I have often heard the advice given to teachers having discipline problems that the answer is to just teach a better lesson. “Just make an interesting lesson and the kids will fall right in line!” is often said. Give me a break. This kind of advice usually comes from people who have not taught in a long time, or who never taught at all. Having good discipline is not quite that simple.
MYTH: A GREAT LESSON IS THE ANSWER TO MOST DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS
TRUTH: A GREAT LESSON IS THE ANSWER TO SOME, BUT NOT MOST, DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS
These days, most young people are used to having all kinds of entertainment easily within their reach. Video games, movies, internet, texting, etc. are all easily accessible to most of them. To hope to compete with this kind of entertainment is a losing battle. Math, science, reading, and spanish are just not going to be thrilling enough in comparison, no matter how well the teacher presents them.
Whoever said that school was supposed to be entertaining, anyway? Outside of elementary school, this approach is one of the most damaging things that a teacher can do to students. School is not meant to be playtime. Sometimes students need to learn that everything does not have to be fun all the time to be worthwhile.
Should teachers do their best to make their lessons as interesting as possible? Of course. Should they try to be SO entertaining that the students have no choice but to be engaged beyond the point of even thinking about misbehaving? Get real.
Please send me your questions and comments about discipline! I love hearing from people who are interested in the topic like I am. I am more than happy to address these comments in future blogs. Thanks
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