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Know the System

 

Disciplines > Teaching > Classroom management > Know the System

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you join a new school, one of the very first things to do is to thoroughly understand the school system for managing discipline. Read and remember the written policies. Meet and discuss discipline with those who set the rules and who can support you as you settle down.

Do this at two levels: the theoretical and practical. Ideally, these are the same, but in some schools the written policy does not get fully carried out. Talk to other teachers about how things work in practice, though do beware of falling into cynical opting out. If support seems to be limited, test it out first yourself to find out just how limited or not it is. Sometimes you just need to ask in the right way and you will get more help than you might have expected.

Discussion

A big risk for you in the classroom is to assume that you know school policy when you do not. You can get yourself into trouble by ignoring strict rules or find problems when assumed support is not as strong as you had hoped.

Knowing the system will help you establish yourself with the class, which is critical at the start of term. When they see you know the system and who runs it, they will give up on trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

If the system is not as good as it could be, then you might want to become an 'activist' in making it more effective. You might be surprised at how much support you will get from other staff!

See also

The Need for Understanding

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