Monday, April 1, 2013

Reflections on Classroom Management

In response to my piece about group work, found here Reflections on Group Work  I have been modifying my classroom management as well.  I have been editing some practices regarding classroom arrangement, volume, rules, behavior and relationships with parents.

Classroom Arrangement: The classroom is arranged in such a way that the students are in groups. In such groups, the students are able to have academic discourse and receive peer support without having to move throughout the room and cause additional disturbances.

Classroom Volume: In order to avoid student side conversations, when I am talking with the class I stop whenever there is anyone talking and do not continue until everyone is attentive. I do this so students recognize that there needs to be a manageable volume before proceeding in a lesson, and that when the teacher is talking it is important. This realization would not happen if the students felt that talking while the teacher was talking, even quietly, was acceptable.

Classroom Rules: The classroom rules are not something I write on the board, nor do I feel the need to go over a syllabus with the students. I simply make it known that the students understand what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. If there is any confusion, it will be pointed out during class. But I rely on the students to monitor themselves.

Promoting Good Behavior: When the students behave in a positive way, I make a point of pointing it out to their group or to the class. This is important for students to identify which behaviors are desirable in the class but also in order to set up intrinsic motivators for students to perform positively.

Phone Calls Home: It will also be important to frequently call home regarding positive behavior students administer in the classroom. This allows parents to recognize the progress their child is making and also bring additional unity between the school and the community it serves. This way, the students will be able to associate the school with positive feedback as well and not simply negative consequences.

Correcting Behavior: In order to correct undesirable behavior in the classroom, the students are to act in the opposite way of the undesirable behavior but this needs to come in collaboration with the student. For example, if a student has offended his group members he can write a letter of apology to each of his group members or perform acts of kindness towards them like bringing them snacks or retrieving assignments for them. In any case, the corrective behavior needs to come from the student, in collaboration with the teacher.

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