In the current issue of Dance Australia (April/May), Michelle Dursun explores the issue of discipline in today's classroom. Should we have the same expectations of this generation of students? Why does it matter? Below find some edited tips on encouraging good behaviour and read the full article in the April/May issue.
How to encourage discipline in the classroom
- Create a code of conduct for teachers, parents and students which formalises the expectations of all.
- Ensure all teachers and older dancers model the required behaviour.
- Document the requirements in terms of dress standards and the rules on technology use.
- Set expectations for different spaces in a studio. In some rooms, fun and games can be encouraged, in others a different type of behaviour.
- Start out as you plan to continue. For instance, if you’ve got a rowdy bunch of littlies that like to chatter, introduce a “Take 2 Approach”, by taking them outside and asking them to come in again, quietly, like they are beautiful ballerinas or handsome princes, running onto a stage.
- Praise and reward positive behaviour.
- Provide some time in the class, either in the middle or at the end, for younger students to let off some steam.
- Have a consistent process in place to deal with behaviour that does not meet the standards of the studio.
- Ensure that the studio’s behaviour management process is focused on the behaviour and not the student. As per the guidelines set for child safe dance practices by Ausdance, teachers should at all times, “treat every child equally and with respect and dignity” and should never “reduce a child to tears as a form of control”.