R 7 - Classroom and Behavior
BY FERN HOSKIN
Classroom & Behavior Management
This is a question I have wanted to answer since I seen this subject topic at the start of the semester. It is something, which I found myself pondering before I even signed up for this course, and if I am completely honest, probably the one I am most nervous about.
I have a firm set of moral values and perspective and understanding on what I feel my teaching will reflect, because I am every day becoming clearer about my journey, up skilling my current knowledge and boosting my confidence as a teacher in the world today.
I want every child whom I teach to understand the values I hold and the importance of being a part of a team, as I see our class to be a team. We need to work together, we strive for the same goals and we succeed together as a unit. I want the class to all have a shared vision in what the class will look like, physically, and under the surface. This ability to have a whole class vision will put responsibility on each and every child in the class – which means we all have a tie in and are striving for the same goal – as well as any individual ones we have.
I need to know my target audience – my class, understand their backgrounds and create a positive environment, which encourages everyone to embrace their personality, delivers a sense of belonging, allows for students to feel safe and protected, shows care and genuine contributions of positivity towards their needs and well begin and protection, encourages students to challenge themselves, make progress and achieve all on a fair playing field. This approach to teaching must be from the heart – it must have these characteristics and be delivered with uttermost sincerity.
From the beginning, I have had questions over the ability for me to be taken seriously in regard to maintaining children, which may skyrocket out of control, because I am still only 22. I am also very short. However as I grow and develop, as a teacher I know these daunting thoughts will pass and I ill own everything with confidence. But for reflections sake I wanted to document my small fears – so that in the future I will be able to say I conquered them. These being;
- · My age – I’m still a baby myself, a mature one but never the less the age factor worried me, because of the fact that parents may look at me and say ‘she’s just a kid herself’.
- · My knowledge – until reading over the content for this reflection, my knowledge of discipline strategies etc. were rather limited. I don’t have any children, so the stern ‘mother voice’ isn’t quite present yet.
- · Children’s parents – not having faith in my age or knowledge.
So now that that’s out of the way – I can get on with how I want my classroom behavior and management to be like, the things I am going to work on and the approaches ill take to maintaining ‘order’ in my classroom.
I want to develop a classroom, which is based on a mutual grounding of respect, and trust between students, their families and myself. I want to build a relationship that encourages learning and positive decisions to take place. I want to create an environment where students can feel safe.
I have to have systems in place, ones that which I’m sure will seem hazy at the beginning and will grow as I do as a teacher. To do this I need to ensure that I have:
· A well organized plan/strategies in place
· Classroom rules in place
· A set behavioral policy and agreement between children and myself
· A tidy, safe fun and welcoming environment for all students and visitors
To create this type of environment I will need to face my fears of not being controlling enough and implicate some strategies to achieving the classroom environment, monitor discipline strategies and maintain controllable levels within the classroom, which I want for the benefit of the children and the sanity of myself as the teacher. This will include:
· Non-Verbal Cuing
· Advanced Planning
· Low-Profile Intervention
· Humanistic I- Messages
These strategies I will develop into my basket of tools over my time on placement and work really hard to achieve the ideal environment, which I think, is going to be most effective for me.
Do achieve this there are more little approaches to effective classroom management, which I will combine in a document for future reference in my study at home. These little tips are:
· Giving Effective Commands; make sure you mean it! - Never issue a command you do not intend to see followed through to its completion.
· Do not present command as a question or favour. - State it simply, directly, and in a businesslike voice.
· Use a quiet voice - do not yell. - Getting you upset may be reinforcing to them. Try to maintain your composure.
· Give the student time. - When giving a command allow 5 to 10 seconds to respond before giving the command again, or giving a new command.
· Do not nag. - Issue a command only twice, then follow through on the pre-planned consequence. The more you ask, the less likely they are to comply.
· Do not give too many commands at once. - Give only one or two commands at a time.
· Make sure student is paying attention to you. - Make sure you have eye contact.
· Describe the behavior you want. - It helps to give specific well-described commands that are not open to interpretation.
· Make more start requests than stop requests. - "Do" requests are better than "Don't" requests.
· Verbally reinforce compliance - It is easy to overlook and forget to acknowledge a student when he/she complies to your request
All of these strategies I can use in my classroom to manage behavior and keep my students under control and reinforce the classroom rules that would be set by the class at the beginning of the year.
With all of these strategies in place for keeping the classroom in order, there is the happy side of things, where I will use positive feedback, commenting, and a lot of the similar strategies to discipline, in the opposite light. I can reinforce good behavior with these strategies:
· Positive reinforcement
· Rewards systems
· Positive notes to be sent home and on work
· Positive feedback on school reports
· Awards at assembly
· Use child as example for other students
· Use child’s work to show class
· Non-verbal appraisal
· Verbal appraisal
It is important to have a set out standard for reward at the start of the year so that children understand the positive aspect of being well behaved or completing good quality work, and seeing that it is a great achievement to try your hardest. There are many children who strive to set the standards of the class and be the ‘smartest’ or most sporty, so it is important to me that reward is given where due, but gentle consideration is given to those students who may be softer spoken and find it hard to compete at this age. As a teacher I will know how well a students progress is coming along and will be able to see when it is their top efforts.
This is the part of the job where you see children’s eyes light up with delight and proudness, you see the work pay off and you see the progress, the warm fuzziness type of stuff. It’s what I love seeing in children’s faces, when they are rewarded for their efforts and they walk away ear to ear with a massive grin. Seeing these moments will make the hard ones worth it!