Tips for punishing in class

Cursing, whining and grumbling. Sometimes students behave so badly that you have to punish. However? But how do you actually do that? Make sure you create situations where everyone is satisfied afterwards.

Opinions are divided on punishment. One swears by punitive rules, the other has the premise that a conflict can best be resolved without punishment, because this is experienced as a victory for everyone. In any case, make sure that you punish consistently, so know your own method and stick to your own rules.



  1. Prevention is better

    You can prevent punishment by (timely) rewarding desired behavior. A social reward such as a smile or pat on the back means acknowledgment of the teacher. That gives children a good feeling.

  2. Be clear about the consequences

    Tell nuisance students in advance what to expect if their behavior does not stop. If they continue to do the behavior, the punishment is the result of their own choice.

  3. Don't argue

    It is a pitfall: they always do something, and as a teacher we say with more and more words that it is not allowed. To top it all off, we have a good conversation with such a student. Discussing in such situations rarely helps. Moreover, you lose valuable class time.

  4. Choose an appropriate punishment

    If a student whispers through class, it should not be offset by an afternoon detention. The punishment must be in proportion to the behavior. And preferably opt for a 'natural' punishment: If a child gets someone else's coat dirty, the punishment may be to clean the coat and then apologize to restore the relationship. Also tailor the punishment to the person. Not being allowed to play outside is a punishment for one child, but another child does not care. And know that pushing out of class is rarely a solution. The average troublemaker has a great time in the hallway and is still a disruptive factor for the class. Make sure you can justify the punishment to the group.

  5. Take free time from students

    Some experts recommend having penal rules written after school in which the unwanted behavior is briefly and clearly stated, such as: It is unwise to hum in class. With that I distract the class. From now on I will stop after one warning. The student has to overwrite this paragraph a number of times. With such a punishment, the student does not lose school time, but free time. How much? Fifteen minutes to half an hour for elementary school children, and XNUMX to XNUMX minutes per violation for high school students.

  6. Prevent it from getting out of hand

    Putting a child in the corner or on a stool in the front of the classroom is humiliating. With that you judge the child and not the behavior. Moreover, you ruin the mutual relationship. If a child continues to engage in disruptive behavior, try to find out why the child isn't just doing their schoolwork. A situation where the teacher 'GET OUT! NOW!' can only go wrong: there is always a loser. The trick is to find solutions that everyone can be satisfied with, so that after the punishment you can deal with each other normally again.

  7. Let them think along

    Let the children themselves think about an appropriate punishment. This own interpretation is also a possibility for the writing penalty, but this can sometimes have a negative effect. The assignment: write an essay about it can be an open invitation to a critical, arrogant epistle about the teacher: 'I did this because you did'. Some students are also written out after a few sentences: 'I don't know any more'. You can give them that little push by having the punishment work signed by the parents. They may then be inclined to write a little more nuanced. Moreover, the parents know what their (b) angel has done without you having to call. They can then talk to him about it themselves. 'Are you humming in class? Aren't you listening to the teacher? '

  8. Have a protocol

    Make sure the school has a protocol for punishment. That provides clarity. When parents come for a story, you know that you have the principal behind you.