Discipline And Adult Students

blackboard.jpgI teach adults, and it surprises me that discipline is something I have to think about; some may chalk this up to classroom management…but in many contexts it is very close to discipline.

I’ve mentioned it before, in a post about using only English during lessons; I can explain to students why something is useful and how it benefits them, but there’s less I can do if they choose not to abide by it, aside from remind them in a friendly manner. And while I do what I can, they are adults, and in a private language school, they are also paying customers. In one sense, classroom management can seem complicated because of this inability to really discipline, but mostly, I find it a relief! While I don’t abdicate all responsibility for how things go, I realize I won’t have total control over how a group of adults act, and if they don’t act in the most productive way, it’s not always a reflection on me.

When I taught a kids’ class, my lack of practice disciplining students was a definite disadvantage though.

I struggled with this nearly every class and once or twice left close to tears. Compared to the experience of others, I realize teaching thirteen slightly rowdy eleven to thirteen year olds boys is probably not particularly remarkable. Still, standing in front of a group of people of any age and not really knowing what to do because they won’t listen to you is not an experience most of us savor.

As with most things, classroom management skills take practice and may come more naturally to some than others. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to start with some tips – and who better to give them than a teacher who works on a disciplinary campus. If I teach younger learners again, Amy’s tips are going up on the wall!