Classroom discipline - steps to achieve it

To achieve classroom discipline you need to:

  1. Realize that you actually have all the power
    You can kick students out, or call their parents, or send 'em to the principal, or get them to do just about anything you want to - without any warning at all, just for the hell of it, because you feel like it.

  2. Figure out what you want
    Figure out what you want to happen while you're teaching and make sure achieving it will do something for you. Contemplating the meaning of education and then drawing up a list of rules based on some theoretical airy fairy concepts or drawing up a list of rules based on what other teachers advise and use will not work. That is, if you can't come up with a selfish reason for wanting it, you won't really care, and you're not going to end up enforcing it.
    For instance, you might want everyone get down to work so more kids will understand the first time and you won't have to do as much remedial teaching and parent calling, or you might want to crack down early in the school year so you won't have to sit around monitoring detentions after school later, or you might want kids not to yap to their neighbours while you're talking because it annoys you. These don't need to be lofty goals, just the things that are actually important to you. You'll be much better at enforcing something for the pettiest of personal reasons (i.e. assignments must be turned in on time because you hate having to keep track of late papers) than for the most noble causes (i.e. fellow teachers agree that students should turn in assignment on time because it teaches responsibility).

  3. When in the classroom, know what you want
    When something is getting in the way of what you want you'll stop it naturally. So if that student yapping while you're talking annoys you, you'll do something about it. If you feel generous you might warn them, or your might just give them a detention, or you might kick them out. It's not important to be consistent, fair, or considerate - it's important to get what you want. Be selfish, do whatever you feel like, and they'll accept that that's just how things are, and everything will be run the way you like it.