Crowd control ...

After being away from face to face teaching for some time, you have to take my word for some of the stuff I share. Some former colleagues still in 'the game' can back up or refute, I am sure they all have an equally interesting take on education.

On the whole, the majority of younger students are well behaved. It is a case of crowd control, if you create the impression that you "take no shit" you do need to "back it up" and more important "be even handed". You cannot be dishing out the "love" to one and not the other, they will feel neglected and you have no end of trouble on your hands.

Once I had established myself, class discipline is not too difficult. For most students in most groups, the establishment process appeared in two easy stages.
Stage One: On the first session with the new unbroken group, simply warn them that my reputation precedes itself. They are free to ask around many others will tell them what I am like. Normally they appear the subsequent sessions very meek.

Stage Two: Make use of your first volunteer; there will always be one hapless soul who finds a way of stepping over the line. Hanging them out to dry in front of their peers will have a positive effect.
For the untrained observer, it would seem that this is a very harsh and heartless methodology. Unless you impose discipline and authority with grace and a little gentle humour it does fall to pieces as the students will not allow you to impose your will upon them. The academic world is a consensual world even in further education.

Amusingly, other staff tried to model their own classroom discipline on my own, being a senior team member, they would come and 'learn' as well as ask me to resolve issues of their own making. It struck me that the educators that tried hardest to copy what I did, often failed and made the situation worse. Seldom knowing when to 'ease off' or apply 'humour' with 'grace' and importantly 'understanding'.
 

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