In my first year as a teacher, I am committed to providing an environment where students are successful in learning, and understand the rules of the school inside and outside of the classroom. When students know they are in a safe environment, they feel safe to –ask questions, make mistakes, and be their selves. In keeping with tone of supporting students, behavior should not be punished, but re-directed to fit each students’ needs. My job as a teacher is to set the tone for such an occurrence and allow the students to see where they fit in.
Providing the appropriate environment for all students to flourish will be my major goal in implementing good classroom management –it is necessary for the success of each student. I am committed to building my classroom into a safe and inspiring environment while engaging my students through the curriculum. While also getting to know them and interacting with them on a one-on-one basis. I know that meeting the needs of my students is a very integral part of my classroom management. Being comfortable with others students as well as myself, is also key to meaningful and respectful classroom discussions.
I would like to have participation as a regular in my classroom, which could lead to group work. I want to make sure students are not afraid to learn from each other early on, so that when they are older they can see the importance of teamwork In my class I would say that I myself am very understanding and open with students. I recognize when they are not in the best of spirits, and when they have received good news. I will try my best to gage students by asking questions about their life outside of school. I want them to also feel comfortable with asking me questions, and know what is appropriate versus not-appropriate.
Apart of self-rules, I don’t believe in forcing students to complete assignments, rather I give them the choice, along with consequences so they understand what is expected of them. I want my students to understand how to work for a grade, and know the feeling of satisfaction and earning an “A”.
I am open to suggestions from students of what makes them comfortable in a classroom, so that they feel they are involved in the mechanisms of the classroom –which will give them motivation to learn and be enthused about learning. Physical Arrangement Coming into the classroom, students are met with natural lighting from the windows and inviting tables and chairs with textbooks neatly stacked in each corner of the desk.
Also upon entrance is a table where students can submit their work for the day as the exit the room to go to their next class. They feel excited and eager as they walk to their seats that they choose as their personal seat for the rest of the year. The seat formation is a square, in which students are two to a desk, and seated in front of or –in back of each other. There are three boards in the classroom: * A White-Board (in the front of the classroom) This board is used for writing down student comments.
Daily news of important events Important information students should know for the day. * An Interactive Smartboard (on the right wall of the classroom upon entrance) This board is used for prompts and classroom discussions. Interactive classroom activities (i. e. , Jeopardy for test reviews, or lessons that describe how to mathematically explain graphing the equation of a line using slope intercept form) * A Cork Board (on the back wall of the classroom) This board will be used to display: “Student of the Week”, Top Assignment Grades, and Student Birthdays for the Month.
My desk, which is at the head of the class and next to the whiteboard, has a bin for late assignments. Students are instructed to take out their notebooks and pens/pencils, and record the lesson for today located on the Whiteboard. The set-up of a classroom, as well as any room has an effect on the individuals that dwell in that space. I have the hopes that my classroom setting will be inviting to learning and exploration of growth. When I need the classroom to work in pairs or have discussions in groups, I will give them the opportunity to arrange the classroom into their comfort zones.
On the walls, students are interested in an array of posters, showing basic steps in Mathematics, English and Science. I will refer to the posters throughout the year, to give students the independence necessary during their times of struggle –and help them recall where and what information is useful. In the far corner in the back of the room, will be a closet with books pertaining to unit discussions, and supplemental materials for writing, researching, atlases, dictionaries and art supplies for projects.
These resources could be additional materials that students can look through out of curiosity or of obtaining extra information on a subject. In the far left, aligning the wall will be computers for individual use where students can research, and complete assignments. I have also attached a drawing of the schematics of the room, to show an environment that is conducive to discussions, individual work, and group work. By arranging the desks in square format, I am providing a learning atmosphere during times of lecture and note-taking, while allowing students to re-arrange during group work to give them that collective environment.
The desks will not be connected to allow ease of access to each student, during times of monitoring. Teaching Rules/Behavioral Expectations I undeniably believe in keeping a safe environment where put-downs and name calling is not allowed –this also falls under respect. If I can have respect for my students as well as having them respecting each other, I believe this leads to a safe environment where learning can take place. As a part of school-wide rules, I am a stickler for gum chewing or eating and drinking in class.
As far as cell phones and music, it is harder to stick to the status quo when it changes so much. I would like to give my kids the freedom to listen to music during their time of written expression or individual-work, as long as they are being respectful of each other, which means they are not blasting the music for everyone to hear, or interrupting other classmates. If it gets out of control, I will let them know that the privilege will be taken away, right from the beginning. As a part of school-wide expectation students are not to bring book bags/jackets to class, to which I uphold in my classroom.
Students are required to wear a dashiki to school every day, and anyone not dressed in uniform is to be written-up (somewhat like a pink slip, that follows you throughout your school career), to which I am also an enforcer. I expect students to treat each other and myself with respect, which I outline in the beginning of class as –understanding for others and their lifestyles. I define the 5 step behavioral process as: Step 1: Verbal Acknowledgement Step 2: Verbal Warning Step 3: Name on Board Step 4: Call home Step 5: Write-Up and recommendation for Re-centering (Re-centering is a in-house detention served in the morning before school).
If student behaviors are out ruled in the classroom, we will have a student-made Behavioral Process; where the students will come up with rules that will work to increase their learning potential. Students are more inclined to follow rules that they feel they have had input. This in turn will provide less resistance and more cooperation among students. Parents would also be sent a copy of the new rules, and informed of their child(s) desire to implement. Student will know that when the teacher is speaking, they are either taking notes as directed, or following along in required reading.
There will be times, when a classroom discussion is held about the flow of material and how comprehensive it is to the students. Giving students the power to feel they have control over their learning. When I want to get the attention of my students I will hold up a quiet sign, and remain silent until all eyes are on me. I will then, say “Thank you for your cooperation”, and continue on with my lesson. Homework is to be given daily, unless there is a project due at the end of the week; in that case homework is given twice in the week.
Late homework is to be turned into the appropriate bin located on my desk marked “Late”. Spelling, grammar, and organization will be counted towards total grade on ALL assignments. Communication/Daily Schedule It is my belief that involving parents can help with student issues while also gaining an insight to the student outside of the classroom. At the same time, engaging with parents to let them know they are a part of their childs’ education. I would like to send out a monthly newsletter or post an announcement on the web so parents can see what is going on in the classroom.
I believe if parents are involved in their child’s school, the child will have more support at home and the parent can help with any issues that arise. I believe it is good to involve parents as much as possible. I will always have the agenda on the board so they can copy it down in their notebook everyday as they walk in. On some days I hope to have a free-writing assignment as a “Do Now”, so I can take role and they can be engaged and working on their writing. Notes will be taken in a notebook that I provide for easy-to-find assistance during a test, or review.
Homework will be turned in at the end of class, as each student is dismissed by name. If the student did not get the homework done, they may lose a point each day it is not turned in. All assignments will have a chance to be turned in, and students will not be given less than half credit for an assignment turned in late. Next, we will begin out lesson. Pop up Quizzes can/will be given once a month, or as needed depending on participation in class. Interactive game days will be announces in advance, to give students something to look forward to in class.
I want to make sure I leave at least five minutes to wrap up the lesson and reiterate the important points brought up that day. I will use different forms of assessment to make sure students understand the information, whether by passing out a graphic organizer, or having a discussion around the main points. I want to make sure my students understand the material as well as using higher-order thinking skills to analyze interpret or evaluate the material. I feel essays are a great way to let students express their learning, and interpretation.
I would also like to give choices to students to demonstrate their knowledge of a given unit or subject, and believe that by allowing them to choose their way of competence they have another way in express their learning. I would grade on class participation including attendance, homework, group work and tests and quizzes. Group work is graded both at a group level but also at an individual level. I would like to grade as holistically as possible and I do not want students who are successful on tests, presentations or group work assignments to be penalized too much if they are not completing all assignments.
My policy on late work will be that it is accepted but at a lower grade. I want students to learn, first. I do not want them to forget an assignment just because they missed the deadline. Encouraging Appropriate Behavior If students are showing signs of trouble getting homework in or not doing well on tests, I will have a meeting with them to help them get back on track. I will make a plan with them that their parents will sign, if necessary. I do not want my students falling behind because they are not doing their work. I want to stay on top of the students who may need an extra push.
I want all my students to feel important in my class and another way I can accomplish this is helping them with their schoolwork and organization. I will be another person setting high expectations for all my students and helping those who may need some extra attention to accomplish their goals in the classroom. I want students to understand that they have control over their learning and it is not an innate skill or gene. I will help those who need it most by working with them one-on-one, if necessary. In the beginning of the year, all negative language in the classroom is immediately stopped.
This will lead to students feeling safe to express themselves without fear of judgment. In turn, autonomy can prevent discipline problems as kids might act out if they are feeling attacked or unsafe in the classroom. I agree with this prevention strategy because once a student is not held accountable, then the problem will just perpetuate. Rogers talks about re-claiming teachable moments and how it is hard if you don’t catch a problem right from the beginning. I believe that this may make it easier in the long run, but I do not think you have to use a teachable moment right from the start to have it be meaningful.
I believe if a problem is really out of control after two months or even five months, a proper, forceful teachable moment could teach the same thing even being later in the class. Establishing attention is one last preventative technique. Rogers insists that you should not talk over noise. I agree with this prevention and I notice that when I stand in the same place in the room, the kids will quiet down. If I “wait” for them to be quiet, they will quiet each other down. Establishing this early on is crucial in having an environment conducive to teaching and learning.
It is essential that directions are heard and important points in class are heard. Discouraging Inappropriate Behavior If there is a consistent misbehavior problem, I will initially ask the student to talk to me after class. I will talk to him/her about the positive things they are doing in class and how I appreciate something they are doing, as in participating in class for example. I will tell them why their behavior is interfering in the class and have them meet with me later to make a plan of how they will be able to stop the behavior.
In class, I will give them a warning and then ask them to move to the back of the room to work by themselves. I always want to keep consequences in line with the misbehavior. If the misbehavior continues, I will talk to the student and make a phone call home. I might also ask the parent to come into school for a meeting with the student. I think it is very important to involve the parents. I do not believe in throwing a student out of the room unless they are being harmful to others or me in the class–either physically or verbally.
I believe that misbehavior should be addressed with the teacher and student communicating as much as possible. I feel that sending students to the “office” is overused. Instead of focusing solely on the misbehavior in the classroom, I want to focus on the good behavior and attitudes in my classroom. I want to acknowledge and encourage good behavior and academic success in my classroom. I will make sure that positive calls home will be given out for all students no matter how big or how small the accomplishment.
I think parents really appreciate positive phone calls home and it also sets up a dialogue between parents and teachers. I also believe, in using rewards like stickers and stars, A’s or praise. I want my students to know it is okay to make mistakes and take risks in the classroom. I want to encourage my students by telling them specific feedback on assignments to let them know I am interested in their improvement individually. Although, I don’t want them to become dependent on my praise, I want them to be successful learners. I want to focus on improvement and effort, not just the final outcome.
Conclusion As I have stated earlier, I believe Classroom Management is the key to an environment where students feel safe participating, and learning takes place. I hope to create an environment that is conducive to learning and involves all my students. The most important part of classroom management is not the behavior problems, but creating a good rapport with the students and encouraging them to succeed and setting high expectations for them. I believe creating a positive environment can limit undesired behaviors in the classroom.
Courtney from Study Moose
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