Tag Archives: management

TEDU 410 – Beginning Philosophy of Classroom Management and Discipline

This is a personal piece in which I formed my own thoughts on classroom management and discipline when teaching. It is an in depth analysis of my own thinking in regards to the subject, that helped to better understand how I would approach classroom management and hope to do so in my future classroom.

Beginning Philosophy of Classroom Management and Discipline

Like everything else in the world, schooling and a formal education hold a purpose. Such a purpose may not be as straight forward as others, for example the purpose of fish having gills is so that they are able to breathe underwater, but nonetheless, it is present within all forms of schooling. The purpose behind schooling or education is to help teach students about all the different aspects of the world, and to help them to reach a sense of purpose in the world, in which they know who they are and what they want to achieve in their life with the knowledge that they gain from their schooling both academically and generally. As such, a teacher’s role works to attain this goal. A teacher’s role is to guide his or her students to towards gaining that understanding of the world through their learning of various subjects and content, and to help students form ideas and perspectives about the world and themselves. They work to help their pupils grow in knowledge and understanding.

A good portion of the teacher’s job, as they work towards enlightening their students, is classroom management. This is, in the words of Carolyn M. Evertson and Edmund T. Emmer (2017, p.1), the actions and strategies that an educator uses to manage or guide class behavior. It is something that is critical to teaching, but how it is practiced within a classroom varies from teacher to teacher. There are many factors that can influence it as well, one of the biggest being a person’s socio-cultural background. For myself, I know that my own perspective on classroom management is indeed influenced by my own background. Because of this background, my ideas on management are very focused on organization and procedure. My family and my background, Chinese American, have traditionally always placed a heavy emphasis on perfection, a cultural trait, and to attain such perfection one must be well organized, know what to do, and be well prepared. I know that I will be sure to teach my students procedures for everything, and that we will practice them until everyone understands, as well as I know I will strive for organization in the classroom, teaching my students to be so as well in an attempt to help them to reach a ‘perfection’ for themselves in which they are doing the best that they are able to, even if it really is not perfect. I am well aware, however, that perfection does not exist, and I will not pressure my students into trying to obtain it. I will no doubt aim to be organized and make sure they know how to do everything, but I will not force them to be perfect. They will be in school, after all, and my job is to help them learn and grow, not judge them on little imperfections. No one is perfect and to try and force someone into that mold is not proactive. Instead, I will work with my students so that we can maximize our learning time with good management, and in turn, hopefully help them to be the very best that they can and learn all that they can while still making it fun and avoiding unnecessary stress of trying to be absolutely perfect.

Of all the different aspects of classroom management, one of the most important is discipline. And being so, it is important for every teacher to have an understanding of what kind of approach to discipline, and classroom management in general, they would use within their classroom. I, personally, would like to manage and discipline my class with a more authoritative based approach. This idea meaning that I would like there to be structure and order in my classroom with a clear notion that I am an adult and am in charge, while at the same time still giving students opportunity to grow without too much of a heavy hand on their shoulders and showing them warmth. I would want my students to understand there are rules that everyone needs to follow, but at the same time, feel comfortable in my class, even if they do make a mistake, and that what I ask of them is to help them to learn and better themselves.

Some specific strategies I would use to try and reinforce this idea of an authoritative environment would include something like providing the necessary instruction for an activity to resolve minor behavioral issues. Often times, students act out because they do not understand the task at hand (Evertson & Emmer, 2017, p. 233). And as such, simply clarifying what is expected can resolve any issues. Words are powerful, as Paula Denton (2013) mentions in The Power of Our Words, and so it is important that we use them as needed to convey things directly and clearly, and to avoid unnecessary behavioral misconduct. Another strategy I would employ for minor instances would be to give non-verbal ques. Just as words are powerful, silence can be as well. In many cases, just giving a student who is off task a look or a gentle brush on the shoulder is enough to get them to refocus and continue on track. It offers a way to avoid further distraction and discretely resolves the problem itself. For more difficult issues, I would try withholding a privilege. It is a more serious repercussion that teaches the student that they need to change their behavior without actually interfering with their learning or their necessary actions for the day, like recess or lunch. Taking a privilege away could be as simple as not allowing a student to draw after a quiz and having them read instead. It is something academic, but also proves a point of needing to follow what is expected while not devaluing the actual activity that needs to be refocused on such as a reward incentive might do (Mercier, 2015). This strategy is clear cut and always for direct, easily understood consequences for inappropriate actions. And for extreme instances of problems in my class, I would try to use problem solving. It may sound very simple, but actually sitting down and working a major issue out with a child can effectively resolve it. It not only allows for direct communication with a student, but also exhibits to a child that you care for them. You are willing, and happy, to take time out of your day to work with them to get to the bottom of an issue and resolve it. There are of course many more strategies that can be used in classroom management to keep a serene, almost chaos free class, but these are simply a few that I feel are particularly effective, especially for the approach I would like to use.

A balanced, authoritative management approach is extremely important to use in a classroom. I can attest to such by way of experience. Within my practicum class this semester, I saw this approach being used daily to keep a class on track and flowing smoothly. For example, my cooperative teacher would often redirect students and make suggests, which were not really suggests, that they should continue whatever piece of work they were supposed to be focused on. She was sure to be stern with what she wanted them to do, while still being warm. She was always happy to help when they really did need it, but there was a clear line of authority and the students held respect for that. My cooperative teacher was also sure to be clear with her instructions, even amending them on the spot when the class did not understand them at first. She knew what they needed to stay on track and do their best, and did her best to cater to those needs. Over all, she exemplified the sort of classroom management philosophy that I hope to be able to implement into my own classroom one day. With a stern, but loving approach, I know that I will be able to guide my students in their learning and help them to achieve their greatest results.

References

Denton, P. (2013). The Power of Our Words, 2nd Edition: Center for Responsive Schools, Inc.

Evertson, C. & Emmer, Edmund T. (2017). Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers, 10th Edition: Pearson Education.

Mercier, T. (2015). Teaching Without Using Rewards, Retrieved from https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/teaching-without-rewards/

TEDU 410 – Classroom Design

This is a project that was created for classroom management. It showcases my ideas on what an ideal classroom would look like, as well as why I chose to set up a room in such a way. It contains my thoughts on all of the different aspects that should be present within a classroom that supports optimal student growth.

Classroom Design Exploration and Practicum Classroom Reflection

When designing a classroom, it is very important to consider Steele’s Six Functions of the Classroom Setting. As such, I tried my best to implement them when creating a classroom for fourth grade. First, I made arrangements for groups of four desks with a supply station in the center of each. These groups would help to encourage social contact between students, while also facilitating task instrumentality with the supplies easily accessible. The desks would also act as vessels for growth. They were placed so that all students could see the board with ease, and the seats could also be turned, of course after some training, so that class could have a whole group discussion. Growth was also supported with the stations in the room. The computer station, the library, the listening center, and the writing center would all aim to engage students and grow their learning with meaningful, differentiated activities. These group work areas would also promote a sense of pleasure and security with the addition of items like rugs, lamps, bean bag chairs, and other homely things. Coupled with my own personal items, around the teacher’s desk, some posters, and student art, the room would give students a sense of comfort along with symbolic identification. They would be able to see not only some of me in the room, but themselves as well, which would create a sense of individuality and belonging. Finally, I emphasized security and shelter again by planning out routes around the room and making sure there was a place for the students to line up. Everyone would have a place and would know how to move around. All in all, I did my best to try and create a room that was everything the students needed without being too much.

Outside of my own design and thoughts for a classroom, I was able to visit my practicum classroom and see another teacher’s ideas as well. I have to say that over all, I was very impressed with my practicum teacher’s room. The set up promoted security and warmth, the desks were placed to help task instrumentality and social contact, and so on. I could see everyone of Steele’s functions being implemented into the room’s design. What really stood out to me, though, was the teacher’s desk. The desk itself was actually a table typically used for small group work. The teacher had her side, with her laptop on it, and made sure to keep the rest open and clear for students, who were able come and sit down when they needed to ask for help or talk about something. It was just a design that I felt was instrumental to making sure that the students felt secure and comfortable in the room. They knew they could go to their teacher and were welcome into her space, which will make it easier for them to talk to her over the course of the year. She helped to establish a sense of trust, which will help both her and her students avoid and resolve issues quickly and help promote more time in learning.

While most everything was set up very nicely, there were a few areas that I feel could be strengthened in the teacher’s room. One particular area was with the lighting. The room itself was very dim, even with lights on, and so I feel adding a few lamps or another light source could help to improve this. This could help with pleasure, giving the room a new, softer atmosphere, as well as with security and shelter, in which more light might make students feel more comfortable, especially those afraid of the dark, or keep sleepy heads more alert. Over all, students would have more comfort and a better ability to focus. And with more focus and attention, the students would better be able to take in what is being taught. They would be getting the most they could out of their time at school by learning all that they could without unnecessary distractions.

TEDU 410 – Rules and Procedures

This is a written assignment for Classroom Management that showcases what I have learned in the class about rules and procedures. Not only did I explain what each is, but created my own rules and procedures for several different elements within a school day that will, hopefully, be implemented into my own classroom one day.

Part I: Rules

Rules are simply a set of general ideals or expectations about how one should behave. They are simple in concept, but should not be confused for procedures. A rule is an expectation put in place that one should adhere to, while a procedure is means in which to achieve this rule.

In my own, future classroom I will try to develop rules in a logical way. First, I will review the school handbook and look at what is expected. Then I will try to create general, classroom rules based on this. It should work to satisfy whole school expectations and my own all in one. Then, once I have a list, I will present them to my class and have them help decide if they are; good and clear, realistic and doable, and ones that the students feel are necessary. Once we have had a discussion about rules, I will write them down and post them where everyone can see them. I will then finish by explaining that these rules are for everyone, including myself, and that we are all not only expected to follow them, but should take pride in upholding them to make our class the best class it can be.

Rules For My Classroom: 1. Be Prepared; 2. Show Respect for Yourself and Others; 3. Follow All School Rules; 4. Do Your Best

Part II: Procedures

Class-Running Routines:

  1. Going to the Restroom
  • Procedure: Stay in seat and raise your hand to ask to use the restroom; Wait until the teacher or a classmate is finished talking; Only ask to go when you really need to; Wait for others to come back from bathroom before asking; Be prompt and quiet
  • Teaching the Procedure: First, I would simply explain that we have procedures for using the bathroom and then share with them the info listed above. Then, I would roleplay for them how and how not to ask to use the restroom and have the class discuss why we would do it one way and not the other. After that, I would ask if everyone understood and clarify discrepancies.
  1. Storing Personal Items
  • Procedure: Keep unneeded items in backpack; Keep supplies for the day inside or on desk; Keep desktops and backpack area neat; Be respectful of others’ property

Lesson-Running Routines:

  1. Collecting Homework
  • Procedure: Place homework on desk when asked; Wait quietly for it to be collected by teacher or classmate; Be honest about not doing or finishing it
  • Teaching the Procedure: For this, I would simply have the students watch as I modeled how to place homework for collecting. I would sit in a desk and have a student collect my work, before finishing up by telling them the info above and answering any questions.
  1. What to do when Assignments have been Completed
  • Procedure: Stay seated; Remain quiet; Keep hands to self; Allow classmates to finish their work; Read a book or work on homework or any other allowed activities

Interaction Routines:

  1. During whole-class lessons
  • Procedure: Stay seated; Be alert and listen to speaker; Raise hand and wait to be called on to answer questions; Remain quiet; Sit up straight; Keep hands still and eyes on speaker; Wait for lesson to finish to ask something
  1. During Transitions
  • Procedure: Remain quiet; Move quickly and carefully; Be mindful of other’s personal space; Listen for directions from the teacher before moving
  • Teaching the Procedure: I would start by telling the students how to transition and what I expect of them. Then, I would model it myself with a few volunteers. After that I would have the whole class model it with me. I would have them stand up and move around, making sure we practiced a few times so that everyone understands what good transitions look like.