So many things happen in school. And as a teacher, student, or educational stakeholder, you’re probably wondering how to develop self-discipline in students.
You will agree that everything that happens in a school should be centered on students. That’s because the essence of setting up a school, in the first place, is to serve as an agency to help bring light into people’s minds (called students). Yet help them to satisfy their educational needs, even as they continue realizing their academic pursuits.
Why is Self-discipline Important for Students
Indeed, self-discipline is a life skill that affects the life of anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, worker, or businessman. But in this article, you’ll learn some tips on how to develop self-discipline as a student.
Importance of Self-discipline for Students
As a student, achieving success in your school work involves so much, but essentially, self-discipline. If many students know the significance of self-discipline to their academic success, they would constantly ask themselves this question: What’s my commitment to self-discipline as a student?
You cannot undermine the importance of self-discipline to any student.
As a trained educator, who has taught hundreds of students both in elementary and secondary schools, I can tell you that discipline is one core virtue the school, as an agent of socialization, teaches students.
It sets or builds on the foundational lessons and virtues you’ve learned from home– that is, your family. In school, you have to attend a series of classes. Yet not just to attend but to arrive early; so that you don’t skip any part of the lesson. Or, at worse, miss the entire class lesson. Because some lecturers, for students in college or varsity, wouldn’t tolerate lateness in their classes.
How to Develop Self-discipline in Students
Looking at the title of this subheading, you’re already thinking…but seriously, how can school management (including teachers) instill self-discipline in students?
To start with, the authority of a school can inculcate self-discipline in students by establishing policies and codes of conduct for them. You’ll agree every school practically has its regulations to check students’ excesses in the school environment.
But beyond having these rules and regulations spelled out, enforcement is another issue to consider. With that said, school management must have unambiguous enforcement strategies for disciplining students who violate them.
However, note it’s impertinent that students get properly educated on the school dos and don’ts. Most schools have a handbook or perhaps a code of conduct book distributed to new entrants upon admission. That’s because students are not ill-informed about these matters; they’re better prepared to elicit compliant behaviors.
Recall the saying, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”
Also, teachers or instructors should act as the role model and facilitators that they are. Even in the classroom, they must have the competence to manage their classroom and, of course, be sensitive to happenings and situations in the classrooms.
10 Ways to Improve Discipline in School as a student to achieve academic excellence
#1. Set goals for yourself
With so many trends in the world, the reading culture seems to be declining. But as a student who wants to achieve excellence in your academic pursuit, you must learn to set educational or academic goals for yourself.
At the commencement of a new term or semester, do you only worry about what books, textbooks, clothes, school uniforms, and other things you would need as a student? Or do you think of the grades you want to achieve for that term or semester?
While buying notebooks and textbooks is essential, the truth is without clear goals, those resources will get underused. That’s because, all together, they’re tools to help you achieve your goals.
Thus, your academic goals for the term could be something like this in writing:
I want to achieve the following grades in these subjects:
Accounting— A (requiring a total score of 70-100%)
Business math— B (requiring a total score not less than 60%)
And just like that.
#2. Break Your goals into pieces
Have you seen anyone who consumed a complete pizza at a go? You sure know the answer. No one can do that except slicing it into pieces.
The same applies to your goals.
Taking the practical example cited in the previous point, you’ll discover that those goals are broad. It’s not enough to say that you want to get an A in accounting at the end of the semester. Rather, you need to state how you want to achieve that by breaking your action points into smaller bits.
So, you could have something like this:
To get an A in accounting this semester, I’ll dedicate 1-2 hours every day to studying my course outline or module for accounting.
#3. Develop an effective study plan
While setting SMART goals helps you become more disciplined, it’s the starting point of developing effective study habits. For many students, developing good study habits remains a challenge.
But when you create an effective study plan that puts your set goals into perspective, you strengthen your self-discipline toward realizing success in your work.
#4. Eliminate distraction
One challenge many students face today in school is a distraction. Many things seek their attention. From physical interpersonal relationships to spending too much time with phones as they engage with social media.
While the internet and social media can be advantageous to you as a student, you should forget that social media has its pros and cons. In other words, social media can cause distractions, especially when it’s time to read. Yet notifications from Facebook, Twitter, and the like keep popping up.
Aside from that, noise can be evident in an environment, as much as it can be psychological. That’s why you can have someone seated in a quiet room yet unable to study for lack of concentration. And therefore, he’s unable to get the benefits of reading.
#5. Start Small and stay consistent
Starting a new habit can be difficult and overwhelming, especially when your mind tells you that a task appears too big or broad. That’s the reason setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals are crucial.
It could be deciding to read a particular subject at a particular time, which could be 30 minutes or 1 hour. While that time duration may appear as a small milestone, it helps you improve your self-discipline toward your education goal. But not only that, it supplies you with the confidence to set and achieve bigger milestones.
#6. Take breaks
This is where many students miss out. They think being studious and diligent as students are tied to the amount of time they spend with a stack of books in front of them.
But that doesn’t reflect how effective and efficient a study session is. An effective study, on the contrary, incorporates breaks in between. In other words, you should know when you need a break and when to resume. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
#7. Get support system
You’ll agree that like minds easily get attracted to one another. But beyond that, they build synergy over time. So one of the 10 ways to improve discipline in school as a student is to get friends with the same goals as you. That could mean having a study group or, better still, an accountability friend.
That way, your self-discipline gets enhanced as you stay committed to being a good student and to your academic goals.
#8. Follow your goal through
Following your goal as a student involves engaging your willpower and mental toughness. It decides to stick to what you’re supposed to be doing and not what you want. Your goals tell you that you have 30 minutes more to read or three assignments to complete before tomorrow. But your feeling or “pleasure-seeking sense” tells you to suspend the work that you’ll continue tomorrow.
Anyways, you must find a balance without giving room to procrastination or allowing it to get a grip on you.
#9. Reward yourself
In education, reward, when used appropriately, can be strong positive reinforcement for good behavior. In this case, meeting every bit of goals you’ve broken.
For example, your goal is to get an A in accounting. And to achieve that, you decide to read for 1 hour and 30 minutes daily. When you complete this daily task, you give yourself a treat or reward by taking your favorite ice cream. Or, better still, listen to your favorite music for the next 30 minutes.
#10. Get better at time management and self-evaluation
To achieve improved self-discipline, you must value time and, of course, learn to evaluate yourself against time. Assessing yourself against time determines how well you’ve used your time in realizing your goals.
A Final Thought on How to develop self-discipline in students
Having learned how to develop your self-discipline in school, it’s pertinent that you realize on time that your academic and social success in school depends on you. As such, you must own the process of building your self-discipline “muscles” in school.
And it will impact your conduct and interpersonal relationships with your peers, teachers, and others in the school environment.
In addition, to get achieve excellence in your educational pursuit, you need to practical steps to self-discipline. And understanding who you’re by knowing your strengths and weaknesses, adopting positive thinking, becoming an effective manager and, above all, getting support when necessary.