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I end up by saying, “How would you feel if I disciplined you today and then you see me let a classmate get away with the same misbehavior tomorrow? To give you special treatment would be showing favoritism.” This helps them see that, not only is it a fair thing to do, but to let them off would garner disapproval of their peers who would see this as a teacher giving an individual special treatment.
Talking down to students or lecturing them about their inadequacies will only irritate or frustrate them.
When things are going well and students are quietly reading, doing their work, or listening attentively, we just silently accept this situation and enjoy the respite from having to correct misbehavior.
Yet this is the time to build a little goodwill by commenting on how much you appreciate your students' good study habits.
Occasionally a student will be reluctant to accept disciplinary actions, such as staying a few minutes after class, changing seats, or taking a detention slip.
This is the time to invoke what I call the “fairness doctrine.” I point out to the student that if I don't discipline him, it is not fair to others who have done similar activities and suffered a penalty.
If a teacher is open to receiving feedback, this can bring about a better level of mutual respect.