classroom psychology

Classroom Management

Classroom Management

Introduction To Classroom Management


A child’s classroom time plays a great role in shaping their behaviours and mannerisms. It’s very important that we Learn how to discipline children in a healthy and non-judgmental way. Learn the difference between punishment and discipline. Some things might seem strange at first but it will all make sense towards the end. Please participate, ask questions in the comment section, and follow up to learn as much as possible.


Punishment vs Discipline


Discipline can be seen as correcting future behaviours so that a child can benefit, learn and grow. It is absolutely best practice to teach a child self-control and appropriate behaviour. A child learns security and a sense of care coming from the adult.

A good example is when child speaks to a fellow student while the teacher is on a call. The teacher decides to coach the child on how to behave in the future when he/she is on the phone.

The end result is the child’s enthusiasm and effort to doing it right in the future.


Punishment is making a child pay for past mistakes. The focus of punishment is on controlling the behaviour of the child for the adults benefit.

Using the same example, it becomes punishment when the teacher decides to stop allowing the child from sitting with the fellow student because they spoke while he/she was on a call. By punishing the child, the adult is reducing the chances of having another call disturbed.

The end result is the child feeling fear and guilt.


How To Create A Disciplined Environment For A Child


Rules only get to work when they are consistent, meaning, you reward or praise a child for making their bed in the morning and the child will continue to do so, but discipline him if he stops.

Routines bring about predictability and they make a child feel safe. For example, break times, whereby the child is allowed to work for a certain period and then play by doing this they don’t lose motivation. It’s very important that you do this consistently to create a safe zone for the child. Always follow through with what you instruct them to do even if they start crying.

A child becomes responsible when you assign responsibilities to them regularly. Make rules for who is responsible for certain chores in the classroom, this will also help the child feel important. Hand out exercise books, clean the chalkboard, give praise when done well.


Positive reinforcement/rewards Will make good behaviour happen again because they are motivation. It doesn’t have to be a gift or sweets, but praise, attention, physical contact – any gesture that a child can interpret as an accolade.

It’s important that you don’t hold back rewards until far after the good behaviour, it must be used immediately after good behaviour. Be specific when you praise them, meaning that you should specify what you are rewarding them for so that they look forward to doing it again.

Most children misbehave only to get the attention of adults, so they might be naughty to get your attention because you haven’t been noticing the good they are doing.


Negative reinforcement/punishment: Hitting them teaches them that it’s okay to hit others. Never hit or release your own anger on them.

Other forms: Taking away rewards, i.e. watching tv or maybe removing a toy, as well as time-outs (mustn’t be a nice or exiting place, taken away from other people).

Example: If Thandi pulls Bonolo’s hair, take her by the arm firmly and tell her not to pull anyone’s hair. Then put her in the corner facing a wall for 6 minutes because she’s 6 years old. When she is quiet, she can join the other kids. If she is crying or throwing tantrums, start time-out again.

  • All behaviour has consequences.
  • Find out the reason for naughty behaviour. Must be a reason for misbehaviour.


How To Apply Effective Discipline

1. Being able to separating the child from their behaviour will pave a way for effective discipline. Remember that it is behaviour that upsets you, not them.


2. Give the child choices: Easy choice (Sit still and concentrate), come to the front and I can help you (co-operative), or go to the principal’s office to get disciplined (forced choice)…YOU DECIDE? (Empower them)


3. Assertiveness Recipe: Links behaviour with consequence. Eg) “Sipho, when you hit Mandla, I feel very angry because it disrupts the class and no one can concentrate. I want you to keep your hands to yourself and listen so that I can carry on teaching and we can all learn what we need to.”


Here Are Some Alternatives to Physical Aggression Towards Children

  • When you are angry and feel like lashing out on your child, just stop in your tracks, step back and sit down.
  • Take five deep breaths, inhale and exhale.
  • Count to 10 or say the alphabet out loud.
  • Phone or visit a friend
  • Punch a pillow or bite an apple
  • Page through a magazine, photo album etc
  • Do some exercise
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Put your feet up
  • Put on your music

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