By Kelley Dawson
During my first year of teaching, I tried everything to get my students to behave. Behavior charts, individual plans. Class incentives. Class consequences. Tricks, incentives, threats. Rewards, punishments. Strict attitude, friendly attitude. Yelling, reasoning, sweet-talking, pleading for sympathy.
One day, I wrote the word "celebration" on the board and promised the class they could have a party if they behaved for the whole day. I crossed each letter off one by one. By noon we all knew they'd never make it.
In short, I was desperate.
Discipline is an exhausting part of the job that never really goes away. The message that most of us get is that to be a good teacher, you must first be a good disciplinarian. You must control your students' behavior. Only then, when your classroom is under control, can you begin to teach.