Class management is one of the not so nice parts of being a teacher. We can plan a perfect lesson and have a terrible experience when we are teaching it if we have behavioral problems in our classroom. Some strategies that can help us with class management are:
• Explain the rules of the classroom and the daily ritual.
• Have the lesson plan: have everything ready and available for the lesson. We also need to be ready to modify the instruction.
• Explain the purpose of the instruction. If we let the students know what we are expecting, we are all in the same track.
• Constantly check for understanding.
• Have many group working activities to promote socialization among the students. Rotating the groups will allow them to know their classmates and will create a nicer teaching environment.
Is better to prevent than to remediate. By preventing difficult situation we are making our behavioral management easier. Some strategies that can help prevent behavioral problems are:
• A good idea is that teachers and student together create a class agreement for instruction and discipline (C.M. Charles, 2000)
• If we create a sense of family in the classroom, few behavioral problems can appear. The class environment is caring an positive. (C.M. Charles, 2000)
• We need to explain the rules and the consequences of breaking those rules, also we need to check that the students understood what we mean by breaking rules and by consequences. (Canter, 1976)
• We can involve students in the classroom, even when we involve them in solving the behavioral problems. (Kohn, 1996)
• If we want our students to act with maturity, we must treat them with dignity. (Mendler, 1983)
We want to promote a good learning environment. This is a concept that needs to be reinforced very often: to go back, check that everything is all right with the students, try to remediate if there is something that disrupts the discipline, and continue from there.
• To support a good learning environment we can include our students in taking some decisions and helping us to solve some problems that arise in their classroom. (Kohn, 1996).
• We need to teach our students that it is OK to make mistakes, we learn a lot from them, and they don’t need to be frustrated if the make one. (Coloroso, 1994)
• We need to give examples of situations and how to solve them. With examples and not with ideas, the students can preserve their dignity and their hope when they are facing a problem. (Mendler, 1983)
• There are three types of misbehavior, if we understand them, we can prevent them and address them accordingly if we have a misbehavior problem: mischief, mistake, and mayhem. (Coloroso, 1994)
But sometimes the things turn difficult, discipline problems arise, and we need to act. We need to address the conflict in a more straightforward way to end with it and to return to our good environment.
• If we have an episode of misbehavior we can have a class meeting to address the situation. (Kohn, 1996).
• When a rule is broken we must try to address that fact immediately and apply the consequence. (Coloroso, 1994)
• When there is a serious infraction we can use strategies as the three R’s: reconciliatory justice, restitution, resolution and reconciliation (Coloroso, 1994)
• Once the class’ routine is established, the teacher should look for the cause of misbehaviors and try to correct it. (C.M. Charles, 2000)
• We should stop the misbehavior as soon as we perceive it (C.M. Charles, 2000)
Based on my teaching philosophy, the Experimentalism or pragmatism my main goal is to promote critical thinking, to learn to analyze, to criticize, and to make a conscious decision based on evidence. Values like democracy and justice are important for me.
I think that teenagers in general are asking for limits. And we need to establish them and to let them know how far they can go and what are the consequences of their actions. But in order to be fair and democratic we can have the students to decide on some of those limits and the consequences.
I like to promote the concept of them being responsible of their actions and I don’t really like a reward/punishment schema.
I also agree that discipline and respect are key areas of teaching, we are educating people, not just passing knowledge.
But I also believe in dignity, in treating our students with respect, to try to understand them and to help them as best as we can.