Philosophy About Classroom Management Education Essay

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A classroom management plan is a system used to inform students of expectations regarding their behaviors. This system is comprised of a set of procedures and routines for dealing with anticipated situations, a set of classroom rules and consequences, and a well-planned arrangement of stations and materials. A good classroom management plan keeps both students and teachers organized so that the amount of time spent dealing with distractions is minimized and the amount of time spent on teaching and learning activities is maximized. This idea is embodied by a statement from Harry Wong's 1998 edition of The First Days of School, "A well-managed classroom is a task-oriented and predictable environment". It is the responsibility of the instructor to establish a routine that puts students in control of their educational experiences by creating a safe and constructive learning environment. This Classroom Management Plan has been developed for a high school classroom in which both Spanish and Biology classes are conducted.

I.) Classroom Rules, Rewards, and Consequences

Communicating expectations is one of the most important roles of the teacher, because students will learn very little if they do not know what is expected of them. The Classroom Expectations, Cues & Consequences, and Incentives will be displayed prominently on large posters. For the convenience of students, parents, and administrators, printable copies of these posters will be available on the class website.

Classroom expectations are determined by the teacher in accordance with school policies. They are not determined democratically. All students are expected to meet all expectations at all times. It is the responsibility of the teacher to implement both the Cues & Consequences and the Incentives in a consistent and equitable manner.

A) Expectations for the Students

1. Students will be in their seats and ready to learn when the bell rings.

2. Students will show respect for the subject, the materials, the instructor, and peers.

3. Students are responsible for copying the posted assignments into their planners and for submitting completed assignments on or before the due date.

4. Students are responsible for making the teacher aware of individual needs.

5. Students will comply with classroom procedures.

B) Expectations for the Teacher

1. The teacher will be prepared to deliver instruction.

2. The teacher will show respect for the all students' beliefs and ideas. (This does not mean the teacher will agree, but it does mean the teacher will consider alternative viewpoints.)

3. The teacher is responsible for keeping the Notice Boards and Calendars current and keeping students informed of expectations.

4. The teacher is responsible for making reasonable accommodations for individual needs and preferences.

5. The teacher will make classroom procedures known and indicate which procedures are to be used at which times.

C) Incentives

For arriving on time:

1. Most bellwork can be completed in class if students begin work immediately. This is not only permitted, it is encouraged.

2. If all students are in their seat ready to learn immediately at the beginning of class, there will be more time available for work on group projects.

For good behavior:

1. The more on-task the class is, the more efficiently students learn. Student efficiency will not result in extra work being assigned. Instead, it will give all students more time to finish work in class, have fun demos and activities, and play review games.

2. Students' choice! If the class completes the material within a given unit and review early, the students may decide what to learn about next and how to do it. (However, the teacher has veto power and cannot be overruled with a 2/3 majority.) For example, if the class completes a Spanish unit early, they may decide to make piñatas, watch a Disney movie or telenovela in Spanish, or prepare ethnic dishes. If the class completes a Biology unit early, they may decide to watch a Bill Nye or NOVA special, host a debate about a current issue, go outside to complete an ecology or horticultural project, or conduct a food lab.

For on-time assignments:

1. Students get all of the points earned for correct responses.

2. Additionally, if an individual student has proven that he/she is generally responsible, the teacher will be more likely to grant extensions for extenuating circumstances provided that the student makes the request in advance, and the teacher will be more likely to be understanding about unavoidable situations that arise at the last minute.

For everything:

If the teacher is in a good mood, class will be more fun.

D) Cues and Consequences

In most cases, the consequences will follow this sequence, but exceptions will be made for extreme behaviors and repeated infractions.

For a tardy arrival:

1. Students get one five-minute grace period per month for an unexcused late arrival.

2. If a student is late a second time within the month, he/she will be issued a tardy slip that must be signed by the parent and returned the next day. Being in class on time DOES mean the student is in his/her assigned seat with all necessary materials, such as a notebook and pencil. It does NOT mean being in or near the classroom.

3. A detention slip will accompany the 3rd tardy slip, and every additional tardy slip.

For noncompliance:

At the beginning of the year, this sequence will re-set daily. However, once students have had an opportunity to become accustomed to the procedures and expectations, if an inappropriate amount of class time is spent issuing warnings, these procedures will become more strict and will be re-set weekly.

1. Nonverbal warning - the teacher will make eye contact, place a hand on the student's desk, or otherwise attempt to indicate the behavior is not acceptable.

2. Verbal warning - the teacher will verbally inform the student a behavior is not appropriate.

3. Written warning - the teacher will issue an appointment card to discuss the inappropriate behavior outside of class.

4. Referral - the teacher will refer the student to the principal or guidance counselor.

For late assignments:

1. Students get a one-day grace period for one assignment per month, with the exception of student presentations.

2. All other late assignments will receive a 5% point reduction daily up to 25%.

For example: 0 days late: Original Score - 90 Score Received - (90*100%=) 90

1 day late: Original Score - 90 Score Received - (90*95%=) 85.5

2 days late: Original Score - 90 Score Received - (90*90%=) 81, Etc.

II) Starting School

Physical Arrangements and Materials Storage

The students will arrive to a classroom that is organized and arranged in a manner that is conducive both to learning in general and to the procedures specific to the classroom. On the first day, a seating chart will be displayed on the projector screen as students enter the room. Students are expected to sit in their assigned seat every day unless directed otherwise. The seating chart may be altered at any time.

The classroom will be centered on the board, maps, and projector screen. The aisles will ideally be spaced wide enough for the teacher to comfortably circulate the room. The presence of a rear aisle will allow students to enter and exit the seating area from more than one direction so that they can move quickly to stations or group activities. The center aisle is wide enough for the projector cart to be placed in during use. When not in use, the overhead projector will be stored in the corner between the whiteboard and the windows. There will be a listening station, an activity station, and a computer station. Frequently needed supplies will be stored in labeled easy-to-access cupboards and bookshelves.

On a large poster, the Classroom Expectations will be displayed. Additionally, each class will have a dedicated Notice Board that is used to display recent, current, and upcoming assignments. Folders in these areas will contain extra handouts, and there will be an Inbox for each period. Around the room, I will display educational souvenirs and posters.

B) The First Few Days and Teaching Rules

During the first few days (week) of school, the classroom expectations will be explained and classroom procedures will be explicitly taught and practiced. Students will have the opportunity to seek clarification about these expectations and procedures. Although the expectations and procedures are not negotiable, alterations may be made based on the needs of an individual student. For example, a student with a learning disability may be excused from the late penalties on certain types of assignments if that accommodation is indicated as appropriate in his/her IEP. Students will be encouraged to bring any concerns to the attention of the instructor at the beginning of the term or as the concerns become known.

Additionally, content-related activities will begin immediately, but instruction will begin at a slow pace in order to allow the time necessary for explanation of expectations, procedures, and other necessary housekeeping details to take place. It is important to begin content-related work immediately, both because it will set the tone for the duration of the year that this class is a serious and important commitment and because it will allow students to meet expectations and follow procedures in the context of a normally functioning classroom. The year will begin with content-related activities that are designed to determine the levels of previous knowledge of individual students and of the class as a whole. Beginning the year with slow-paced content-related activities that are designed to determine prior knowledge will make it possible for late-enrolling students to join a smoothly functioning class without needing to independently learn large amounts of material. Spending the first few days in this manner will achieve these goals without wasting instructional time or sending the message that using time on non-content-related activities is permissible, and it will also serve as a review for students and provide the instructor with information needed to inform future instruction.

C) Learning Names

Every effort will be made to learn the names of all students within the first week of school. (It is not my intention to assign Hispanic names to Spanish students for several reasons. Firstly, because I am certified in multiple areas, I may have a particular student in more than one area, and it may be confusing to deal with multiple names for a single individual. Also, I feel it is better to show respect for all cultures, whether represented by the makeup of the classroom or not, than it is to artificially require students to assume a Spanish or Latin American identity. Lastly, the goal of learning a foreign language is to be able to function in the target culture and utilize the language, and it is my sincerest hope that some of my students will eventually achieve that goal. If they should undertake an opportunity to interact with a target culture, I wish for the students to be prepared to do so under their given names.)

III) Schedules

Daily Class Schedule

Most class periods will be subdivided into several activities of 5 to 20 minutes in duration. An effort will be made to begin each class with a review of previous material, but these reviews will take place in a variety of formats that utilize various levels of critical thinking skills. After previous material has been reviewed and reinforced, new material will be introduced, again using a variety of formats ranging from discussion to explicit explanation to application. Next, students will be required to utilize the new information, which may take the form of an in-class activity or discussion or it may be an independent comprehension assignment. Ideally, a brief review of the material covered during the class will take place toward the end of the period. This may not take the form of a traditional reiteration of the material, but instead it may be a different method of presenting the same information. Therefore, most classes will be subdivided into four or more learning activities. The goal is to provide the students with opportunities to learn information in multiple ways, apply their knowledge in multiple ways, and review multiple times and in multiple ways in order to prevent boredom and keep students focused, on-task, and excited about learning. Exceptions to this format may include project days and reward days.

B) Weekly and Monthly Schedules

Classes will be formally assessed by means of weekly or biweekly quizzes and tests. These assessments will be announced to the students with at least three days notice, and, in most cases, will be preceded by a class period dedicated entirely to review.

Additionally, at several points throughout the year, students will be expected to complete a project that is larger in scope and in point value. Some of these projects will be group projects, some will be individual, and some may be student choice. These projects may be technology-centered, writing-centered, lab-centered, research-centered, or some combination thereof. Students will be provided with specific project instructions and a rubric, and this information will also be posted on the Notice Board and class website. Students will be given time in class to work on their projects and seek instructor guidance; however, they may also be expected to put in some effort outside of class as well. If use of technology is required, students will be given sufficient access to that technology at school or will be allowed to check out the materials necessary.

IV) Procedures and Routines

A) Entering the Room

1. Enter quietly and politely without loitering in the hall or around the doorway.

2. Take out your book, folder, notebook, and pens/pencils. Put any additional materials where they are not in the way.

3. Check the Notice Board for your class and copy the assignment into your planner.

4. Check the front board and begin your bellwork.

B) Beginning Class

1. Once the bell has rung and the teacher has submitted the attendance, the teacher will announce the beginning of class.

2. Return your bellwork to your folders and open your notebooks.

3. Students begin class by paying attention, following directions, participating in activities, and taking notes.

C) Turning in Assignments:

Method 1:

1. Teacher will ask you to take out your assignments.

2. The students in the front row will pass their assignments to the students BEHIND them. The next row will pass both assignments to the 3rd row, the 3rd row will pass all three assignments to the 4th row, etc. If no one is behind you, pass the assignments to the person to your left or right.

3. The students in the back row will pass the assignments to the right.

4. The teacher will collect all assignments from the student at the right end of the back row.

Method 2:

1. Students will place their assignment in the appropriate Inbox as they enter or leave the room.

D) Passing around Hand-Outs and other materials:

Method 1:

1. Teacher will hand the materials to a student at the end of the front row.

2. The student will take enough copies for all students in his/her row and pass these materials to the students BEHIND him/her. The next row will pass the materials to the 3rd row, the 3rd row will pass the materials to the 4th row, etc.

3. The student in the front row passes the remaining copies to the student next to him/her, and this student repeats the procedure.

4. The teacher will collect all extra materials from the student at the opposite end of the front row.

Method 2:

1. Students will take a copy of the designated materials as they enter or leave the room.

E) In-Class Transitions

1. While the students are sitting in their assigned seats, the teacher will give instructions for the upcoming activity and assign students to a group and/or location.

2. The students will listen to the instructions and remain in their assigned seats until the teacher indicates that they are to begin the activity. At this time, the students will quietly collect materials in the manner indicated and move to the assigned groups and/or locations.

3. Students will begin work immediately on the indicated activity. If the activity is completed early, students should check their work and then review recent material either in groups or independently as appropriate.

4. Students should remain in the area indicated until the teacher requests all students to return to their normally assigned seats. At that time, students will collect and/or return materials and quietly return to their normally assigned seats and await further instructions.

E) Coming Back from an Excused Absence:

1. Copy your assignments from the class website or your friend's planner. Copy the notes of someone you trust. Ask your classmate or the teacher if you have any questions.

2. Talk with the teacher and make arrangements regarding any tests, activities, or presentations that you have missed.

3. Complete the assignments and make up tests /activities. Starting the day of your return, you have one extra day to complete the assignments for each day you have been absent. After that, the standard late deductions will be applied.

*Students returning from an unexcused absence will be dealt with in accordance with the policies outlined in the school's student handbook.

F) Leaving Class:

1. When the bell rings, quietly gather your belongings and put away any supplies with which you have been working.

2. Re-read the Notice Board while you wait in your seat to be dismissed.

3. Once the teacher has dismissed class, pick up your belongings and push in your chair.

4. Leave the room in a quiet and orderly fashion.

G) Requesting the Hall Pass:

Preferred Method (a class privilege):

1. If the hall pass is unavailable, wait patiently for it to return.

2. Once the hall pass is available, do not interrupt. Stand quietly by the hall pass hook and fill out the hall pass log with your name, the time, and your destination.

3. Wait for the teacher to indicate you may leave. If this does not happen in a timely fashion, you may approach the teacher politely and wait to be acknowledged.

4. Carry the hall pass with you to your destination. Return within four minutes.

5. Fill in your return time on the hall pass log and return to your seat.

If the Preferred Method is abused:

1. Raise your hand at your desk or station only if it is an emergency.

2. Wait to be called on.

3. Request the hall pass, fill out the log, go to and return from your destination.

V) Student Accountability Systems

A) In-Class Work

In-class work will be supervised as the teacher circulates among the students and spot-checks their work. Students may request assistance or clarification by raising their hands.

B) Homework

Homework will be collected as indicated in the procedures section. If a student does not submit the assignment, he/she will be reminded of it on a daily or weekly basis as time allows, and late assignments will be penalized as indicated in the procedures section. Students will also be able to check for missing assignments by signing into the on-line gradebook.

C) Assessments

Quizzes and other assessments will be administered during class weekly or biweekly. In most cases, an A form and a B form will be used to prevent copying. The A form and the B form will consist of the same questions presented in different orders so that both versions of the assessment will cover the same material in the same way. Students who request to take quizzes and tests in the resource room should first report to class and then will be dismissed to the resource room at the appropriate time. The assessment materials will either have already been delivered to the resource room or they will be given to the student in a sealed envelope to be brought along to the resource room. If a student needs special accommodations to take other types of assessments (such as practical examinations, oral interviews, laboratory skills assessments, etc.), special arrangements should be arranged prior to the scheduled date of the assessment. Assessments will be graded with feedback and returned promptly to the students.

D) Returning Assignments and Assessments

Graded assignments and assessments will be returned to students within a week of being submitted. Feedback will be on the graded assignments and assessments. Graded materials will usually be returned during seatwork or audio/visual exercises. If student assistants are used to return graded materials, grade confidentiality will be maintained by placing the grade on a concealed section of the paper.

E) Communicating Grades

Grades will be communicated to students by means of returned assignments and assessments, the on-line gradebook, and also by individual conferences, which will take place during class once mid grading period and once several weeks prior to the end of the grading period.

VI) Structuring Instruction

Required Materials

Students will be required to have a folder and a notebook or binder with looseleaf paper dedicated to the class and they are required to bring these items to every class. Instructions about how to organize materials will be given the first week of class and checked periodically. Additionally, students are required to bring their planner, their assigned textbook, two sharpened pencils, and a black and a blue pen to every class. At the end of every day, students should check their planner and bring home the materials needed to complete the homework.

B) Systems for Instructional Activities

It should be assumed by all students that all in-class activities are valuable learning opportunities that are worthy of full participation. In-class activities such as speaking and pronunciation exercises, laboratory activities, class discussions, partner drills, and other types of practice will be monitored by the teacher and may be assessed according to the methods described below. It is not necessary for the teacher to announce prior to the activity if the activity will be scored or which type of scoring method will be used. All students should behave at all times as if all activities are being scored.

Classwork Scoring Method:

The activity may be assessed by assigning points as though the activity were a written assignment. These points may be awarded based on completion, according to a rubric, or subjectively based on student effort according to the judgment of the instructor.

Participation Scoring Method:

Participation in the activity may count towards the participation portion of the term grade. Both positive and negative points can be awarded for productive and counter-productive participation in class activities.

C) Instructions for Assignments and Activities

Instructions for assignments will be given verbally and posted on the Notice Board in the room, as well as on the class website. Instructions for activities will be given verbally and displayed on the board/projector. Students are always welcome to ask for verbal clarification of any type of instruction, provided the clarification is requested at an appropriate time and in a respectful manner.

D) Early Completion

If a student completes an assignment or activity early, he/she should work independently or with another student that has also finished to review recently introduced material or to practice related skills. To do this, the student may request permission to use content-related games or other types of fun activities that are available in the classroom. If the student is current with all class-related assignments and studying, he/she may work on assignments from another class or read a book. If the student does not have a book, he/she may borrow a book or magazine from the class library. Alternatively, students who complete an assignment or activity early may provide beneficial assistance to their peers in the form of peer tutoring or peer mentoring. At no time, should students who finish early be disrespectful to their peers by causing distractions.

VII) Dealing with Discipline Problems in the Classroom

A) Reinforcing Desirable Behaviors

1. Incentives will be used to reinforce desirable behaviors as indicated in this outline under Section I, C.

2. Verbal encouragement will also be used to reinforce desirable behaviors such as paying attention, staying on-task, and providing well-thought through answers.

3. Participation points may also be awarded to reinforce desirable behaviors.

4. Additional rewards such as bonus points and prizes may be used for special activities.

B) Techniques for Dealing with Misbehavior

1. All misbehavior will initially be dealt with as indicated in this outline under Section I, D. Misbehavior may be vocal or physical disobedience or may be passive disobedience, such as failure to follow instructions or complete work.

2. Once a student has earned the second referral of the year, the misbehavior of that student will be considered chronic, and a student-teacher or a parent-student-teacher conference will be held in order to develop a class behavior plan. During this conference, all parties will work together to develop a contract of behavior that is acceptable to all parties. For example, in return for improved behavior and performance in class, the student may be allowed arrangements such as the ability to time him/herself out without penalty, permission to stand quietly behind his/her assigned desk rather than remain constantly seated, or being assigned to sit at a kiosk separated from other students. Specific consequences for further misbehavior such as silent study hall, lunch study, restriction from extracurricular activities, up to and including permanent removal from the class will be itemized for further transgressions. The agreement will be written out and signed by all parties, and all parties will retain a copy.

3. Once a behavior plan is enacted, every additional disciplinary action will result in an additional conference and the consequences in the behavior plan will be reviewed and enacted. Revisions may be made to the contract if deemed appropriate.

VIII) Parent Communication

A) Communication Systems

Parents are encouraged to keep track of classroom activities, assignments, and assessments by means of the class website. Additionally, students are expected to write down the agenda and assignments into their planners daily, and parents are encouraged to check those planners and help their students to keep up with studying and assignments. If parents have any additional questions, they are encouraged to contact the instructor by email, written note, or telephone. The instructor will contact parents by means of email, letters to parents, or telephone as the situation merits.

B) Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences will be held at scheduled times throughout the year as indicated on the school calendar. Additional conferences will be scheduled if the student earns two or more referrals for the class, is earning a failing grade at any time, by the request of the parent for any reason, or by the request of the teacher as deemed necessary.

C) Involvement

Parent involvement is highly encouraged. Parents are encouraged to check their students' homework for completion and to help their children to study for quizzes and tests or to practice. Additionally, parents may be asked to come to class to assist in activities or field trips or to speak as guest lecturers.

IX) Dealing with Moods, Changes in Weather, Illness, etc.

A) Modification of Activities

It is necessary to be flexible in an educational environment. Activities may need to be altered if situations such as safety drills, weather delays, or other unscheduled activities interfere. If an activity is dependent on time or weather to an extent that makes it unreasonable to modify, an alternate activity will be prepared in advance that will cover the same or related material. Additionally, if students demonstrate that they cannot handle the degree of latitude necessary for completion of a given project, the instructor reserves the right to end the project immediately and issue an alternative assignment, usually independent seatwork.

B) Preparation and Procedures for Substitute Teachers

1. Planned Instructor Absence

If the regular instructor has advance notice of the need to be absent from class, every effort will be made to secure a content-area substitute teacher, and detailed instructions will be left for the instructor on the teacher's desk, as well as copies of any materials to be used or distributed.

2. Unplanned Instructor Absence:

In the event that the need for the regular instructor to absent him/herself arises suddenly, it may not be possible to secure a content-related teacher. In this case, the substitute teacher will be instructed to announce that assignments due that day will be collected upon the return of the regular instructor and that content-related questions must be kept until the return of the regular instructor. The substitute teacher will then monitor the class during completion of an enrichment activity. Enrichment materials will be stored in drawer or cupboard marked "Substitute" along with instructions for the activity. These activities will usually consist of a video and accompanying writing assignment. Student copies of the writing assignment will be ready to distribute to students. If possible, the regular instructor will provide clarification about alterations to the week's schedule on the class website prior to his/her return. However, as some students may not have Internet access at home, alterations to the weekly schedule will be made in a manner that will allow all students to receive clarification during class, either following the return of the regular instructor or, if necessary, through an intermediary.

X) Instructional Format and Goals

A) Management of Various Instructional Formats

It is the responsibility of the teacher to present material and assess student comprehension in the ways that they find to be most effective for their specific situations and personalities. Personalized teaching styles are important not only because they enable individual teachers to be more enthusiastic and effective, but also because exposure to different ways of thinking and learning provides students with indispensable skills for their futures. It is the role of the teacher is to facilitate learning. This entails not only providing information, but also guiding students through the process of discovery, motivating students to apply themselves to their fullest potentials, and serving as a mentor and role model. The process of discovery is different for every learner, and it includes understanding oneself, especially individual strengths and challenges as well as one's own preferred methods of learning. In order to accomplish this, the teacher must work with students and their parents to adapt instruction and assessment to meet individual needs.

Learning activities will consist of a combination of traditional lecture, small group instruction and discussion, cooperative learning, independent research projects, and service or discovery learning. These activities will involve reading assignments, writing assignments, student presentations, and lab work. Students will use and build models, make drawings, sing, dance, eat, and work with technology. They will also be expected to do independent seatwork and paired exercises. Instructions for these activities will be given as described in the outline under Section VI C, and transitions between these activities will take place as described in Section IV, E. These activities will be monitored and supervised as described in Section VI, B.

Assessment activities will consist of essays and reports, presentations, projects and lab or field work, and portfolios in addition to practice problems and worksheets, criterion-referenced tests, and standardized tests. In order to promote a sense of personal responsibility for learning and a strong work ethic, the teacher will also assess students in terms of effort, persistence, participation, and attitude.

Developing Positive Relationships

In today's world it is becoming increasingly important to develop the skills necessary for succeeding as a part of a team. Recent advances in technology require that individuals with many different skill sets and personality types work closely with one another, even though they may be separated by great distances. The high school classroom must mimic these conditions to prepare students for their future. For this reason, a class website is used to keep students, parents, and administration up-to-date on current class lessons, events, activities, and achievements. Additionally, the instructor is available to communicate privately with individuals in person, over the phone, or through email.

To help students build these collaborative schools, lessons emphasize group activities such as role-playing, completing labs and quests, debates and discussions, peer editing, group presentations, and paired exercises. Many of these projects combine requirements that cater to widely varying skills sets, and students are encouraged to try out different roles. It is amazing what high school students can accomplish when they work as a team!

Developing Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills

Good decision-making skills are encouraged by clearly laying out expectations, consequences, and incentives. The goal is to help students become internally motivated to be responsible citizens. To help students develop this self-control, for many incentives, natural rewards are spelled out rather than encouraging reliance on promises of immediate gratification. However, sometimes a bit of external gratification can be a powerful motivator, so it is always necessary to find the unique balance that is appropriate for every group of students; yet still equitable for all individual students.

Problem-solving skills are promoted through the use of long-term activities. Initially, activities are highly structured for students, but as they learn to use these structures, fewer details are explicitly provided by the teacher so that students can learn to tackle large projects on their own. Inquiry-based laboratories are one example of this type of scaffolding. Additionally, development of higher-order thinking skills are stimulated by including multiple levels of Bloom's taxonomy as an integral element of every lesson.