Imagine in your first year of teaching, your Department Chair imparts the following piece of advice, “Good control depends on finding the right gimmick. ” How do you feel about that statement? Some scholars have defined teaching to be more of a calling than just a profession. Teaching therefore being a way of life requires teaches to have a mix of techniques for the transfer of knowledge to the student to be successful.
According to Khan, (2007) apart from being resourceful, learning continuously and being adaptable, a teacher is required to know how to balance between competing needs and be good-humored since fun is a recipe for effective learning, Murray, (2009). Classroom control is of paramount importance for learning objectives to be achieved, notwithstanding the show of mischievous behavior by students. The statement that “Good control depends on finding the right gimmick. ” is however limited in scope since it presumes that all student misbehavior is a planned, without putting due regard that at times, student misbehavior is spontaneous.
Controlling student behavior is a product of several factors, as argued by Ronning and Glover (1987), such as the degree of motivation, how the student/teacher relationship is, how well the teacher has been consistent on their behavior and how the teachers expectations are understood by the students, this factors take time to be internalized and be exhibited by the students, and instant perception is hard to be achieved – even by use of instant right gimmick, it is therefore void to argue that good control is a product of a single constraint- finding the right gimmick.
To achieve good control, a teacher should do thorough analysis to understand the root causes of the unintended behavior and the disparity between the existing behavior and the teachers expectations. The teacher should therefore respond and use appropriate means depending on the cause on the identified misbehavior, dealing with control is therefore a process not an instantaneous activity, which can be solved be some simple gimmicks. This is in agreement with Fritz, (1972) who argued that managing discipline is more protracted than retreating castigatory tricks, this was also highlighted by Kindsvatter and Levine, (1980).
However, for good behavior to be instilled on the students, teachers are expected to take quick remedial actions when indiscipline occurs. To maintain good standards however, hence achieving control in classrooms, preventive measures are very important and this is a process which requires the participation of the teacher and the student, therefore the departmental chairs advice is constrained as it attempts to suggests that control in instantaneous and can be achieved by gimmicks. References
Fritz, Redl. (1972). When We Deal with Children . Michigan :Free Press. Khan,Badrul. (2007). Flexible learning in an information society. Houston: Idea Group Inc. Kindsvatter, Richard and Levine, Mary. (1980). The Myths of Discipline. Delta: Phi Delta Kappa International. Murray, W. (2009). Learning Is Fun. New York: Ladybird Books. Ronning, Royce, and Glover, John. (1987). Historical foundations of educational psychology, Perspectives on individual differences. London: Springer Books.