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Hatsushiba Hashimoto High School - International English Program
Discipline Guidelines
Course Coordinator Guidelines
Slow ESL Learner Teaching Strategies
Speaking Test Guidelines
Teaching of Speaking Guidelines
Discipline Guidelines
English Teacher Work Guidelines
General Teaching Guidelines
Teaching of Listening Guidelines
Paper Test Guidelines
Teaching of Vocabulary Guidelines
Video Guidelines
Official Advertisement for the ESL Teacher Position

If students are to learn and speak English well, it is imperative that every class be orderly and continually develops a positive atmosphere.  It is each teacher’s first responsibility to always be in control of the class. Be cheerful yet strong; be organized yet quick to respond spontaneously.  


RULES:  Let students know a few of your simple rules from your very first lesson. Some basic rules could be: (1) no chatting in Japanese, (2) treat everyone with respect at all times, (3) keep the room clean, and (4) do your best at learning and helping others to learn at all times. Make signs for your classroom and keep these posted.


Some acts of misbehavior to look out for are: sleeping, chatting in Japanese, eating or drinking, writing on desks, throwing paper, littering, speaking disrespectfully to classmates or the teacher, physical contact, stealing, damaging school property (especially writing on and in desks and chairs, shouting, running, being late to class, not bringing the textbook, not doing homework, not working, not following instructions.


FOCUS: Get everyone’s attention from the very start of the lesson.  Ask a good question, show an interesting picture, or have them complete an English-based task (make a sentence, question or identify vocabulary) which they can easily succeed at.


FLOW:  Teach interesting, clear, success-based, and active lessons which don’t allow the class to suddenly stop.  If students who know what they are to be doing at all times, and are making successful progress, they will be more likely to keep working.  Don’t let the class drag, or spend too much time with a few students, for then the other students will be ripe for their own misbehavior.  Set time deadlines or expectations when you feel each activity should be finished.  Announce and enforce specific penalties or consequences for infractions.


Positiveness: Encourage students whenever you justifiably can, without going overboard.  This will provide them with greater self-esteem, motivation, and confidence.  You may also choose to award participation points for good behavior or efforts to speak English. Be positive. And if students do misbehave, don’t bear a grudge against them, and act encouraging and cheerful (sometimes half of their reason for misbehaving is to see if they can get a rise out of you), and forgive them and let go of any negativity or stress you feel towards them or the situation.


MONITOR:  You, as the teacher, pretty much must keep your eyes and ears attentive to all your students at all times. Immediately respond to each incident of misbehavior.  Don’t ignore such and hope the misbehavior will stop. If students do start to misbehave (chatting, writing on desks), it is important to NOT get angry or abusive. Also, please don’t touch the students. Simply enforce the rules and move on with the lesson. Do not attempt to harshly confront or embarrass a student in front of the other students. Discussion of the misbehavior can take place later.


CONTROL:  Some possible responses to misbehavior, starting with least intrusive first, as a general rule, are listed below.  Keep in mind that some misbehavior, such as swearing or physical contact, is immediate grounds for more serious control techniques, such as expulsion from the class. 


IMMERSION:  Encourage students to always speak English.  Teach and keep teaching and reminding students to use common classroom English expressions:  I don’t understand.  What page are we on?  I didn’t do my homework. What should I do now? Whenever students are allowed to speak Japanese, the classroom learning of English environment will decrease in quality somewhat so keep the focus on English.  Just keep reminding them and then as they learn to use common English expressions, their confidence and desire to use English will improve as well.


Some Discipline Techniques include the following:

1.                      Use Eye-contact (stern look).

2.                      Move closer to the misbehaving students.

3.                      Ask students questions to answer in the flow of the lesson.

4.                      Remind students of your expectations for how they are to behave in your class. Point out a sign which describes the rule that a student should be obeying.

5.                      Give all well-behaving students a good participation score of some kind.

6.                      Change where students are seated.

7.                      Directly remind students what they should be doing, or ask them what they should be doing, and / or the reasons for doing something good or not doing something bad.

8.                      Ask or tell students the particular class rule they should be obeying.

9.                      Warn them of a specific consequence the very next time they do a particular misbehaving action which you will follow through on (lower score, change of seating,…).

10.                  After initial warm up and review activities, list the remaining activities which you would like the students to complete today.   Then offer them free time if they can finish all the activities before the bell rings. 

11.                  Try to teach while sitting down as much as possible. Seems to calm students down.

12.                  Try to teach students while they are seated in rectangular formations, much like their other classes.  This also seems to calm students down.

13.                  Seat students either boy / girl or boy-boy / girl-girl.  This also seems to calm students down.

14.                  Seat students in joined island pairs of students.

15.                  Give such students a deduction for class participation.

16.                  Have students stand for a while.

17.                  Have misbehaving students stay several minutes after the end of the class.

18.                  Assign a punitive homework assignment.

19.                  Have misbehaving students quickly clean up any mess they have made.

20.                  Move students’ seating away from their friends.

21.                  Have students write repetitive statements about what they should be doing in class (I will only say nice things to my classmates).

22.                  Assign a time-out to students where they must do their work separately from the class. Bring extra written work for such classes with such students.

23.                  Write a report (in Japanese and English) outlining the bad behavior (specific misbehavior, frequency) and go over its details with the homeroom teacher.  This could be streamlined into a category-type table where it would be to give a check or a score.

24.                  Take misbehaving students out of the room to Mr. Bayer or to their homeroom teacher, or get Mr. Bayer or their homeroom take them out of the room.

25.                  Do not send students to the teacher staff room (or to the kaigishitsu) alone.  Go with them as well to report why they have been thrown out. It is a good idea to give them work to do at the tables in front of the staff room while they wait.

26.                  Discuss your problem with the homeroom teacher, who should then have a discipline meeting with those particular students or student, which it often will be useful for the conversation teacher to attend as well.

27.                  Have the homeroom teacher give a specific warning prior to each individual class to specific students who have been misbehaving.

28.                  Have students report at lunch time for a discipline discussion (may include Mr. Bayer or their homeroom teacher).

29.                  Have students report at lunch time for a discipline discussion and a behavior improvement contract (should include Mr. Bayer and / or their homeroom teacher).

30.                  For junior classes which are very non-academic or very non-conversational personality-wise, use individual learning lesson format, where students receive a task completion sheet for an assortment of handouts and textbook pages to do.

31.                  Keep the misbehaving student after class, and discuss briefly what the student did right and did poorly.  Extract a promise to improve and an apology.

32.                  Have a short talk to the regularly misbehaving student before class about behaving better from now on (get a promise), and then have the head English teacher observe in the room for supportive presence. 

33.                  Change class tasks to primarily ones of reading and writing so that misbehavior opportunities are minimized.  It definitely does take more self-control for students to engage in a speaking task, so writing tasks may temporarily give students a chance to calm down and see the need for self-control. 


Never be sarcastic or mean or angry towards the students, no matter the reason.  Keep positive and keep cool.  Especially seek to avoid such behavior when you are tired or sick or stressed out. Take many deep breaths!  Remember, you are the leader of your class.  Develop an atmosphere where learning is the focus and a reward in itself.