30 Apr 2012

Essay Topic: Personal System of Classroom Management

Philosophy of class room management

Students must believe the fact that school supports learning. Thus, the expectations students hold challenges them in an equitable way. In assessing the effectiveness of the class, the confidence of the teacher in teaching and classroom management abilities form the basis of my classroom management philosophy. If a teacher isn’t confident, then her students wouldn’t be either (Zauss). As far as my philosophy of classroom management is concerned, I will model the learning around the five principles of discipline and a love for learning, curiosity and respect. In order to develop and manage my students, I will make sure that the class is carried out in a professional way, and rules and regulations are present while misbehavior is discouraged. Where the environment of the class would be well organized, it would also act as a sound tool for stirring creativity in my students, engaging them to further in the development arena.

I believe that every child in the class must be involved so that the learning is jointly attained. Evidently the needs might vary, but having discussions with the students about their feelings and experiences within and outside the boundaries of the school as well as the problems they face, would help a lot in creating a classroom community. This way, the students would feel that they are meaningful and will thus make them feel significant and belonged that will reduce the unacceptable behavior. There are also many intervention strategies that I will follow, such as enabling students to identify topics directly related to their culture and background, and helping them, using work samples in the classroom in order to make the students resourceful, along with ensuring that a supportive learning environment is developed having clear expectations from both sides and providing opportunities for all students to be a part of the community.

Basis of the philosophy:

The basis of my philosophy of classroom management lies upon three basic theories of Canter, Glasser and Rudolph Derikurs. This is so, because the system of classroom managementdoes not tolerate any sort of misbehavior which is consistent with the Canter model. This model states that the teacher remains consistent with the treatment of discipline and the students who behave well are recognized. The model also states that misbehavior should not be tolerated at all and must be dealt with accordingly (Sturt). However, the model also states a rather negative approach to begin the year with the students as it states the use of warnings, letters, and detentions. The way misbehavior is being dealt with thus brings in the second theory that my philosophy follows.

Till now, it has been established that if misbehavior is detected in the class, it must be discouraged. However, it must also be understood that in order to reduce misbehavior, the assumptions that the child holds regarding the achievement of the goals must be understood in my philosophy. This statement brings in the model of logical consequences embedded in my philosophy, which states that there are 4 mistaken goals of misbehavior that are:attention seeking,  power seeking, revenge seeking, and appearing inadequate behavior that can be dealt with, provided the student identifies a sense of belonging and significance (Sturt). My philosophy also revolves around the fact that the management system must hold the values of love, respect, and achievement. The theory by Glasser backs up this idea and further states that schools can be developed without failure (Sturt).

The Five Principles

According to the 5 principles of discipline, strict standards of professionalism and ethical considerations will be set when I will interact with my students. The kinds of behavior that I wish to inculcate in my students now and would like to see in the future are a positive attitude, consideration, and taking initiatives. Other than that, personal responsibility and an effort to learn will also be inculcated in the students through establishing strong rules and regulations. As for the moral qualities, I will make sure that the students understand the importance of this through established environment learning, a strong compatibility with their fellow classmates, and their involvement in planning the program. It will be made sure that the environment generated in the class remains compatible with needs, interests, and preferences of the students along with the presence of continual helpfulness, preservation of dignity, and teachers’ charisma to highlight a sense of community.

It also required that my students should conduct themselves in a responsible manner (Roach). Therefore, the provisions included for such contain the likes of:

Managing to reduce the causes of misbehavior.

Establishing a sense of community through collaboration and joint decision making.

Keeping the students informed through open communication that is clear and effective.

Building dignity through speaking and collaborating with them to teach them the art of decision making.

Establishing group spirit.

Bringing in parents so that meaningful participation can be achieved.

Establishing fair and bias free relationships that will aid towards resolving class problems.

There is also a need for intervention when disruptions, neurological-based behaviors or other actions like these are identified. In such situations, the strategies I will use will revolve around interventions that are suitable to both me and my students. I will use the appropriate words and helpful things to say when misbehavior is identified, other than that; I will also make sure to not use words that should not be used and will develop a sound procedure that will be followed when misbehavior is identified that the students will be aware of. In this way, the students will learn the consequences of their behavior and will understand to accept responsibility that will help them avoid any disruptive behavior in future.

My classroom and its practices:

Through my experiences in the field, I came to realize that system that is central to the assertive discipline model is a classroom discipline plan created by the teacher and implemented at the beginning of the school year or academic term. The plan includes three major components: a set of classroom rules, types of positive recognition for students who obey the rules, and a hierarchy of consequences for students who disobey the rules (Wiley). However, in my own classroom, I use the assertive discipline towards the end of the school year only.

Nevertheless, when this approach is most needed, I give them each a “driver’s license”. I first explain that I came up with the idea by reflecting on how I am held accountable in the “real world”. Together, we list all of the things an adult is responsible for and typically agree that being able to drive is one of the biggest responsibilities a person can have. Even though they aren’t old enough to drive, kids understand the basic rules of the road and what it means when a cop pulls up behind you with his or her siren on. I then explain how a driver’s license works in the classroom. First, like good drivers, they can behave appropriately and be left in peace. It is likely, though, that if a rule is broken, I’ll see it and “pull them over”. We list all of their responsibilities and decide what they can get “pulled over” for. The list is limited to common issues during the last couple months of school – arriving late to class, forgetting supplies, interrupting, being loud or disrespectful, and not following directions. I demonstrate “pulling them over” by putting a single punch in their driver’s license. I am at liberty to decide whether the offense deserves a warning or a citation. The citation is a small sheet of paper with reflection questions and room for a parent signature. The fun part for the kids comes at the end of the week when they receive points for good behavior. Every day they go without getting “pulled over” earns them one point. At the beginning of the following week they can trade in their points for small prizes. Although it is a bit complex, this technique has worked well because the rules are clearly defined and awards are attainable. They end up monitoring and reporting themselves most of the time.

I used Assertive Discipline my first year of teaching but over the years I have found an eclectic approach to work best for my classroom. We establish our expectations as a community of learners from the start of the year. We may change rules during the year if we think it is necessary. We have class meetings where discipline is discussed and suggestions are given. We praise those among us who work hard and deserve a pat on the back. We encourage those who may need encouraging. We focus on the positive. This seems to create a manageable classroom atmosphere that is conducive to the learning environment. For two years now I have been implementing The Nurtured Heart Approach for the more extreme behavior problems. This approach has phenomenal results and benefits the whole class.

In order to create a tone of warmth and safety in the class room, I will make sure to greet students as they enter the classroom, which is both professional and warm; according to Wong (1998),shaking each student’s hand as he or she walks through the door is a great way to achieve this. I will also make sure that I have a sense of humor that will help create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Other than that, my focus would also be on group-building activities during the first few weeks of school, which will help create the trust and safety essential for active, collaborative learning.

During my experience in the field, I have realized that professionalism directly impacts the effectiveness of teaching and also impacts the quality of students’ education. Some examples I have observed of professional behavior by teachers during my internships have been the following which will also be inculcated in my class.

Being prepared with a schedule and lesson plans for the entire day and not having to “ad-lib” or pull something out of a hat.

Teachers who do not become flustered or frustrated in the classroom due to student behavior.  They are able to maintain control of the class without being a “dictator”.

Teachers who maintain their own education by participating in education seminars and classes in order to keep up with changes and ideas in teaching.

Teachers who not only expect respect but who earn it by respecting their own students and peers. They treat their students with the same kindness and respect that they themselves want to receive.

References:

Roach, J. Class management, [Available online] on 6th April, 2012 at:    http://jamesroach.net/education/PETE/classmanagement.html

Sturt, G. Classroom Management, [Available online] on 6th April, 2012 at:    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:SXZuI7iQVjcJ:homepage.ntlworld.com/gary.sturt/classman.htm+http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gary.sturt/classman.htm&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk

Wiley, Manage diversity in your class room, [Available online] on 6th April, 2012 at:    http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerp.

Wong, H. (1998) The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher,Wong publications.

Zauss, E. A., Educational Philosophy of Classroom Management, Educational Resources for Teachers [Available online] on 6th April, 2012 at:  https://sites.google.com/site/amandazauss/educational-philosophy-of-classroom-management

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