This paper was written to express and support my philosophy of classroom management. In this paper, my belief about managing the behavior of children/youth in the classroom environment given and support by details showing the child is not totally responsible of their behavior in the classroom and also by showing the importance of establishing and implanting rules and policies at the beginning. This paper also highlights the importance of a sound teacher-student and student-student relationships in effectively managing the classroom environment. In addition, my views on the need for parental involvement and a working system of reward and consequence strategies as a tool for better classroom management is also included.
My Philosophy of Classroom Management
Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. This term can also refer to the prevention of disruptive behavior. Many consider this as one of the most difficult tasks for new teachers. The basis for classroom management involves clear communication of both, the behavioral and academic expectations, as well a cooperative learning environment and proper time management. In order to successfully maintain proper order in the classroom, we must engulf a vast amount of actions, such as classroom climate, parental involvement, environment, student expectations, rewards and consequences, classroom procedures, and student motivation.
My general belief about managing the behavior of children/youth in the classroom is that no child is totally the blame, and therefore disciplinary practices should mirror the school and classroom policies implemented by the teacher. Also, parental involvement in the disciplinary process is a must. In the pursuit of proper classroom management and to avoid misbehavior; appropriate curriculum and teaching strategies must be considered. In this we must consider class size, composition, planning time, cultural and linguistic barriers, and access to equipment, materials and other needed resources.
Standards for Classroom Behavior and Creating Positive Peer Relationships
In order to manage a classroom properly, we must first consider the classroom climate which can include both teacher-student and student-student relationships. This starts by developing strong and concise teacher-student relationships. We do this by stating and teaching classroom rules, policies, and objectives from the very beginning and initial introduction. We must define desired behavior clearly and explain precisely how the target behavior goals can successfully be reached. As teachers, we must show that our classroom is our domain and we are the law. In addition to establishing rule and order in the classroom by promoting hierarchy from teacher down to student as a ground for establishing respect we must also promote respect among student-student relationships. By stressing school and classroom policy, we must teach students to respect one another, each other’s space, rights, differences, backgrounds, race, religion, learning styles, and etc. We must recognize differences and show how we can strive for the best despite being different in several different ways.
Working with Parents
Parental involvement plays a highly crucial role in classroom management. Most parents want to be supportive participants in their children’s classes, but look for the teacher to provide opportunities to be involved. Teachers who involve parents in their class activities more than likely will find that they have increased parent support at home, because parents have a deeper understanding of what their children are experiencing in the classroom. According to researchers Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikeland. “The more intensely parents are involved in their children’s learning the more beneficial are the achievement effects. This holds true for all types of parental involvement in children’s learning and all types and ages of students.” As students get older, we can still find ways to get parents involved in their classes. This allow the parents presence to be known and can often aid in the way children respond to classroom/school policy and also to course material aiding in the learning process, because they are aware of the parent’s involvement and their knowledge of what is going on in the classroom and the teacher’s expectations.
Enhancing Students’ Motivation to Learn
Another part of classroom management involves the student expectations. Students must be respectful. Every student has the right to a safe and secure classroom; students do not have the right to impede or jeopardize that in any shape, form, or fashion. We should stress that each student not only respect him/herself, but also the environment, fellow classmates, and all teachers and administrators. Students must be responsible. The oxford dictionary defines responsible as “liable to be called into account.” Therefore, students should recognize their role in building a fun and productive classroom of leaders. And know that there are consequences, both good and bad for their actions. In addition to that, students should be cooperative. Time after time, they will be asked to do something they may not like or think is worthless. We have to teach them and expect them to be mature and work through it so that they may reap the benefits of their hard work.
Responding to Violations of Rules and Procedures
A large part of traditional classroom management involves behavior modification, although many teachers see using behavioral approaches alone as overly simplistic. Many teachers establish rules and procedures at the beginning of the school year. These rules and procedures are often better received and learned when there is a system in place for motivation. One of the greatest motivators to improve student behavior is to provide an incentive or reward for appropriate behaviors that occur over a defined period of time. Just as rewards motivate to do better, consequences can have a similar effect on those that stray off course.
The disciplinary actions we choose to take should be based on a number of factors including the type of infraction, the age of the students involved, and any extenuating circumstances, such as whether the student has disabilities, that might have been a factor in the problem. It can sometimes be difficult to determine the best course of action when students have caused disruptions in the class. The posted discipline plan should be a guide to help make these types of decisions. However, sometimes we have to take extra measures to ensure a safe and positive classroom environment for all students.
Positive Teacher-Student Relationships
Teaching is the only profession where one person can affect change in an infinite way. Students will leave my classroom to possibly become doctors, lawmakers, professors, attorneys, pastors, and even teachers. For the one or more years that I may encounter one student, I have the ability to affect a lifetime of people with which that student encounters. Teaching is not restricted or in any way limited to the subject area. Of vast importance, also is establishing positive teacher-student relationships and the act of teaching compassion, trust, and how to learn. High School students will probably not remember all that they learn during a year of instruction. Most likely they will not remember half the knowledge that I impart on my students. Teaching a student how to learn information will create an environment in which a student becomes empowered.
Students will be able to gather more from a subject if they are taught the “how” of learning, and while they may not remember the steps of mitosis in biology, they will understand how to find the information and will be more apt to understand the minute details of the subject. Teaching is by no means a one directional path. As a teacher, I must learn from the students. Learn what interests they have, what their goals are, how they learn and how to adapt to help each student. Role-modeling and being sincere in compassion and trust can possibly create a safe environment in which students feel secure. Security and comfort for students is necessary for the learning process. To create such a classroom, as a teacher I must be truly sincere in my care for the students. I will make an effort and an investment of my time and energy to reach out and connect with my students.
In conclusion, perhaps the single most important aspect of teaching is classroom management. We can’t successfully teach students if we are not in control. This is also a concern of principals and students’ parents. There are many factors as stated above that can help to promote classroom management. Many teachers have lost their jobs due to poor classroom management, therefore your philosophy for classroom management should be clear and concise and at time flexible and open to learning new methods and strategies.