Discipline 2: Fred Jones

The other week I was at a conference and the most popular workshop, by far, was the one on discipline. Although I get lots of requests for discipline ideas at workshops in Germany and elsewhere, I never realised quite how popular a subject it is.

The presenter the other week was taking a few ideas from the king of classroom management, Fred Jones and specifically from his “Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation ” book (or here on Amazon Japan) A very recommended read.

For example one technique that was presented was to control the class simply using teacher presence. For example if we have a class like this with the teacher at the front, which student A,B or C is going to give the most problems?

The answer is C of course as they are furthest from the teacher.

So one of the simplest ways to combat this is to simply move around the classroom as you teach. Sometimes being at the front, sometimes in the middle or sometimes even teaching from the back of the class. This simple thing is sometimes all you’ll ever need!

One other very effective technique is to remove the podium or teacher’s desk from the front of the class. Not only does it create a communication barrier between students and teachers, it also hinders your movement around the class.

Sometimes in larger classes the desk arrangements can prohibit this movement. So Fred also suggests a few other seating suggestions e.g. islands of desks or clear walkways between desks.

There are lots of other techniques in the book, including why kids behave like they do and it is highly recommended.

However having said that it seems quite a few teachers prefer picking up the ideas from his DVD set instead of the written page, which I can quite understand. I can’t find the DVD set on Amazon, but it is available on his website for $795. (I tell you the Genki English Teachers’ Set is way under priced!) If your school has the budget it seems well worthwhile.

Needless to say with such a high ticket product there aren’t that many video clips around to see what it’s like. But here are a couple for you. One is Fred in action so you can see his speaking style, and one is of some teachers who have used his ideas. They are a bit “salesy” & don’t have too much substance, but have a look and check out the book on the US or Japanese Amazon.

Fred Jones on why traditional punishments don’t work

Behavior and Grades Improve after Fred Jones Training

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

4 Responses to “Discipline 2: Fred Jones”

  1. gumby

    You can read a lot of his ideas free online at:

    Scroll down and on the right click on the “All articles and resources” link

  2. Julian-k

    Wow, think ill be sticking to the book – but it seems like an interesting read!

  3. Flossy

    I really enjoyed the film ‘freedom writers’ I know it was based on a true story and it was hard to comprehend these childrens’s lives.

    I watched both clips. Fred Jones was really quite funny and things have been just as he described for so long. I think I may have to try to get the book to find out what his solution is!

    The teachers post was very interesting. Class clashes, disconnected children, ‘kicking children out’, sarcastic remarks. These children must have been really tough. I have had a few challenges recently but nothing like this!

    The positive remarks smile, be calm, explain, groups, games. I must say it sounded a bit like using GE! It is so frustrating for children if they do not know how to do something. Giving clear instructions is so important as the students said. Sometimes just a little slow progress or a positive feeling is so helpful for personal motivation too!!

  4. Stephen

    I recall reading a good book called the language of discipline. The basic premise of the book is to avoid singling out a student while disciplining a class because this escalates the problem and neither the student nor the teacher want to back down and lose face. Anyway, it was worth a read. Proximity thing is a great technique. As an aside, I recall that I always sat at the back of the classroom, and for that matter, I still do today!!!

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