A. Theoretical Introduction
Philosophy of Classroom Management
I believe a classroom should be a collaborative environment. With investment coming from the teacher and the students, management has a much better chance for “success.” I believe students (all human beings) to be curious creatures who will learn because they want to, if information is disseminated in a way that is engaging, truthful and worthwhile. If an environment is created with thought, depth and diversity in mind, classroom management is residual. I do not believe in forcing; if a method is failing, it is incumbent upon the teacher to find the flaws. Is it in the curriculum? Is it in your response to discipline problems? Is it in your style of teaching? Is it in your relationship with your students? Is your class too structured? Is it structured enough?
There are both long-term and short-term tactics that are needed for this style of management to flourish. Rules and guidelines need to be created for long-term success. These must be created with the student in mind, and as often as possible, by the students. They must be consistent and logical; if a student cannot easily articulate why they “must” do what they do in the classroom, the rule requires revision. Rules must acknowledge the individual and the situation. While certain behaviors result in certain consequences, there are (at times) students and situations which require special consideration. The design of rules must attempt to accommodate everyone, yet recognize the potential necessity of amendments and alterations.
Short term tactics involve changing the dynamic of the classroom if you find the bulk of the group to be distracted or disengaged. Les...
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... event they are responding to, and explaining the image they have created, and how they have chosen to represent it. The project is extremely visual, which makes it ideal for the walls of our classroom, which are already partially covered by their interview projects, film reviews and African Art projects from earlier in the year.
While they work I wander the room, offering suggestions and encouragement, asking probing questions and making clever comments which foster even better relations...if that’s even possible. Five minutes before class is over, I ask the class to begin getting ready for dismissal. As a group, they work together to put away the colored pencils and the scissors, their notebooks and laptops. They are at their seats with smiles on their faces waiting for their dismissal. “See you later,” I say. “Bye, Steve,” they say, “see you tomorrow.”
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