Unwritten Prison Rules For First-Year Teachers To Master Classroom Management

While it’s unfortunate, the parallels between public school and prison are numerous. The structure, hierarchy, and even the behavior of their respective populations are eerily similar.

Being a first-year teacher can be as daunting as walking into your first day as a prison guard. If you don’t know the house rules, those being the all-important unwritten rules of the population, you’ll sink fast and never resurface.

But, if you follow these simple tips, your first year of teaching will be much less harrowing, and you’ll reap the benefits of being an educator.

You’re the boss; establishing that is paramount, but doing it with respect is how you maintain order. Start the first day with an introduction, what you intend to accomplish, and reinforce the idea that their success is your success.

Speak to them as people and let them know that you’re there to teach, counsel, and lead. Make it known that you do not want to target them for disciplinary action unless it’s warranted. Lay down the law but let them know respect gets respect.

2. Don’t Snitch

If you want to build an environment of trust, don’t snitch. If a student steps out of line, the instinct is to turn it over to the principal immediately. But, take a minute and try to handle the situation on your terms.

Give the student a choice; put their mistake in their hands and show that you trust them enough to face up to what they did. Offer an assignment as discipline, not busy work, but something to educate them on good decision-making.

Tell them if they don’t want to complete the task, you have no choice but to kick it up to the principal. More often than not, they’ll appreciate the compassion and step back in line.

Teaching is a rewarding profession, but it’s not without its perils. Consider these two unwritten rules of prison to ensure a prosperous year. Hang in there; it gets better.

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