Marvin Marshall, a great writer on positive classroom management, has published an excellent list of eleven “Classroom Discipline Mistakes.”
You definitely want to read them all, but here are his first three:
1. BEING REACTIVE
Teachers become stressed by reacting to inappropriate behavior. It is far more effective to employ a proactive approach to inspire students to want to behave responsibly and then use a non-adversarial response when they don’t.
2. RELYING ON RULES
Rules are meant to control—not inspire. Rules are necessary in games; however, when used between people, rules create adversarial relationships. Relying on rules is a major contributor to the punishment culture in many schools today. The reason simple: If a student violates a rule, the teacher automatically moves into an enforcement mode. A mindset of rules leads to a punishment mindset, whereas a mindset of procedures promotes a coaching approach that inspires responsible behavior through expectations and reflection. View the effect of relying on rules.
3. AIMING AT OBEDIENCE
Obedience does not create desire. A more effective approach is to promote responsibility; obedience then follows as a natural by-product.
I’m adding his post to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.