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In order to ensure that classroom learning is conducive to both the physical and emotional growth of the student, rules that explain what behavior is expected need to be reviewed. Chen, Horsche, and Nelson (1999) believe that giving children choices will help them develop a sense of ownership in regard to the learning process. Let the students decide how they will follow the rules. By working together, everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the overall environment of their classroom.
After rules and procedures are established, it is important that the teacher admires good performance and provides negative consequences for unacceptable behavior. According to Marzano and Marzano (2003), the use of both verbal and physical reactions will help teachers reinforce classroom procedures (p.8). Simple physical signs like a “thumbs up” or a verbal “good job” will show the students that good behavior is recognized. Also, a teacher must be consistent with punishments for those who disregard the rules. “How you handle a situation with any student will teach that student something – as well as everyone else in the room” (Solan, 2002). It is essential that the teacher communicates immediately with a misbehaving student. Using different methods, like simply moving closer to the one who is disruptive, could be a cue which may reduce the chance of interrupting the whole class (Petch-Hogan & Murdick, 1996). A warning can often be enough to correct improper behavior, thereby avoiding the need to assert full punishment.
Communication Must Remain Open
The best way to ensure a good classroom environment is to make sure that communications remain open between school officials, teacher, and parents (Brophy, 1982). This creates a feeling of trust within the classroom. Without being able to communicate properly, learning can not take place. Students with dialects, different languages, and backgrounds will make up many classrooms. Woolfolk (2004) feels that “communication is at the heart of teaching and culture affects communication” (p.174). Adjusting to different languages and cultures is a difficult task. Therefore, it will take everyone’s help to create a safe environment in the classroom.
Know and Respect Your Students
The headlines in Educational Psychology sum up that a good teacher will know, respect, and teach her students (Woolfolk, 2004). Teachers should never discriminate and always respect each child as an individual (Eggen, Jacobsen, & Kauchak, 1993).
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Keep Expectations Reasonable
Many teachers come into the profession with expectations that are so high that no student would be able to meet them. When this occurs, everyone gets frustrated. It causes both the students and the instructors a great deal of difficulty, because they find that they can not get what they need from their students, and their students can not get what they need from their instructor (Brophy, 1982). Also, abilities vary greatly among students. There are many differences among students connected with the way they learn and the things they require. This can cause problems requiring teachers to use different strategies with different pupils.
Positive communication is a tool which can build self-esteem and inspire confidence (Gargus, 2000). Effective teachers usually possess the ability to personally adjust depending on the situation and to ask for advice if they feel it is needed. This can help the teacher create good relationships with not only their students, but also with other teachers and the administration. This is important for everyone because the teacher has now created a network that can help when problems arise. They can ask other people for advice or refer the students to appropriate professionals in the school as well. This is a wonderful benefit for everyone. Also, if a teacher enjoys the subject they teach, students will pick up on their positive attitude and show more enthusiasm themselves.
Teach Self Responsibility
One of the most important things that a teacher can do is to teach students how to make responsible choices, both in and out of the classroom. Good classroom management sets clear boundaries which can guide the way. Students are then able to make personal choices for their behavior. When they make positive ones that are considered responsible, they will gain not only better self-esteem, but also more self-control.
They will eventually realize that their choices can have a positive effect on their fellow students as well as themselves (Christensen & Dollard, 2004).
In order to teach self responsibility, a teacher must make sure students have individual goals to meet. This is an essential part of classroom management. Individual assignments will show students how to work independently. By doing this, students are able to focus on personal interests and use their inner resources to motivate themselves (Baker, Lang, & Lawson, 2002). This motivation will help them to reach their goals and be confident in doing so. This will also encourage them to develop their own creativity by discovering the excitement of meeting their goals through self management. Once students learn more about themselves and how to work alone, they then become more comfortable with others and group projects can be tackled more efficiently (McNamara & Waugh, 1993).
Technology in the Classroom
Technology is a huge addition to classrooms today. It changes the whole set-up of the atmosphere along with the procedures of everyday activities in learning. Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon and Byers (2002) believe that the effectiveness of technology to improve student learning will depend mainly on one thing. This is the interaction that a teacher will establish between technology and education. The access to technology is another factor to consider. A teacher must decide how to incorporate technology into his or her classroom because it can become very complicated. The ability of the teacher and students to operate these new technological machines is very beneficial when deciding how and when to use them (p.482). There are a lot of things to keep in mind when incorporating technology into the classroom. Today, some homes still do not have computer access. This is important to remember when assigning homework projects out of class, which require the use of these technological innovations.
There are many reasons for updating technology in the classroom. Instructions and guidelines are often handed out to students. The paper, ink, overheads, and anything else a teacher uses for this costs money (Gagne, 2002). Technology could be used for this type of instruction which would save money and time. Instructional technology is continually growing. Computers will not limit one’s ability to do assignments, but will broaden the database for knowledge making students more creative (Callister, 1994). As technology continues to advance, so will the use of it. Instructional technology is just one step that teachers need to take. Computers should function as a compliment of knowledge helping students to gain greater insight into a topic. After all, students should be educated and prepared for their futures.
A Comfortable, Exciting Environment is Beneficial
A classroom should always be appropriate for all students and make them feel safe. Utilizing the management techniques previously mentioned, will help teachers achieve this. When students feel welcome and safe, they will be more relaxed and open to learning (Tauber, 1999). Over time, this will help them have positive attitudes in the classroom, which should follow them after school is over. It will also foster a willingness to learn which makes a healthy, exciting environment essential. Students can not learn and grow without a proper setting.
A caring foundation between teacher and student is another essential component in the classroom. Teacher-student relationships provide the base for effective classroom management, which is the key to high student achievement (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). It takes time to create a caring environment and teachers must work at it every day along with student participation (Chen, et al., 1999). Good teachers prevent problems and engage students in learning activities by maintaining a good management system.
It can be very difficult to find the perfect way to manage a classroom. It takes time and patience to learn what works best with what students. It is important to establish clear expectations and consequences from the first week. Communication is also imperative and it must always remain open. Along with that, one must respect and get to know his or her students. This way your expectations can be reasonable. Throughout teaching, one should gradually increase student responsibility because students need to learn this in order to grow. The environment of the classroom has a big impact too. It should be a comfortable and exciting place which promotes learning. Technology is the biggest new factor that must be considered when establishing your management system. It is growing rapidly and it needs to be integrated into the classroom so students are prepared to face the future. As one can infer, there is a lot to keep in mind, but if done properly, classroom management techniques will promote a healthy learning environment and foster a positive attitude in students towards school. Hopefully, this will carry on with them throughout their life.
Brophy, J.E. (1982). Classroom organization and management. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Education.
This book discusses how good communication will lead to a respectful environment and will allow students to look at themselves as unique individuals. It is great for students to really look deep inside of themselves and let their creativity take over.
Eggen, P., Jacobsen, D., & Kauchak, D. (1993). Methods for teaching: a skills approach (4th ed.). New York: Merrill.
This source discusses the importance of having both intervention and prevention within the classroom to assure effective management. A teacher must use both of these to ensure a productive management system.
Tauber, R.T. (1999). Classroom management: sound theory and effective practice. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
This book presents models of classroom management with some that assert control and some that assert influence. These models can be very beneficial with managing the classroom when applied correctly and they are a good base for new teachers when starting out in the classroom.
Woolfolk, Anita. (2004). Educational Psychology (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education Inc.
This book gives a ton of useful information for educational psychology. It is very imperative that a teacher keeps the needs of his or her students in mind with everything that they do and this book really helps someone to understand why.
Gagne, R. M. (2002). Instructional Technology. Wikipedia. Boston, MA: Foundation, Inc.
This context informs us of the rapid growth that is happening with instructional technology. It really helps the reader to see the change that is happening from past learning to present learning because of the use of technology.
Baker, W.P., Lang, M., & Lawson, A.E. (2002). Classroom management for successful student inquiry. Clearing House, 75, 248-253.
This journal informs us that when properly done, inquiry-based activities will increase student interest and motivation which will lead to control of the classroom. Lack of attention and bad behavior will diminish under this system which is very positive.
Callister, T. A., Jr. (1994). Educational computing's new direction: Cautiously approaching an unpredictable future. Educational Theory, 44, 239-256.
This journal examines the use of computers in the classroom and their impact on the future of learning. Keeping up on technology will allow education to expand further than ever before.
Chen, J.Q., Horsche, P., & Nelson D. (1999). Rules and rituals: tools for creating a respectful, caring learning community. Phi Delta Kappan, 81, 223-227.
This article examines the responsive classroom approach which recognizes children’s needs to feel a part of the classroom community as well as enjoyment while in it. This is a significant idea to focus on when examining what results a healthy classroom environment should give so that one knows if he or she is implementing it correctly.
Christensen, L. & Dollard, N. (2004). Constructive classroom management. Focus on Exceptional Children, 29, 1-12.
This journal informs the readers of various ways to manage the classroom without being too controlled so there is a healthy learning environment and positive teacher-student relationships. This is good to keep in mind when teaching because it is the back bone to learning.
Marzano, J. S., & Marzano, R.J. (2003). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61, 6-14.
This journal talks about the extent that a teacher’s impact really has on the achievement of their students which all begins with classroom management. The appropriate levels of dominance are discussed which is very good to keep in mind when handling students.
McNamara, D.R., & Waugh, D.G. (1993). Classroom Organization: a discussion of grouping strategies in the light of the “three wise men’s” report.School Organization, 13, 41-51.
This article stresses organization within the classroom and discusses the types, advantages, and limitations of different forms of grouping. Organization and grouping will affect the productivity of learning and management control in the classroom.
Petch-Hogan, B., & Murdick, N.L. (1996). Inclusive classroom management: Using pre-intervention strategies. Intervention in School & Clinic, 31, 172-177.
This journal introduces intervention strategies for inclusive classroom management and how to use these strategies to get full effectiveness. It is important to try all different techniques in the classroom to see which works best.
Zhao Y., Pugh K., Sheldon S., & Byers J. (2002). Conditions for classroom technology innovations. Teachers College Record, 104, 482.
This source really shows a different view of looking at the impact computers can have on the classroom. It is very important to keep up with technology and to integrate it into learning in schools.
Matthews, J. (2000, December 19). On good authority: Maintaining discipline is key to students success, but new teachers rarely learn classroom management. The Washington Post, pp. A3, A4.
This newspaper article discusses the lack of learning classroom management by new teachers. It is more important for new teachers to learn classroom management because it will make the transition into the classroom a lot easier for both them and the students.
Gargus, B.L. (2000). Why positive reinforcement works. Retrieved October 5, 2004, from http://webtools.familyeducation.com/article/0,1120,4-160,00.html
This website focuses specifically on positive reinforcement and the great effect it has on children along with rewards. Having positive reinforcement is imperative in a classroom because it will make students want to do well in order to receive rewards and praise.
Solan, C. (2002). Center for talented youth: classroom management. Retrieved October 4, 2004, from http://www.jhu.edu/gifted/teaching/classroom.htm
This website offers a broader side to classroom management instead of specifically just discipline. It is important to view all sides of this topic so a teacher can find the best procedures that will fit each class.