Elementary school classrooms can be chaotic even at their best. However, when rowdy or rude behavior makes its way into your class, maintaining control and good discipline can be a challenge. Luckily, discipline doesn’t have to be an unsavory chore. Through simple techniques and practices, you can encourage positive behavior in your students without becoming the “mean teacher.”

Be Consistent
When it comes to discipline, consistency is key. Establish your rules from the start and stick to them. If the students see that you are lax one day, they will be unlikely to respond well to criticism or disciplinary action for a certain behavior the next day. For example, if you allow the class to talk while you are teaching or during reading time, it will be difficult to chastise them for the same another day. Be consistent with your discipline, and the students will be more likely to monitor their own behavior. You will also reduce the chance of them feeling resentful toward you for reprimanding them.

Include the Students in the Process
A great way to encourage good behavior and disciplinary action is by including the children in the process. For example, at the beginning of the year, have the students determine the top five classroom rules. These can be things such as “no talking while the teacher is speaking” or “respect each other’s personal space.” Whatever the rules are, discuss them together along with the consequences for breaking each rule. When the students make the rules themselves, they are more likely to exhibit good behavior and take responsibility for poor actions.

Be Positive
No one likes a sour or angry teacher. Promote good, happy students by being a positive example yourself. Treat your students with kindness and respect. When they see your positive demeanor and feel respected, they will be more willing to listen to you.