I will provide the right environment for all students to learn. I will generate energy, ideas and opportunities to foster student achievement. I will motivate learners to high academic achievement. I will care for, love and understand my students. I will center my decision making about curriculum around my students. I will never feel that I cannot better myself as a teacher. My Philosophical Beliefs About Teaching In evaluating my philosophy for my future teaching career, I have been very seriously considering my values and beliefs about discipline, my own management style and the social goals for my students.
As organization is one of my top priorities as a student, I will strive to be as organized as possible when I start my career. My goal is to organize the logistics of my classroom so that I can make my classroom student-centered instead of teacher-centered. I value the education process, and young minds and new ideas never cease to intrigue me. I am committed to making my classroom a safe and challenging environment and engaging my students through the curriculum as well as getting to know them and interacting with them one-on-one.
I believe that meeting the needs of my students is a very crucial part of my classroom. I want them to be comfortable with the other students, as well as me, so that there can be meaningful discussions and interactions. Talking will be common place in my classroom, along with group work. I want to encourage all students to participate in class so that they can learn from each other as well as me. I want to have a democratic and equitable classroom so that students can learn. I want to be a fair as I can be, so the students trust me.
I feel that I have a very patient and calm attitude with my class. I ask students about their life outside of class and feel that they respond in class even more, knowing that someone is paying attention to them. I want them to feel comfortable asking questions of me. I think my attitude towards the students is not overbearing or authoritative. I do not believe in forcing the students to do anything. I want to work with them in all circumstances so that we can achieve together and they do not feel like I am spoon-feeding them information.
I want students to be a part of their learning. I want to motivate students to learn and keep their interest by using engaging curriculum. I want to involve students in rules about the classroom as well as what curriculum they would like to study. I believe if students feel they are involved in the workings of the classroom, they will be more motivated to engage in the class and in turn, learn. In order to be as organized as possible, the structure of my classroom will be variable, allowing me to change parts of my plan from year to year.
I realize that this management plan is a work in progress and what I value now as important points to address in my first management plan may eventually come easily to me with experience and other issues of management may require more attention than those I have addressed. In order for my classroom management plan to be effective it needs to align with my beliefs and values. Therefore, I have chosen the theories and practices that reflect my personal teaching style. There are numerous beliefs and practices that serve as the foundation on which I am building my classroom management plan.
I believe that the teacher and students should work cooperatively together in order to create a safe and inviting classroom. Linda Albert’s Cooperative Discipline theory emphasizes that the teacher and students should work together to make class decisions. Albert recommends informing and involving the students’ parents in class decisions as well. This can be accomplished by implementing what Albert refers to as the Three C’s: connections, contributions, and capabilities. I agree with Albert that the classroom should be safe and free of threat for all students.
The classroom should be a place that the students feel welcome. If the students are contributing to the class, they will feel as if they are an asset to the class. Finally, I believe that the teacher and students should work together because it is essential to developing a community of learners. I believe in creating a code of conduct cooperatively as a class. This belief coincides with Linda Albert’s Cooperative Discipline as well. A class code of conduct indicates how students are expected to behave instead of how they should not behave.
Albert states that the teachers and students should work together to determine consequences for when a student does not follow the class code of conduct. When the students are involved in the determining the consequences, Albert feels the students are more likely to follow them because they are connected to them. I believe that having a class code of conduct in the classroom allows the students to know how they are expected to behave. The students will be more likely to remember what is expected of them because they were involved in creating the expectations. Therefore, the students feel as if the expectations are reasonable and can be met.
I like that the teacher is not telling the students how to behave. I feel that students should play an active role in the classroom, and that students are capable of making good decisions. I will be sure to place the code of conduct in a visible spot in the classroom so the students can refer back to it. I believe in using “I-messages” to communicate my feelings to the students. This practice is introduced by Thomas Gordon in his theory of Discipline through Inner Self-Control. “I-messages” allow the teacher to share their personal opinion with the students in a non-threatening way.
On the other hand, “you-messages” blame the students for their behavior which causes the students to become defensive. I believe that the teacher should have open communication with students, but in a positive way that creates a safe environment. This method could be taught to the students as well in order to help them solve conflicts. I believe that teachers should encourage their students. William Glasser refers to teachers who provide encouragement to their students as “lead teachers”. Glasser states that teachers should not try to force information into their students.
This makes common sense to me because who likes to be forced to do something. I agree with Glasser that the students’ motivation to learn resides within themselves. It will be my job as a teacher to spark their interest to learn. Therefore, as a teacher I will need to create engaging activities, and be there to provide support to the students as necessary. I believe in creating a sense of community in my classroom. Alfie Kohn mentions that classrooms should be “learning communities in Beyond Discipline. A classroom should be a place where the students feel cared about and are encouraged to care about others.
Eventually, the students will begin to feel connected to one another and see themselves as part of the whole class. I believe that in order for my classroom to be an effective learning environment the students need to feel comfortable. A sense of community will encourage my students to be active participants in class matters. I believe that the teacher should teach “life skills” to the students so that they can be successful not only in the classroom, but in life as well. Kagan, Kyle, and Scott’s Win-Win Strategies promote the use of “life skills” in the classroom.
They refer to “life skills” such as self-control, anger management, good judgment, and empathy. These theorists believe that if the students require these skills they will be able to live more successfully. I believe that teachers are responsible for preparing students for life so this theory matches my belief. After my students leave my classroom, I want to see them succeed in life. I am strong believer that one needs to be the change that one wants to see in the world so I will model these “life skills” for my students. I believe that a teacher should handle behavior problems privately.
If the teacher must get involved, Glasser believes that the teacher should do so in way that does not punish the student. I am going to take this one step farther, and say that the teacher should talk to this student in private about his/her behavior. Hopefully, the student and I will be able to determine a longterm solution for the behavior problem. I believe that students should be taught procedures in order to maximize their learning and show them responsibility. The Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom Management Plan supports this belief. Harry and Rosemary Wong state that most students will act responsibly if taught the procedures to do so.
They believe students’ achievement is affected by how well the procedures are laid out and taught to them. I agree with Harry and Rosemary Wong that procedures are an important aspect of a classroom. I believe that procedures provide students with a structure that lets them know what is expected of them. This will help cut down on disruptions if the students are not confused about what they are supposed to be doing. Management Plan Goals Having the right environment for all students to learn. The ability to manage children’s behavior. Students will have a complete understanding of the classroom rules.
Keep parents involved and “in the know” of their child and the classroom. Instructional strategies will be taught to the best of my ability. Physical Environment The importance and variety of a properly designed early childhood classroom cannot be over-emphasized when providing a learning environment for children. I will provide in my classroom safe and orderly spaces, filled with a variety of materials that will make the classroom more satisfying for both the teacher and the children. Furthermore, well-designed areas will decrease the number of conflicts that may arise.
Quite naturally, any space must accommodate all the activities it will be required to house. Therefore, when making my classroom environment safe and orderly, I must make accommodations to have certain spaces to be multipurpose. It will be very important to make sure these areas, as well as other areas in the classroom, are filled with a variety of materials organized into appropriate activity areas. Clearly defined interest areas will allow young children to work best in small groups where they can learn to relate to other children, establish friendships, and solve problems together.
The use of low furniture in these areas will allow me to see into all areas while at the same time giving children a sense of privacy. Use of low furniture also helps define work spaces that help children concentrate because they will not be distracted by other activities taking place in other areas. These different areas will be defined by what activities will be taking place in them. For example, I will have such areas as: dramatic play, art area, building area, science/sensory area, game area, and quiet area. I will also make sure to provide an area where children can relax and be alone with friends.
This space will have large pillows, beanbags, and carpet. This so called “soft area” is very important for young children because it is important to their mental health and it promotes positive behavior because children who spend long hours in a group environment need time to themselves where they can rest. When it comes to supplies and materials in the room, they should be displayed on low shelves where children can reach what they need. This helps promote independence because the children will be responsible in getting materials out and putting them away.
When displaying materials on shelves they must be in the area where they will be used. I will place labels and pictures showing where each object belongs. Logical grouping of materials promotes their appropriate use. Labeling the place for each object helps children maintain a clean and orderly environment. When it comes to the teacher’s supplies and materials, I will keep them up and away from the children so that they cannot access them. When the children walk through the door, they will be hit with all different colors coming from the pictures and posters on the walls.
I hope to have a room with big windows that allow for natural lighting. The pictures I will have on the wall will be displayed on the children’s eye level, thus children will take better notice. I will also display the work of the children. Displaying their original artwork shows them respect and value for their hard work and effort. One last important thing to me, when it comes to the physical environment of my classroom, is that I will make sure the classroom materials will reflect the cultural richness of our society, the backgrounds and life experiences of the children, and people with different abilities.
Children need materials they can relate to through past experiences, before they are asked to learn new concepts. A respect for diversity is important for identity and self-esteem. Behavior Management Many disputes and conflicts can be prevented by careful planning and with positive adult support. There is always a reason behind children’s behavior. Misbehavior is usually directed at achieving one of four goals: revenge, power, attention, and/or feelings of adequacy. I know I can’t force a child to change his or her way of behaving, I can only change the way I behave with the child.
My ultimate goal in behavior management and child guidance is not to manage children’s behavior, but to help children manage their own behavior. I am aware that conflict situations provide important learning opportunities for children. Therefore, when it comes to classroom management, I will not deprive the children these opportunities to learn problem-solving skills. My role as a teacher in children’s conflicts is to de-escalate them when the children can no longer work out their problems by themselves. When I communicate with the children in my classroom I will use “I” statements instead of “you” statements.
I will use gentle body language and make sure that I listen to both sides of the issue. I will try to focus on the present and future of the child’s behavior instead of past behavior. Also, I will focus on the child’s behavior and not the child. Most importantly I will keep in my mind the needs of each child and their best interest when it comes to fixing their misbehavior, and not focus on my best interest. My classroom rules will consist of four basic principles. Those four basic principles will be caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. I believe any rule thought up by a child can fit into one of these four basic
principles. For example, if a child is not keeping their body to themselves, they are not respecting the other child’s space. That is why I will not have a list of rules in my classroom, but rather have these four principles posted in my classroom where every child will see them. Therefore, when a child is not following the rules I will state what they are doing wrong and how it relates to one of the four principles. When it comes to classroom management and discipline, I will not use punishment, but logical consequences. There are two types of logical consequences.
They are naturally occurring consequences and imposed consequences. Naturally occurring consequences usually occur when the problem belongs to the individual on whom the consequences fall. For example, Sally leaves her coat out on the playground and when she goes back for it, the coat is gone. I then say to her, I am sorry that it is gone and tell her it is her responsibility to keep track of it. Imposed consequences often occur when a behavior creates a problem for another person who then must impose consequences in order to change the behavior of the individual creating the problem.
When I impose logical consequences on the children in my classroom I will try to keep certain things in my mind. Such things as being a consultant in helping the child solve his or her own problem. Keep the burden of the solution on the child and not me while implying that the child is capable of solving his or her own problem. I must also tie the time and/or place of the misbehavior to the consequence. These are just a couple of ways I will try to manage children’s behavior in my classroom. Parent Communication One of the most vital parts of teaching children and managing a classroom is communicating with their families.
There is no one right way to communicate with parents, therefore as a teacher, I have to utilize many different methods to communicate with parents to build rapport. One of the first methods I am going to use is a parent board. On the parent board will be pictures of the activities the children have been doing and other information such as the weekly curriculum and things the children have to bring from home to school. I will have the parent board on a table where there will also be a notebook where parents can leave me messages, and where I can leave them messages.
I will also have monthly newsletters to the parents that I will set out on the parent table. Another way I will communicate with parents is by having parents come into the classroom and be a classroom helper. I would try to get every parent to come into the classroom at least one time during the school and spend the day with their child or at least a couple hours. This would help me to get to know the parents of the children I teach and this would give me a good chance to build rapport with the parents so that communication will be made easier.
Some of the most basic methods I will use to help me communicate with parents are by use of the telephone. I will call parents when need be and make sure that they know they can call me when needed. Finally, the last way I will communicate with parents is by talking to them face to face. Things I know to remember when talking to a parent are to first approach them with a smile or pleasant look and then introduce myself if I have not ever done so in the past. I will always try to start out the conversation with the parent with something positive about their child.
If I were communicating with the parent because of a problem their child is having in my class, I would first tell them the issue at hand and then offer some possible solutions. I then would tell them what I want their role to be after I let them talk about what solutions they have. If they need to further talk to me I would offer them other times they can talk to me. I also would give them other possible people to talk to if they feel that they need to. When communicating with a parent I want them to feel that they can ask me questions about their child’s education or other issues they might have.
If I can’t answer their questions, I will flat out tell them I don’t know the answer, but I will find out. I also will make sure not to make promises I can’t keep. If need be, I will always make myself available for a teacher-parent conference when scheduled ahead of time Instructional Strategies and Methods When it comes to instructional planning in my classroom I am going to start with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. The reason I am going to start with the standards is because in the classroom the students are working towards a goal, and those goals should be set higher than the standards.
If I do not teach my students to at least the level of the Pennsylvania standards, then I have not set the goals high enough for my instructional planning. If I set goals for my instructional planning, that gives me a start in what direction I need to go in my lesson planning. The second step I am going to take in my instructional planning is assessment. I have to measure the progress of achieving my goals by doing assessments of my students. Two kinds of assessment I will be doing are what you would call summative assessment and diagnostic assessment.
The summative assessment will be tests, examinations, final projects, or other things depending on grade level of the students. These types of assessments will tell me if the students are learning the objectives and making progress towards meeting the goals. On the other hand I will use diagnostic forms of assessments when it comes to planning on how far I have to go to get my students to reach the goals or in meeting the standards. I will use diagnostic assessment at the beginning of the school year and before I begin each new unit. The third step in my instructional planning is planning for the long-term.
My long-term plan will be as simple as planning my year end academic goals and group those goals into some discrete units to make sure that I cover my long-term academic goals. When it comes to the delivery of my lessons, I am going to keep it as simple as possible. Even though there are many different formats of lesson plans I can use, there is one general way I can make all the different types of lesson plans fit me. Using the following format to teach my lessons will help my students obtain the goals and objectives of my lessons. The format I will use is to first introduce the lesson.
Then have an opening to the lesson, which is when I will tell the students what they will learn and why it is important. Next, I introduce the new material and teach it to the students. Afterwards, I allow time for guided practice and then independent practice. These two areas are where I make some informal assessments to check to see if the students learned the objectives. Last, but not least comes the closing. This is where I stress the connection of the lesson and check the students’ understanding by doing some type of assessment, usually a summative form of assessment. Schedules and Routines.
When I go to a class, I like to see a schedule of what we are working on for the day. I believe that all students should be given this courtesy of knowing what is going to be happening during the school day by reading a daily schedule of the day’s activities. I will always have the schedule posted at the front of the class, each day updating any changes in the schedule. In addition, I will list the specifics of the day: for instance, what we are working on that day in math. I have seen schedules that list the basic outline of the day: math, language arts, social studies, lunch and science.
I would like to take the schedule one step farther and include some details about the day and what will be happening. Not only are daily schedules helpful for students to see what is happening during a given school day, but my daily schedule will allow me to evaluate my the activities in my classroom, assuring that the type and variety of activities are appealing to different types of learning situations. Also, I want to find a good balance between teacher directed instruction, independent work and cooperative group work. Repetitious activities can sometimes impede the school day as it may evoke comments such as “We’re doing this again?
” However, having routines in which students can predict what will happen can ease the transition from the bus, car or the walk to school to the classroom. To be specific, I will have a beginning of the day routine and an end of the day routine, so that I maintain consistency each day and convey the message that in our class, we use all of our time together to learn and we do not like to waste time. For my start of the day routine, I will play music as the students walk in. I will play quiet music that sets the tone for the day: a warm and relaxing learning environment where we are safe and ready to learn.
I will have a welcome message posted on the board with a list of housekeeping items to do before we get settled for the day: sharpen pencils, turn in homework, put coats and backpacks away. In addition to this everyday welcome, I will have a list of activities that students can work on from previous days of school, including plenty of options to accommodate those that have finished all of their work. Also, I will greet my students as they enter the classroom, talking to each student as they get settled for their day, ensuring that I get to see each student and have contact with each one first thing in the morning.
At the end of the day, I will take the last ten minutes to wrap up the day. I will post an end of the day wrap up list on the overhead for students to use a guide to get ready to go home. I will have mailboxes with the days handouts in them and my students can collect these handouts and place them in their “take home” folder. Then I will ask groups to get their backpacks and put away all of their materials. I will ask that they clear off their desks and the area on the floor around their desks so that the custodian does not have to clean up after us.
As the students line up to go home, I will have my goodbye salutation: a piece of poster paper with four types of goodbyes: a handshake, high five, or smile. The students can pick any combination of these goodbyes when the leave. I want to have this goodbye so that I can be sure to have contact with each of my students before they leave for to go home. In doing this, I want to convey to my students that I care about them and I want to wish them a safe trip home and tell them that I look forward to seeing them tomorrow.
By having structured routines for the beginning and end of the day, I will be setting the tone for the school day. For the beginning of the day, I want to imply that we structure our mornings so that we can get off to a good start with our minds and materials ready for the day. At the end of the day, I want to bring the day to a close with daily routine to ensure that my students understand that every part of our school day together is as valuable as any other part. Individualization In order to promote individualization and responsible behavior, I will implement a job chart where students will have jobs throughout the week.
I will have paper passers, overhead cleaners, board erasers, recyclers, lunch duty, and line leaders. I will introduce these jobs on the first day of school and assign jobs to random students. Emphasizing the importance of the jobs will enhance the students’ desire to have the job to demonstrate their responsible behavior. I will have a policy stating that any student who cannot demonstrate responsible behavior and reliably complete their job will have to give up their job title and a different student will get their job.
I have seen such a job system in another classroom in which I worked and this system was very successful in creating a sense of responsibility among students. Reflection As I complete my management plan, I feel that I am fully prepared to teach tomorrow. However, I know that that is not the case. My management plan will forever be growing and changing. My management plan focuses on the students’ needs in my class. By organizing many structured components of the school, I am attempting to prepare myself for any discipline problems that may occur.
I will organize many aspects of my class before the year starts, but I will also sit down with my students during the first weeks of school and have discussions about rules and expectations to determine what they need from me and from each other. While I know that some misbehavior will occur in my classroom, I am instituting this plan to assist me in dealing with these issues as they occur. I believe classroom management is the key that unlocks the ability for children to learn and in creating an environment where children feel safe.
I will set high expectations and encourage my students to succeed. Finally, my classroom management will not only be about creating a good rapport with the students, but creating a rich and engaging curriculum. | | | | | | | | | | | | References Albert, Linda, Pete DeSisto, and Linda Albert. (1996) Cooperative Discipline. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service. Web. Guillaume, Andrea M. (2004). K-12 Classroom Teaching: A Primer for New Professionals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall. Print.
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