Classroom management is a vital part of a teacherís job. Without order and safety, he cannot effectively teach. Without structure and security, students cannot learn. Everyone has suffered through a class at least once with a teacher who didnít have an effective method of classroom management. Everyone has experienced at least once the joy of learning under a teacher who had everything together. All former students know the huge difference in learning, accomplishment, and enjoyment that is made by the methods and effectiveness of a teacherís management plan.
As a beginning teacher, I am planning the strategy that I will use to maintain a controlled, focused, and fun classroom. Important to this plan are the rules and procedures of the classroom (attached); the rewards and consequences for following or breaking the rules; and the way in which I will deal with non-disruptive off-task behavior. I must also plan how I will familiarize my class with this information.
The rules of the class should be simple and to the point. On the first day of school, I will go over them with the students. I will ask them to help illustrate the rules, giving examples and acting them out. Procedures will be covered similarly. I will compliment students on correctly following the procedures and rules as often as possible to provide repetition and positive examples.
Students will have a visual representation of their behavior, be it color-coded cards, popsicle sticks, or another design to match a classroom theme. With color cards, for example, each student will begin the day with green. At the first violation of therules, she will be asked to remove the green card, revealing a yellow one. She will state the rule or procedure she did not follow and what she should do differently in the future. At the second violation, she will pull another card, leaving orange. The student will again state the rule and correct behavior for the future. She will also suffer a consequence Ė a fine of classroom money, time off of recess, or something else appropriate. At the third infraction, she will be left with a red card, and required to fill out a behavior plan (attached). This must be taken home and signed by a parent. If she goes through all the colors again, she will also have to visit the principal. Of course, the steps may be skipped in the case of an extreme infraction, such as fighting or physical threats.
Students who are still on green at the end of the day will receive a behaviour point. These may be traded in for special priviledges once several have bene saved. For example,for 30 points, he might get to eat lunch with the teacher or play a game on the computer during morning math.
The day will start with morning procedures, and then something the students can do themselves, such as morning math. They will fill out their math journals, answering a variety of problems, to be gone over as a class once everyone is ready. Any time they finish this or another assignment early, they may read, write, or draw, unless otherwise instructed. Thie end of the independent work time will be signaled with a bell or chimes. This will let them know that I need them to stop working and listen.
Students awho are off-task but not inturrupting the class must be pulled back on track without disturbing others. For example, if a student is still reading a book after the next activity has begun, it would be unfair to the others to stop class to correct her. Often just walking by her seat or placing a hand on her shoulder will be enough to get a student back in task. Students who are working correctly can be praised to remind those who are not. A visual signal may also work Ė a certain token placed on the desk to remind the student that she is off task.
Hopefully the rules and procedures I have set out will enable my class to flow smoothly. Once I start teaching on my own, Iím sure I will find things that I overlooked, but at this time I believe I am as ready as I can be.