My classroom management plan includes pieces from many if not all of the disciple strategies. The cores of my classroom management strategies are aligned with my beliefs in the teaching philosophies of experimentalism and existentialism. Although I can relate to all the teaching philosophies in some ways these two are the ones that are most dominating. After reviewing many different plans for managing my classroom I don’t feel that there is one that stands out as being the best for my teaching style. Instead I will use pieces of many of the management plans with Disciple with Dignity being the plan that I identify with the most in my classroom. I will have a classroom that is based on mutual respect between everyone in the classroom, which will promote an environment where we can all learn and be seen as individuals.
Preventative Management Approaches I feel are the most important because if I can establish well thought out methods I can avoid having to deal with misbehavior. My first preventative strategy will be to establish a relationship based on mutual respect with my students. This idea is one of the keys to the discipline with dignity approach.
1. In order to prevent misbehavior I will treat my students like the young adults that they are. I will build a relationship with my students based on respect not only for me but also for each other. I feel respect is the most important because if your students respect you and your classroom that will eliminate many of the disciplinary problems. Respecting students is an idea that the Japanese focus on, and they have long been considered the leaders in the field of education (Mendler, 1983).
2. Being prepared with a good lesson plan is also key to preventing misbehavior. If I make the curriculum fun and interesting for the students they won’t think about acting up. Many times when students misbehave they are bored and not engaged with what is going on in the classroom. If I can make the lesson as fun and enjoyable as possible the students will keep busy which will avoid many of the issues from arising.
3. Teachers directly teach the disciplinary plan to their students so that the expectations and the consequences are clear (Canter, 1976). I feel it’s important to give your students your expectations from the very first day so they know how the class will be guided. I will also be open to discuss any rules that they might feel are unfair or inappropriate for our class. In my experimentalist views it is important that students voices be heard and that they be taken into consideration.
4. Include students in decision-making and problem solving (Kohn, 1996). This refers back to my teaching philosophy where I want to run my class democratically in some senses. I feel its important to empower the students so that they feel they have input in what is going on in the classroom and essentially in there education. This also goes back to respecting your students.
5. Build a classroom environment where everyone feels safe learning and sharing ideas with one another. It is important to me that all my students feel comfortable in my class and that they feel what we are learning is relevant to their lives. I will make an effort to try and relate the curriculum on a personal level to all my students.
6. In order to prevent misbehavior I will strive to have a “working with” classroom as opposed to a “doing to” classroom as described by Alfie Kohn.
7. I will try to consider the currency kids value and bring to my classroom. Robyn Jackson talks about finding a common ground with your students. I think she has a good argument because if done effectively it can work as a great preventative approach.
This approach helps students with self-control by helping them get back on track. I have observed my Cooperating Teacher use several different strategies that are very settle but effective that I hope to learn and implement in my teaching.
1. Target the student by name (Albert, 1989-1996). This can be simply saying the students name when you are in the middle of addressing the class and you notice them getting off task. You can also ask the student a question. It lets the student know you noticed the behavior and sometimes distracts them from what they were doing and gets them back on track.
2. Give the student signals (eye, head shack) or stand close by (Albert, 1989-1996). I have used the standing close by strategy in my class and it does work. Sometimes simply walking by the student or standing right by him/her sends them the message that they need to correct their behavior. I like these techniques because they don’t single out the student.
3. Another technique that I have used effectively is providing help to individual students (Jones, 1970’s). When students don’t understand something or find work difficult they tend to get off track. By going to the students desk and helping him/her with the in class assignment you get them back to track and hopefully give them a better understanding of what the objective is for that specific assignment. It also refers to my existentialist ideas of caring for each student as an individual.
4. Give students opportunity to solve their problems (Coloroso, 1994). This helps students be efficient. It addresses the helpless student. I like the idea of using the Socratic method and having students answer there own questions. I have used this method in my AVID class during tutorials.
5. Have a good sense of humor. If you can make your students laugh it goes a long way. It helps get through a lecture and the students appreciate it because it makes the class more fun for everyone.
Correcting student behavior can be a difficult task once the student has confronted you in front of the entire class. I feel you need to address the student immediately but keep calm as all eyes are on you to see how you will react. If you loose your cool and don’t handle the situation correctly you can loose respect from your students.
1. Ask the student to go outside. This allows you to continue your class without a distraction and as soon as you get a minute you can go outside and address the student on a one-o-one basis. You can let student return whenever they are ready to follow class rules. This makes sitting in the class a privilege (Mendler, 1983).
2. Have student stay after class to discuss his/her behavior. I have used this approach in my class this year already. I had a student be disrespectful towards me, so I calmly told him to see me after class. This allowed me to calmly think about how I would address the issue. It also gave the student privacy so the entire class didn’t see him and I talking. The next day I made sure to have a positive interaction with the student.
3. Let student know its okay to make mistakes, even beneficial. Student needs to understand when they have a problem they need a plan not an excuse. Teacher needs to encourage students to solve problems in constructive ways, while experiencing real-world consequences for their choices ( Coloroso, 1994). This idea refers back to my experimentalist ideas because it gives the student a chance to think critically while also preparing them to be better citizens in the real world.
4. Contacting parents and/or sending student to the administration office (Canter, 1976). I am not a big fan of sending students to the office because I feel they are going to talk to him/her and it will have same effect if I do it. That being said there are times when it needs to be done so that there actions are documented. Also getting parents involved and having them collaborate on a solution can be an effective tool.
5. Allow student to make own disciplinary decisions (Mendler, 1983). It empowers student and student dignity is basis of effective discipline. It might not work for all students.
I think classroom based on respect creates a safe learning environment for all students. When you are a well-prepared teacher with lesson plans that your students will enjoy and can relate too that will make behavior a none issue for most students. When the class feels like they are all part of the decision-making and that there ideas matter it lends itself to building a relationship of mutual respect. It will allow for me to implement lesson plans that are based on my experimentalist philosophy. Students will practice thinking critically and prepare themselves to be productive citizens.