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Thread: discipline

  1. #16
    Established User Array Radical Energy's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by bewildered wanderer View Post
    ^
    I didn't mention any reward systems as the OP said they were tried already...

    And positive reinforcement doesn't always work with some students, especially the upper middle class spoiled kids. IME, the really naughty students aren't bothered by missing out on a treat at the end of the week. You'll hear them comment on the cheap cake/candy/stickers...

    I just listed the quickest and easiest ways that I know to break a class into behaving properly so that the whole of them can start to enjoy the learning process.

    BTW, positive reinforcement in the form of rewards may not be such a good thing as you are teaching the kids to learn because they will receive a physical reward rather than learning for the sake of em bettering themselves. Do you really want the child to learn his timestables because he will get an icecream or because he should want to be a productive member of the class and society as a whole?

    don't get me wrong, I do use physical every now and then...
    I couldn't agree more! I feel that many forms of "positive reinforcement" are used as bribes for students and by teachers who haven't learnt how to use good classroom management strategies. Children need to learn that some things in this life are to be expected from them and they should do them because it is expected, not because they get a reward. That's how I was taught in my schools when I was growing up. It's all about responsibility. In school, students are responsible for learning to better themselves so they can become productive members of society.

  2. #17
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by bewildered wanderer View Post
    BTW, positive reinforcement in the form of rewards may not be such a good thing as you are teaching the kids to learn because they will receive a physical reward rather than learning for the sake of em bettering themselves. Do you really want the child to learn his timestables because he will get an icecream or because he should want to be a productive member of the class and
    society as a whole?
    Good point. It would be nice if students learned for the sake of it. Fact is, a lot don't. I suppose that's why we are commenting on this thread.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by zehner View Post
    Don't talk when the teacher is talking
    In Thailand...you must be joking

    Plenty of structured work (useless at teaching much though!!!) reins in the noisy classes...but there is no simple answer.

  4. #19
    dia dhuit Array zehner's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling View Post
    you must be joking
    nope. doesn't matter if they're asian kids or western.....they've gotta be trained to listen when the teacher talks. otherwise you're not able to do your job

  5. #20
    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by zehner View Post
    they've gotta be trained to listen when the teacher talks
    Desirable...but so is a decent pay packet...the Thai teachers at my school used loudspeakers...ever been fishing Z?

  6. #21
    dia dhuit Array zehner's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    was fishing on ko lanta a few weeks back. did a bit of trolling

  7. #22
    Established User Array Radical Energy's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling View Post
    Desirable...but so is a decent pay packet
    If you want "a decent pay packet," you aren't going to find it in Thailand unless you look into the top international schools that pay between 100,000 and 200,000 baht per month plus a 25,000 baht housing stipend. A tiny handful of Teachers in Thailand are making those figures. I wonder if they have the same types of discipline problems ... I somehow doubt it.

  8. #23
    out of control Array bewildered wanderer's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Crease View Post
    If this is true, you shouldn't be working with children. Try getting a job at the local prison, I'm sure your sadistic tendencies would be much appreciated.
    well, it seems we live in different worlds as I get nice raises, bonuses, and other benefits every year from the boss. Parents continually shower me with praise and gifts (Thai style). Oh yeah, and a few of my students have score in the top 10 in the country for different standardized tests. I am the head of an IP and the tests are all in Thai, except of course for the English exam. I can even boast a #1 in a subject or two.

    So if I should be teaching, then what should you be doing?
    "Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
    - Woody Allen

  9. #24
    Established User Array martyboy's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    100-200K How do you get a job there? For what it's worth, remembering my school days the teachers who commanded most respect and managed the class properly were those with a military bearing. They had a serious and stern expression and never used the cane, they didn't have to because everyone was well behaved. I wonder whether the happy happy laughing bouncing EFL teacher (that's what's emphasised on TEFL cert. courses) is asking for trouble. The kids know this one is going to be a pushover. Just a thought.
    Last edited by martyboy; 9th September 2008 at 16:35. Reason: Spelling mistake.

  10. #25
    Established User Array Radical Energy's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    100-200K How do you get a job there?.
    Most of the time, you need to be a certified teacher in your home country along with a Master's degree in the area that you teach and many years of teaching experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy View Post
    For what it's worth, remembering my school days the teachers who commanded most respect and managed the class properly were those with a military bearing. They had a serious and stern expression and never used the cane, they didn't have to because everyone was well behaved. I wonder whether the happy happy laughing bouncing EFL teacher (that's what's emphasised on TEFL cert. courses) is asking for trouble. The kids know this one is going to be a pushover. Just a thought.
    Good point! There's no question that TEFL these days certainly emphasizes FUN and that the teacher must play lots of games to 'engage' the students. But there is no proof that this style of teaching is better than any other more traditional styles. I would go so far as to say that games can be counterproductive in the sense that weaker students will tend to not participate and give in easily, copy, cheat etc. Unless the games have some sort of communicative element, they will not help students to speak English at a conversational level. A lot of times, these Thai students think that learning English is just for fun and games but not important or serious. They are taught this attitude in their society and as long as they come to class with this attitude, the teacher will always have dicipline problems regardless of how many games, fun, rewards and consequences are introduced in the classroom. It's about culture and the country's attitude towards learning the language that important. And when a teacher comes into class acting like the fun clown he/she will certainly be treated as such.

  11. #26
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    Re: discipline

    Excellent point right there. The lack of basic discipline in a lot of English programs is directly down to the training that a lot of the teachers receive which promotes everyone to go into class from day one and be the happy happy smiling friendly lets do a warmer and play games every class teacher. There has to be a greater emphasis on discipline training for new teachers fresh off the plane. I think I learned this the hard way when I first started teaching English and have now adapted my style to try and find a better balance.

    Reward systems are good for lower grades but can be spoiled by snotty over privileged children from Grade 5 and up depending on the school. My previous school any candies were greeted with delight where as this one some chocolate or whatever barely raises a thank you.

    Best thing is just to lay down the law from day one and only break from it for particular occassions. I think another thing TEFL does to their teachers is to make them want the kids to like them too much instead of just being a teacher that the kids respect.

  12. #27
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    Re: discipline

    You are the master of your own classroom. Thai kids need to be trained to listen, to think, to work at a sensible noise. We are trying to teach kids in a country where 95% of them fail miserably to attain basic English. For me positive rewards are the way to go. You don't have to bribe them, just deliver to them the feeling of success and achievement.

  13. #28
    User. Array Lizara's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Energy View Post
    Good point! There's no question that TEFL these days certainly emphasizes FUN and that the teacher must play lots of games to 'engage' the students. But there is no proof that this style of teaching is better than any other more traditional styles. I would go so far as to say that games can be counterproductive in the sense that weaker students will tend to not participate and give in easily, copy, cheat etc. Unless the games have some sort of communicative element, they will not help students to speak English at a conversational level.
    I think those are problems with the way a lot of teachers run games rather than inherent problems with games. You have to set up the game in such a way that everyone gets a chance to participate and can't hide, and you have to make sure that your game is making them communicate and use the skills they are learning. Otherwise it's worthless, as anything you do in your classroom that isn't ultimately geared towards helping your students be able to communicate in English is worthless. Done properly, games can be a great way to motivate students and get them to use what they're learning repeatedly without getting bored.

  14. #29
    Established User Array Radical Energy's Avatar
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion View Post
    You are the master of your own classroom.
    Unfortunately, most school administrators don't agree with you as they like to micro manage their EFL Teachers. I seriously doubt that most of them see their teacher's as 'master' of anything. Unfortunately, all too often we are not treated as professionals, but rather as little more than house servants to be ordered around. Students pick up on this very easily; they know who they must respect and who they don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion View Post
    Thai kids need to be trained to listen, to think,...
    That's true, but how do you do that when these same students are taught that the subject they are learning is not important and its perfectly okay within the culture to be lazy (i.e. sleep in class, play around, not pay attention etc.). When students understand that the subject is important to them and why they must learn, only then do they learn to show respect, buckle down and actively take part in learning. All too often Thais (and Asians in general) are not proactive; they are reactive.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion View Post
    We are trying to teach kids in a country where 95% of them fail miserably to attain basic English. For me positive rewards are the way to go. You don't have to bribe them, just deliver to them the feeling of success and achievement.
    Positive rewards can and should come in the form of verbal, nonverbal and written praise. This is (at least where I come from) the traditional style of teaching.

  15. #30
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    Re: discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Energy View Post
    Unfortunately, most school administrators don't agree with you as they like to micro manage their EFL Teachers. I seriously doubt that most of them see their teacher's as 'master' of anything. Unfortunately, all too often we are not treated as professionals, but rather as little more than house servants to be ordered around. Students pick up on this very easily; they know who they must respect and who they don't.
    Very true. I think students respect their Thai teachers a lot more than they respect the farangs. If you are strict from day one, but know how to balance it with some fun, they should, in time, learn to respect you as well.

    I'm quite strict on my students (grade 3 and 4), but I also know when to have a laugh (at a time where it won't distract the students). They listen to my instructions (most of the time - kids will be kids afterall) and the lessons go pretty smoothly. There are times when the kids try and push the boundaries, but I just fall back on my behaviour plan and things work themselves out quickly.

    If you go into a class acting too friendly or like a clown, your chances of having a successful year or semester are very low. The best thing to do is go in strict, have a good behaviour plan, and most importantly, be consistent. Students yearn for a structured enviornment and you will thank yourself down the road when you see their English progress.

    I had to learn from past mistakes when I first started teaching in Asia, but now I think I have a pretty good system.

    Good thread.

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