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Classroom Management

Essay by review  •  January 29, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,726 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,991 Views

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There are many different ways to run a successful and effective classroom. Numerous people have tried to give me the best advice for making things work, but ultimately it will be my choice to decide what works best for me. By assessing the students' needs, I will be able to provide a curriculum and classroom environment that will hopefully motivate their learning. In assessing my own needs, I can make the proper actions necessary to make sure that those needs are met. Rules and consequences fall under both the needs of the student and the teacher, so those are essential as well. In the following, I will discuss what I find to be the needs of the student, the needs of the teacher, and how my philosophy on rules, consequences, and discipline play into these needs.

According to several educational psychologists and theorists, there are many different needs of a student. I agree particularly with Glasser, who states that students have a need for belonging, "fun", freedom, and a warm environment with a meaningful and engaging curriculum. Linda Albert contributes more by theorizing that the student needs to feel accepted (by being who they are, without judgment), and that student needs attention and affection (Devito, 2004). These, in my own opinion, are some of the most important needs that a teacher might face, especially when teaching adolescents. While all students have different needs, these are a few that are shared by most.

Often times, as a teacher you are the most influential adult figure in a child's life. By creating a warm environment where the student not only feels comfortable, but is eager to come to, you have created the beginning of a successful learning environment. Once you have the student in class, who is ready to learn, the need for an interesting and stimulating curriculum is a must. One cannot teach a student who is disengaged and bored, so as a teacher it is necessary to understand the need for exploring topics of interest.

Not only do students have the needs as listed above, but according to Kohn, they also have the need to be treated as individuals (Devito, Spring 2004). Democratically speaking, Glasser says they also need a sense of power in addition to their need to be treated as individuals (Devito, Spring 2004). Through classroom rules, procedures and discipline, these needs can all be addressed.

What about my needs though? Surely if they students can have that many, then so can I! My needs, however, differ greatly than those of the students and include not the needs that will help and guide me to learn, but rather to help and guide me to teach. Before including the students into the equation of a successful classroom, we must first look at the classroom. I need a room that is organized, structured, and meets the needs of my instructional goals. Personally, to provide the engaging curriculum that I feel the students needs, I would need technology in the room. In addition to the use of technology, I would want a classroom that would allow me to rearrange the seating to my preference.

Not only do I require all that, but I also have the need to feel comfortable and safe in my classroom. A teacher who does not feel safe and secure around her students, should not be in that classroom. Not only for the reason of security purposes, but for the purpose of teaching. How can someone manage a classroom and provide discipline when one fears the students? It cannot happen. How can one teach a class that they can't manage? It cannot happen. Above all the needs I feel I might have as a teacher, I feel my ultimate necessity is that of discipline, consistency, and structure. Those three together make for a better learning environment for all.

In choosing my classroom rules, I would like to utilize the input of the student, but not solely depend on them to make the classroom rules. That, in its own, would be asking for trouble! I think laying out a general guideline and having the students contribute ideas and sub-guidelines is a good idea. This way, I am placing the rules that have to be in place (whether they are school rules that have to be enforced, or rules that I simply cannot live without), but they are also contributing to the sub details and feeling some sort of ownership. By creating the rules and guidelines for the classroom, they are made aware of what is right, what is wrong, and what is expected of them. They cannot use the excuse that they were not aware of the rules (and what they entail), because they helped to create them!

Display of the classroom rules need not be very detailed, but rather displayed as a guideline. However, the students will have a detailed version of the rules, responsibilities, and procedures that will be required to be kept in their notebooks. My idea of this is similar to that of the Curwin and Mendler version of the "Social Contract" and my students WILL be held responsible for it.

For consequences, I think that standard practice for me will be the record keeping of violations, with predetermined infractions already decided. In my practicum experience, I have found this to be the most useful and practical way for someone who is new to teaching (like myself), to keep track of things. While it does include some time during class and paperwork, it is evident to the students that you are going to remain faithful to the consequences you have set forth and it reinforces the consistency level. As for what the infractions might be, I have come up with the following:

Ð'* Step one: Verbal Warning. I believe the student should have the opportunity to be aware of the misbehavior and have the option on whether or not they choose to misbehave again.

Ð'* Step two: Written letter home to parents. This includes not only something the parents are required to sign, but also a list of all the rules for the school and classroom that the student must rewrite several times (this at the middle school level).

Ð'* Step three: Phone call home, and one



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