In this country, many rookie teachers do not succeed in the first two years of teaching due to poor classroom management. They have forgotten the essentials of running a smooth classroom, maintaining appropriate and consistent discipline and the overall pressures of teaching. Worst-case scenario, they never learned the essentials of classroom management. Since behavior management is one of the primary areas of concern for classroom teachers each year, it is important to learn if only the basics of classroom management and how to deal with typical behavioral issues as they arise. Learning these basics may eliminate job burnout and increase teacher survival.
Harry Wong's CD, How to Improve Student Achievement, addresses classroom management in a way that most haven't done before. According to Wong, "all of the things that a teacher does to organize students, space, time, and materials so that instruction in content and student learning can take place" (Wong, 2003), includes appropriate classroom management, not just appearances. Wong goes into further detail of four principles in which classroom management is premised upon - communicating clear expectations to students, having an established discipline plan that states behaviors that are expected, having consequences and rewards, and having daily routines or procedures (Wong, 2003). For this assignment, I will identify ten possible negative classroom behaviors, how they influence the classroom, and how they might be changed by different applications.
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Lack of organization, order, or overall structure within the classroom.
Poor communication between the students and the teacher.
Student behavior is pre-empted upon rewards - true discipline system has not been instilled.
Students repeatedly break classroom rules.
Students have aggressive behavior or hostile behavior towards others.
Students are resistant to listen or complete work assignments in the classroom.
Students are confrontational with teachers and other school staff (power struggles).
Students are dependent on help from the teachers all the time, teachers enabling the dependency not allowing the students to work independently.
Students refuse to remain seated during class.
Students not showing respect to others or other's property.
The listed negative classroom behaviors can be a huge influence on the overall condition of the classroom, as well as implementing the classroom management by the teacher. It is important that teachers understand how to handle such types of misbehaviors in a way that is positive, consistent and promotes self-discipline.
As we well know, behavioral issues within the classroom do come with the territory and do occur from time to time. Yet, with the proper classroom management system, the behaviors do not have to overrule the class and become the biggest influence over the teacher or the students. According to Wong, the effective teacher states to the entire class that all behavior problems will be handled promptly and completely - this conveys a message to the students that you as the teacher are in control and ready (Wong, 2003).
Before teachers step into the classroom, it is important that they realize what could be motivating their students to want to "act out" behaviorally and influence the overall classroom environment. Glasser addresses such motivations through the choice theory (Charles, 2011). The choice theory assumes that a "student's behavior is based upon whatever is most satisfying to them at any given time" (Charles, 2011, pg. 145). Students are determined to try to be in control over their own lives so they can meet their needs, therefore, it is the duty of teachers to guide, teach, and expose students to positive and responsible behavior, which allows them to gain more self-control over their "chosen" behaviors (Charles, 2011).
In addressing the physical aspect of the classroom, how a teacher arranges the classroom speaks volumes to the students. A teacher needs to be able to arrange and coordinate their classroom movement in a way so they cannot only effectively manage, but also so, they can identify and apply class rules efficiently (Charles, 2011).
Promoting the teacher-student relationship is also another core indicator of the classroom management system (Charles, 2011). It is known that teachers that have better relationships overall with their students are less likely to have behavioral problems in the classroom as opposed to those teachers who have not created or developed the teacher-student relationship. It needs to be noted, that for there to be an effective teacher-student relationship, there needs to be specific teacher behaviors - showing the appropriate levels of authority, cooperation and being aware of the needs of the students (Wong, 2003). Being a friend to a student or having a great personality is not an effective method of the teacher-student relationship.
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The key for optimal classroom management resides in communication! The teacher must provide clear and concise communication directly to the students about what expectations they have of them and how the teacher expects the students to meet those expectations (Charles, 2011). Any rules that have rewards or consequences must be rationalized to the students for understanding. Consistency is very important in creating a routine for the classroom and implementing the classroom procedures and rules (Charles, 2011). By performing basic daily activities repeatedly the first few weeks of school, leaves little room for error for the future (Charles, 2011).
Another suggestion for addressing any of the above persistent behavioral issues is proximity between the student and the teacher - which could fall in line with classroom arrangement (Charles, 2011). Sometimes, it is effective to have the disruptive student(s) separated from the class or from the other problematic students. Placing these students close to the teacher allows for less distraction and faster/earlier teacher intervention. Maximizing the proximity between the teacher and behavioral students can minimize classroom problems (Charles, 2011).
The goal is to focus more on learning within the classroom rather than discipline. Behavioral problems can seriously influence the entire classroom environment along with the educational process. This can create problem relations and resentment between the teacher and the students. This essentially can cause burnout and lack of success.
It is important from day one for the teacher to establish positive interactive routines. This helps actively promote a positive learning environment where the individual student is valued as a major contributor. By doing so, the teacher acknowledges all learning styles, and strengthens their teaching methods accordingly. A student that feels a sense of belonging or of value within their environment is less likely to disrupt and "act out" then those who receive no sense of acceptance.