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Insight Into Classroom Management Plans Implemented in Schools Today
From personal observation, classroom management is probably the most difficult aspect of a teacher’s role. It is not simply to teach curriculum content, but it is to also guide, direct, and empower students to govern their own behavior so that their life within a social setting can be an enjoyable and productive one. It is intended that any management plan address the social needs and challenges of high school level students, and it is for this reason that the Canter Model of Assertive Discipline has been omitted. When considering this model only three things come to mind, “basic teacher rights,” unquestioned compliance to the rules, and punishment rather than discipline. Though this approach to discipline may work well at the elementary level, where decisions are made for the children, this is not as effective with your high school level students who now need to assume a greater responsibility for their own actions and behavior. Please understand that this observed Management Plan is a combination of various discipline models which are conducive to behavioral modification. These are the Glasser Model of “rational choices,” the Dreikers Model of “confronting mistaken goals,” the Skinner Model of “shaping desired behavior,” and the Kounin Model of “withitness, alerting, and group management.” The implementation of a solid management plan, which consistently utilizes the models mentioned, can be crucial to the success of any high school classroom environment.
CLASSROOM PROCEDURES/ROUTINESThe following are just a few of the classroom procedures which can be used to provide consistent momentum or transitions to avoid what Kounin describes as student satiation. In addition, there will be a few procedures which will focus on Dreikers idea of choosing an acceptable behavior to achieve the desired result. This too can help redirect some of the mistaken goals of students.
Entering/Leaving the classroom - when entering the classroom, students are to come in quietly, take out the necessary materials needed for the class, and they are to place their book bags and other items neatly under their desks and out of the aisles. This procedure can provide them with the time they need to settle in and begin the class in an orderly and nondisruptive manner. This procedure, as with every subsequent procedure, should first be explained or described to the students. The students should then be called upon to answer specific questions about proper procedure, and finally the students should actually practice entering and leaving the classroom until they’ve achieved the required result. If this procedure begins to fail at some time during the year, Skinner explains that systematic application may be needed to shape/reinforce a behavior. At that time the students should be taken back through the initial tutorial on entering and leaving the classroom.
Starting Class - to begin the class there should be some sort of bell work activity fixed into the daily schedule. This routine allows the teacher to gain the attention and cooperation of the students from the start of the class without personal involvement, which will allow the teacher a transition from one class to the next. The activity can be posted either on the board or on an overhead sheet, and with some reinforcement in the form of a verbal reminder, this routine could be in place in no time.
Taking Role - this is a procedure which can best be accomplished if you have implemented a bell work activity upon entering the class. Initially, you should assign seats to each of your students and have your seating chart readily available so that you may take role quickly and quietly while they are all completing the activity. The goal is to take role quickly and move on. There is nothing more amusing to me than recalling Ben Stein’s very popular “role call” in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Checking Homework - an efficient way to check homework and also stay on or ahead of schedule is to offer students an open notebook homework quiz. This method allows the teacher to pick and choose certain questions given as homework assignments. For example, if the students were given Math homework in Sections three and four of Chapter seven. To check if this assignment has been completed, the students are asked to provide the answers for the following: Section three #’s 15 & 21, Section four #’s 17 & 23. This eliminates the need for notebook checks, which requires that the student turn in his/her notebook overnight for grading, and the student therefore will not lose a night to review his/her notes for future tests. In addition notebook checks will also slow your progress in keeping with the time constraints of the curriculum. This is a more efficient method of monitoring the completion of homework, and will also reward those who have completed their assignments.
When students are out of materials - it should be the practice of every teacher to keep on hand enough supplies for at least three students. As part of the rules of the classroom the students are aware that supplies are a necessity, however, no child should be deprived of an education. There should be a learning center where the students will know that they may borrow/rent supplies when needed. This can be maintained by simply requiring that the student borrowing supplies leave his/her student id in a basket located at the learning center to be retrieved once the borrowed item is returned.
The following are classroom rules that have set the stage for how the classroom will run throughout the year. According to Glasser, the establishment of rules is essential to the success of a classroom. In deciding what rules will be most productive, they must reinforce the basic idea that students are there to learn. If, at the end of each rule, you cannot add, “we are all here to learn,” then the rule should not be imposed. The rules should be sent home to the parent(s), and they along with their student should be required to sign and return this form to the teacher. This will confirm that they, the parent(s) and the student, are aware of the rules of the classroom and the consequences which follow, should the student break his/her signed pledge agreement.
1. Please have your materials for class everyday (notebook, textbook, pen, pencil, and homework)
2. Please raise your hand before speaking out in class.
3. Please respect the right of others to learn
4. Come to class ready to participate and learn.
5. Lastly, there is to be NO fighting.
The table above details the consequences followed once rules have been broken. By following these consequences for misbehavior, the teacher is reinforcing Glasser’s fundamental idea of “accept no excuses” for bad behavior. The purpose of consequences is to address the misbehavior with out drawing attention to it, or justifying it. The mistaken goal of the student is to gain the attention of his/her peers by misbehaving, and the goal of the teacher is to initially ignore the misbehavior. If this problem persist, it is time to use such tactics as proximity, body language, and finally to ask to speak to him/her after class. Once all else has failed, and the warnings have had no affect, it is time to follow the consequences shown above.
For that occasion when a student finally does what you knew he/she was capable of all along, there are rewards such as free time, and open praise. For times when the class deserves acknowledgment for a job well done, there are rewards such as THE THREE GOOD F’S: Freedom, Food, and Fun. All the things a teacher should remember about being a student. For example, what sort of reward in your high school days did you enjoy most.
The following list of preventive/supportive techniques will explain why they should be used to prevent discipline problems:
Movement Management - should always have a daily lesson plan with more than enough activities to avoid wasting instruction time.
Efficient Help - should make a point of spending no more than 20 seconds helping a student so that the class as a whole stays on task.
Group Focus - should call on students randomly to keep the interest of those who are participating and encourage those not participating to do more.
Satiation - should know when enough is enough on one particular subject matter, and to move on without a break in instruction (this goes hand in hand with Movement Management)
Body Carriage - should reflect confidence in oneself while addressing the class.
Parents should be informed of the progress and activities of their student as often as possible, and they can be informed either by phone, letter, or e-mail. It should be during the first days of school that a form be sent home with the teachers personal contact information, and with this form there should be a section for parents information and their preferred method of contact. This section should be cut and returned to the teacher, or they can access the teachers’ personal web page and fill out the form there remembering to include their students name and class hour.
(Ex. John will not work) John never disrupts the class, but he never completes an assignment. He doesn’t seem to care and is simply there putting forth no effort. How should John be dealt with? Before any action is taken, first evaluate the situation and determine if there are obstacles preventing John from meeting his need for belonging, fun, power, and freedom. Take the time briefly between classes to talk with him about this matter. Remind him that participation is one of the class rules, and that this is a warning. Make certain that he understands that it is his choice in the matter, but help him choose some alternate behaviors and continually encourage him to participate in class. Do not allow John to make excuses for himself: accept no excuses. When he shows improvement, be certain to openly praise him. Lastly, never give up on John.
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