Proper classroom behavior is vital for students, and it is my duty as a teacher to establish it through relevant strategies. Firstly, maintaining discipline is more manageable when the authoritative figure acts appropriately. I have to keep my emotions under control, expressing only positive ones. Secondly, each student should have a clear understanding of their limitations and requirements. Once they see the boundaries, they can behave according to what is expected from them. Thirdly, I want my students to resolve their conflicts through conversations and address their complaints verbally. Talking through the issues and being willing to listen and help is an essential strategy for me. It is especially true after taking the Hidden Bias Test, which helped me identify the few prejudges I unfortunately have. Now I can work on them and grow as a person, thus, becoming a better teacher and version of myself.
Teachers are capable of nipping biases in the bud and shedding the existing ones while a student is at an early age. Acquired in childhood, they are challenging to get rid of in the future. However, having grown up in a society that promotes prejudges, educators have trouble encouraging a tolerant mindset as their struggle with their hidden biases. Either intentionally or not, they can project them on the students and create an unhealthy environment that contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline. In the U.S., teachers tend to implement coercive power and have low expectations when they deal with racial minorities and children with disabilities. Thus, their biases, usually hidden, result in zero-tolerance policies and students gaining a criminal record.
Nonetheless, schools can keep unconscious prejudges in mind and try to eradicate them, diverting the pipeline. Teachers should change their views on maintaining appropriate behavior if they still rely on punishments and aggression. Instead, educational institutions and those who work there should support and help their students, regardless of race, gender, and abilities. Educators should rely on expert and referent power to explain and resolve misunderstandings rather than punish for mistakes and misbehavior. Expecting high results from every student should become a standard manner of conduct as it encourages them to study and do their best. The sooner students are treated like thoughtful individuals with their unique views and opinions, the sooner they start to behave. The better the discipline in the classroom, the more we contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline’s disappearance.