A reflective essay on the best practices for the most effective classroom management based on personal experience and supported with research findings and real life examples.
Before speaking about specific strategies that create a positive classroom, I want to note that we people who work in schools are able to pay attention for the management problems that happen at our classrooms, but does this mean that we are able to know about all the management problems that happen?! Or are we able to be familiar with all these problems?! I think we may be able to analyze a case we're hearing about but this is not even enough, the case and the problem should be so close to us in order to find solutions and solve it.
Let's think about what we already know about students and classrooms. In its broadest sense, setting up and running a positive classroom means a great deal more than a discipline, or making students behave. We know too much today about how people learn to fall back on old techniques that use compliance and fear to secure discipline. We also know that children and adolescents possess a rich array of intelligences, each of which can be developed to an average or greater than average level of capability. We know that EQ (emotional intelligence) is more critical for success than IQ (intelligence quotient).
Given this new knowledge, the only real problem as I see it is not the lack of information but the forces that allow some of this knowledge while suppressing other aspects. For example, there is political will that holds standardized test scores to be valid indicators of what students know and don't know. Whether this is correct or not is a matter for debate, but what is clearly true is that assessments based on standardized tests are least informative for teachers, students, and parents, especially in light of what we know (or should know) today: Our students have rich cognitive and emotional intelligences, varied interests, and different levels of maturity, motivation, and needs. Standardized tests are simply unable to recognize or measure any of these.
I think our papers hear should discuss two main topics:
- Setting up the positive classroom is creative: It creates the best situation in which the student can learn and the teacher can educate.
- The relationship between effective teaching and effective classroom management is a symbolic one; that one cannot exist successfully without the other.
So what are the practices a teacher may or must follow so she will ensure a peaceful engaged classroom?
1. I suggest that teachers need to use their power and their knowledge in a creative way, but in a way different from the way it is used in business, because here she/he is educating humans.
2. Teachers need to help their students in a way that let those learners be able to succeed, so for example at the beginning of the school year and after assessing student's abilities there is no problem in giving students a test that will have them all succeed, this matters a lot to them, they feel the taste of success.
3. We should care about our students, but in the context of the positive classroom, caring is much more than a nice and sweet feeling. It is an attitude and tone of acceptance and loving regard that is fundamental to students' feeling safe, feeling valued, being motivated to learn, believing they will learn, and actually achieving, both academically and socially.
4. Teacher's attitude affects students academic performance and achievement, I used to motivate my students in a way that lets them feel challenged and because they like it they used to work harder to prove me that they can achieve the tasks, knowing that I'm their to help them and not criticize their actions.
5. Putting the spiritual dimension shoe on the other foot, let's ask our selves how hard it is for one of us to work with or for someone we feel did not like us or did not care about us. So we teachers should know how to make our students like us and I'm sure from that moment on we will be having the key that will open many doors. Ok someone here may say that this student is silly and I can't stand him, I think in this case we should at least give him his right in our respect.
6. We teachers show whether or not we care by the ways we model empathy or its flip side cruelty. For example did anyone of us think of how the student we are yelling at in front of his all friends is feeling?!
7. Teachers may show caring by working with students on their life skills and teaching them how to resolve conflicts besides modeling appropriate ways to deal with frustration.
8. It is of a good benefit if the teacher puts high academic expectations this will affect student behavior in the classroom. But setting high expectations should be discussed with the students so they will be aware and responsible to what the teacher is expecting from them.
9. Teacher enthusiasm not only positively affects student behavior, but it improves student achievement as well. So teacher here should be working on her attitude, tone of voice, moving around the classroom and perhaps sharing and articulation interest in the subject.
10. Students here have to be encouraged to share their enthusiasm too.
Students should be held accountable for their work, the quality and quantity of their work rise, and there is a seriousness of purpose in the classroom.
11. Teacher should know how to impress her students, this is more important than the reward value, the teacher to specify her attributions for instance: how responsible they were in an outing they did, how funny and cute they were while acting a play.
12. Teacher should be teaching her students who they are and not to persuade them, to face them by what good character they have and to identify the good actions they do.
13. In all ages of the school years students are absorbed by what is called an “attention span” so teacher here should be working on her planning, engage all the learners and work on their learning styles so they will not get bored and distract the entire classroom.
14. For setting up a safe and productive learning environment teacher should be planning for differentiated instruction as well as more highly interactive cooperative learning approaches.
15. The most important skills a teacher should master so she will ensure a peaceful managed classroom are:
- Thinking about her planning and preparation.
- Guiding students to establish and maintain focus.
- Striving for clear instructions and communications.
- Encouraging students to answer critical challenging questions.
- Monitoring through overseeing student work as it is being created.
- Providing students with immediate and specific feedback and assessment.
- Summarizing through leading students to review and recap what they have learned.
- A student must to something of value to actually be successful and avoid disturbance and misbehavior.
16. Many disruptive behaviors in the classroom can be alleviated before they become serious discipline problems. Such behaviors can be reduced by the teacher's ability to employ effective organizational practices.
If we want to talk about the best practices related to classroom management we may write books, but what I would like to mention at the end is that, “Good Teaching” was traditionally an idealistic notion of a teacher centered, quiet classroom where diligent, obedient students listened intently, studied hard, achieved well academically while never daring to challenge the authority of the teacher.
Teacher today must adjust all the teaching process to fit all the learners with all their differences and backgrounds.
From viewing a wide body of research and recommendations within the literature, it becomes clear that good teaching and effective classroom discipline/management go hand in hand. Effective teaching cannot be conducted when the classroom environment is constantly disrupted and students are not attentive. Conversely, when effective teaching strategies are not consistently applied, or even implemented at all, students will become alienated, bored-frustrated with what they perceive as a curriculum irrelevant or beyond their grasp-such a situation is a behavioral disaster waiting to happen. It is imperative that today's teachers become aware of many of the fundamentals mentioned above in order to better cater for students with all backgrounds, needs and abilities.