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How to handle indiscipline in schools

Updated on October 2, 2016

A corner desk

An indiscipline student may be asked to sit in a secluded corner desk in a class.
An indiscipline student may be asked to sit in a secluded corner desk in a class. | Source

Can you feel the love tonight - Elton John (Lyrics)


Indiscipline can be defined as absence of discipline. Indiscipline in students has become so rampant that people freely criticize them. Teachers accuse them for want of respect. Parents are dissatisfied with them because they do not get good marks in examinations and assessments and also in attitudes and character. And if you were to talk about it to the students, they are displeased with their teachers and parents.


Hverfjall, located in northern Iceland's Mývatn region, is a rare example of a tuff ring volcano.
Hverfjall, located in northern Iceland's Mývatn region, is a rare example of a tuff ring volcano. | Source

Stevie Wonder - I just called to say I love you

How to maintain discipline in a classroom

You have to show the kids that this is your class. When you are in the class; you make sure you are there first, start maintaining order before the students get into the classroom. If you notice somebody being unruly, deal with it even before they step into your classroom. And then you have to be very clear about the rules. Start off strict and then ease off, and they will love you. Be very clear about the rules. When there is a rule breakage first you can give a warning. The next time might be a letter home or a phone call home to the parent or some other kind of disciplinary measures. But it is important to be clear, to be calm and to be consistent. Treat every student alike. The same infractions get the same punishment, so they know what to expect and they will appreciate you in the long run.

Sunset at the Oedlerteich

Sunset at the Oedlerteich (Heubachniederung) near Hausdülmen, Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Sunset at the Oedlerteich (Heubachniederung) near Hausdülmen, Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany | Source

Akon - Lonely

Ways to discipline a student

Time chair method: Here the teacher might ask the indiscipline student to sit in a chair placed at the front corner of the class. The chair can also be on the pavement outside the class or anywhere within the school compound where the student will sit alone in full view of the rest of the school. In this case ensure that you only sit out the student during the duration of your lesson. Don't let the punishment go into other teachers' time.

The guilty trip: There are those teachers who choose to give the class in general a scolding of a lecture if they note an indiscipline case in the class. In this they might be complaining to the students that they put a lot of work into preparation of the same lesson that their indiscipline is destroying and that in fact it is they, students who will eventually loose. In this way the teacher hopes to make the students feel guilty of themselves about their behavior.

The gym teacher method: Oh, we teachers who make indiscipline students do a couple of push-ups in class. At the exact scene of the crime. They may even instruct the student to do some laps in the running track.

The yelling teacher approach: Yes, some teachers decide to shout at the top of their voice at the indiscipline student. This they hope will scare the culprit from not repeating the crime in future. However this method is not very recommended because it might be misconstrued that the teacher is not able to handle their class in a civilized manner.

The old school method: The cane is at times used by teachers to force discipline into students. In some countries this method has long been outlawed. If you are in a habit of using this method, please be calm and check at the weight of your stick before proceeding with your punishment. Also don't use excessive force or hit in sensitive areas of the body. Key word here is, calm down.

An eye for an eye method: Here maybe a teacher might grab the offending item from the student and then does his thing, i.e. clashes it under the might of his foot right in front of the indiscipline student.

Forest in Meenikunno nature park

Forest in Meenikunno nature park, Estonia.
Forest in Meenikunno nature park, Estonia. | Source

Dealing with challenging and difficult pupils

When behavior is motivated by power, students try to bait you into a power struggle or an argument. As teachers we have a choice. We can choose to get into power struggle or you can choose not to. It is recommended that you don't verbally react to the student's misbehavior but to try as much as possible to redirect them. It is the teacher's job not to escalate but to de-escalate the problem. Sometimes it's hard to walk away from a student when they give you an attitude, but if they are complying, which is your media chol, you want to deal with the attitude later. This is one of the best ways to keep out of the power struggle in a classroom. Telling students you will talk with them later is not allowing them to get away with anything. You are choosing a time when they are calmer and you are calmer and you have a much better chance of actually helping them gain control over their behavior. When a defiant student tries to hook you into a verbal exchange, remember four key steps; listen, and acknowledge that you heard what the student has said, redirect the student to the task at hand, differ to a future conversation. Several different techniques will help you in listen, acknowledge, redirect and differ. Each of them has its strength. Each of them helps you out of an escalating, no-win power struggle.

Canning students.

Is canning a good disciplinary measure?

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