ABSTRACT

Introduction In surveys of new teachers,it is classroom management and discipline that are of principal concern. The question always in the mind,if not actually articulated before the first teaching placement,is, Will I be able to keep control?’ We believe that it is impossible to isolate classroom management from the way in which you attempt to teach and from the wider issues,attitudes and values with which you have to operate in school. If you have an ethos of how pupils and teachers should interact different from that prevalent in other areas of the school,then pupils will be unsure how to react in your classes. That is not to say you are wrong,just that it will take longer for the pupils to work out the ‘ground-rules’,and indeed they may never do so. As a trivial example,if you think that pupils should call you by your first name,but the rest of the school operates a more formal code,then pupils will be confused. In fact they may mistake such informality for a laissez-faire attitude to discipline. It is a mistake to try to work against the norms and routines of the school and department, and in isolation from the school support structures which surround you.