to my original “preaching” I’ve heard how some teacher’s discipline. To this I want to point out that children can read tone behind sarcastic remarks. They can also read facial and body language as well as any adult and respond negatively.
Now, there are times for a firm voice, but that is different than yelling. If you yell, it instills fear in a child which further exacerbates the child’s behavior.
The best way to discipline is to keep control in your body and words and to be as consistent as possible. Usually, there is a school system for disciplining children.
In the schools that I’ve substituted in, I know the students carry with them a discipline chart which can be written in and that will also list the consequences for a child.
Many children dislike having subs and will pour out their unhappiness towards a substitute. I’ve actually been greeted with “booing” from a third grade classroom. Sure this hurt my feelings, but it wasn’t completely hard to restore their respect in me once they saw that I had the authority to affect their day by writing them up for lack of respect and so on and that I wouldn’t hesitate to apply this if needed. I didn’t need to yell, but only asked for their chart and then signed it.
I know I’m making this sound simplistic, when in fact good discipline skills can come by patience and practice.
And as a last help, if there is an especially difficult child, the surrounding teachers are usually aware of who it is and most teachers have been extremely helpful by removing the child to their own classroom even if it’s for a short period.