Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/Classroom Management

Classroom Management
Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

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The best teachers that I have had personally and the ones my children have had are the teachers that have good control over the classroom. These teachers have managed to maintain discipline without sacrificing personality. I hope that I will be able to find that balance when I teach. I managed a restaurant for ten years before returning to school and I had at times over forty employees working for me. I let them know that they are working for me but that I am also working with them. There was clear manager line that if crossed resulted in disciplinary action however, I was always available when needed. Lead by example, children learn by seeing and doing not by lecture, this holds true for behavior. The sudents will know that I am in charge but that I am approachable.Jnemo001 (talk) 02:04, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not done my observations yet, but I will be talking about my observations as I see them being a teacher's assistant. I have had the experience of going into a teacher's classroom where there is complete classroom management and a teacher's classroom where there was no classroom management at all. The teacher's classroom where there is classroom management is one of calm, fun, and cooperation. Students do what they are asked of them and end of story. The teacher's classroom where there is no classroom management is chaos and confusion. A person can tell that this teacher has no control over her students or the class. The teachers have to set the tone on how the classroom is managed, and if the teacher does not take control from the first day of school then it is going to be a rough year. Msmhobbs04 (talk) 21:05, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Classroom management is a critical part of any child's education. Before learning can occur, behavior must be controlled and expectations be established. Working with young students can be especially difficult if effective classroom management practices are not utilized. As a PE teacher, establishing routine is an integral part of my management practices. I also establish rules early. My rules are few, yet critical for a successful learning environment. They are simply written. Finally, I also implement a first-then activity schedule that is especially effective with young students. They realize they must first complete an activity to be rewarded with a second activity. Usually, they must follow my directions to complete exercises then if done successfully, they are rewarded with a game they enjoy playing. Jtmitchem (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I have not been able to complete my observation yet, but I will talk about my daughter's Pre-school teacher. I have had the opportunity to witness her classroom management skills. She is very experienced and has been teaching Pre-school for a long time. When I was in my daughter's class I was amazed in how she handled all those 3/4 year olds so effectively. Her classroom climate, the look and feel of her classroom, is very welcoming. It has a lot of color, teaching materials are all around and class rules were clearly posted.

One day I was there dropping off my daughter, and I witnessed one young boy really getting out of hand. She was very quick to respond to his misbehavior. She first tried some non-verbal cues but had to advance to verbal communication. The problem was quickly taken care of in a positive way. She stayed calm and had lots of patience. It definitely seems every time I am at her school I witness something crazy. The phrase "expect the unexpected" really seems to apply when managing a classroom. I see now that as teachers we need to be flexible in responding to the "unexpected." We also need to be FAIR to all students. Aferg006 (talk) 04:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe I mentioned this before, but during my observation my assigned teacher had a unique way of dealing with undone work. She would make a student sign a sheet listing the reason why they had not completed a particular assignment– they would continue to do so and would be held in detention or ISS until they finished whatever it is they didn't do, and when completed it would receive an auto 60. She proclaimed she did not believe in zeros, and if someone was going to sit in her class, she felt obligated to make them do the work and learn, no matter what. I commended her on an approach that was albeit a bit foreign to me, but it seemingly worked, except for one or two students that just outright refused everything out of four classes. I have a hard time getting behind this, but it seems less apathetic than simply handing out zeros. Zeros just seem so overtly negative to me now, essentially dooming someone to an academic hell. It could be their fault, but it seems they can be remedied into a better student using other measures. Hsmit022 (talk) 21:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The classroom I observed the teacher was a veteran and really handled the classroom well. The students obviously understood their boundaries and they really worked well for the students. As an incentive for the end of the week there was a prize box for eveyone that behaved. I think one of the more important things was the teacher would let the student earn back a card if it had to be taken away. I found this to be a great incentive for the student and it would give them hope that they could earn it back by changing their attitude and doing what was expected. This would always work for the students.

I also appreciated the tone the teacher would use with the children. She would seldom raise her voice and always treated them like an individual of equal stature. It was great to see the classroom working together and understanding what needed to be done. The teacher also believed in not sending students out of the classroom unless they were causing harm to another or themselves. I thought this was a great attitude and she was taking responsibility for the actions of her class and taking car of them. I feel sometimes students want to be sent out because they are off the hook. Sston008 (talk) 17:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The classroom that I was in the teacher had been there over fifteen years and knew the ins and outs of classroom management. She was able to be firm, but still respectful in the way she spoke and managed the students. One of the key phrases that she liked to use was "there is no talking", and it seemed to work everytime. She would never raise her voice, she would just say that one phrase and they knew to be quiet. She would threaten at times to give them detention slips, and would walk around and place them on the desks infront of them at times as a warning, but she told me in our conversations that she has only actually written up two students in her whole career. Even when I was doing lessons in the class, they were respectful of me because of the expectations she told them for when I was infront of the class. I appreciated that the teacher would seldom raise her voice, she was in a seventh grade classroom, and I was in awe that she kept her patience and didn't raise her voice with the students. She would also often play Simon Says with them, as a method to calm the students down if they were getting too out of hand. I will definitely say the most important thing she taught me was classroom management. Rburt005 (talk) 02:44, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I spent my observations at a local elementary school where chaos seemed to permeate the hallways. The first classroom I observed in was a kindergarten class. I found through my observation in this classroom, some techniques the teacher tried to employ, did not seem to phase the kids because there were no consequences that mattered to the children. When the children became noisy, she would put on a microphone attached to her pocket so she could speak over the children. One child, in particular, was allowed to run around the classroom during class circle time. The teacher said that he would join the group in his own time. However, during my 15 hour observations, I did not see him join the class once on any of the projects. As for classroom management, this classroom received a C because it was late in the school year, the children were kindergartners, and the teacher did not seem to set any boundaries to maintain classroom management. The second classroom I observed in, was a classroom that I feel compelled to discuss. In terms of classroom management, there was none. The teacher called it "controlled chaos". In order to "control" the kids, the teacher would either play on their sympathies (which did not always work) by telling them she was not feeling well or she would put in a movie. During my observation there were only a couple of occasions where the students actually did some school work for about 10 minutes each. This particular teacher had been teaching for over 30 years so I made the assumption that her techniques would be something I could mimic and employ in my future classroom. However, this was not the case. Students were allowed to freely walk around the classroom. It would be understandable if they were walking around gathering information for an assignment, but they were not. The whole classroom time was socialization in its extreme. This was one of the dirtiest classrooms I have been in. There were numerous trashcans around the room, but the students used the floor instead. One of the students in class had ADHD, as the teacher pointed out to me the first day of my observation. If any infraction took place in the classroom, the teacher would directly call out the ADHD student. This student was sent to the office on a regular basis instead of employing other tactics because the teacher said that she did not want to deal with the student. After all was said and done, I realize that not all schools or classrooms are the same. For one, I observed that many of the teachers were burnt out and did not have that drive they once had. I also noticed that there was not much support from the administration, which goes a long way, in my opinion. It's sad to say, but this particular school really needs an overhaul to redefine what they should be doing.Scarlett1 (talk) 20:13, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I observed a 1st grade class for 15 hrs. This teacher was very good with her students and was always able to keep control and focus. She did not have to raise her voice, etc. Instead, if the class were talking over her, she would pause and wait for them to quiet themselves. She used the red light, green light method of behavioral management which seemed very effective. She also had a jar of marbles, that she would add to or take out as needed. When the marbles got to the top of the jar, there was some type of reward (I can't remember what the reward was, longer recess or something of that nature perhaps?) There was also a prize box or something that the students with no infractions all week could choose something out of. I would say that this teacher had very good classroom management skills. Her students were rarely out of line, and when they were she was very quick with re-focusing them. Alucy001 (talk) 00:55, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

As I observed a Spanish 3 class at Princes Anne High School, I was very aware that the teacher had total control. During the first classes as I spoke to the teacher he made it very clear to me that one of the most challenging things was to keep control of the environment of the class. He said that as long as I was able to manage the class in the way that I kept the attention of the students at all time and that they respected me as their teacher that everything else was easy.

This teacher clearly knew what he was doing. He was always calm and commanded respect for example, everytime he needed to give instructions or teach something if everyone else was talking he would stand ion the front of the class and stay quiet until everyone was quiet and then proceeded. I was amazed to see that this worked everytime. Students would quickly be quiet and tell each other to be quiet so that he could start the class. He always showed respect to his students to be able to demand it in return. I found this to be very helpful and most likely will try this technique when I start teaching.Bpenn005 (talk) 02:39, 3 August 2009 (UTC)