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I have always been a person who is driven. I believe in myself and believe that I can accomplish anything that I desire to achieve. My theory has always been, if any other human can do it, so can I; with the exception of any physical restraints. I have this belief about others also. I feel that the only limitations that anyone has are the ones that they set themselves. I have an outgoing personality and a strong sense of responsibility. My mother died when I was four. She left three small children all under the age of five. Being the oldest of three sisters, I have always felt that I had to take responsibility. When any situation warrants a leader, if no one else steps up, I will take the role. I have a sense of responsibility to protect as I felt I needed to protect my younger sisters. I do not and will not tolerate bullying. I am a Christian with have high moral values and work hard to follow these ideals. I know that all children have the ability to learn and to show respect to their classmates as well as their teacher. Being aware of this, I will show respect to my students but will expect the same in return. I know that students are taught differently today than when I was in school. There is much more student centered involvement in the classroom. I like the idea of active involvement in the learning process. But, I also want my students to be under control while this activity is occurring. I am older than most of the students at MSU. I have a grown son and have been teaching actively in my church for ten years. I have taught classes from pre-school to adult. Having much experience in a classroom situation with children from many social classes, I know how important it is for the teacher to have control. I believe in having a firm hand with my students while showing I love and care for them. This is how I have raised my son and how I will manage my future classroom. My responsibility as a teacher includes preparing my students to be in the world. Management in the business world expects workers to be respectful of those in authority. This is a quality that I hope to instill in my future students. Based on my beliefs and how I hope to implement organization in my classroom, I have chosen William Glasser, Lee and Marlene Canter, and Barbara Coloroso for their stance on discipline and classroom management.
William Glasser’s theory is based on four basic needs of children: “Freedom, Power/Achievement, Fun, and Love/Belonging”(Class, 2001, para.1). He believes that these needs can be met through a quality curriculum and related activities and that misbehavior results from feeling “out-of-sync” with the current situation. Although the student may not be in sync, Glasser still deems the student responsible for their actions as quoted from his Ten Axioms of Choice Theory, “We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.” (Glasser, 1998, as cited in Furr 2009, para.1). Ultimately, Glasser believes that it’s the teacher’s responsibility to make the classroom curriculum interesting and inviting to avoid behavioral problems but, regardless of the situation, it is within the student’s ability to behave properly. I too, believe that everyone including children are in control of their own actions and that they should be held responsible for misbehavior. I also believe that the teacher should make the curriculum and activities in the classroom engaging to ward off misconduct. In order to implement Glasser’s theory I will plan activities that will allow me to get to know my students’ interest and needs. I will adjust the curriculum to address these requirements. I want my classroom to be enjoyable both for my students and myself. I will let my students know that I care for them and will give them choices occasionally if it will benefit them and/ or the class. I will attempt to fulfill the basic needs of my students but I will expect my students to respect my authority in the classroom. I will expect my students to practice good behavior and will confront any misconduct immediately with pre-determined consequences.
Assertive discipline is the solution to misbehavior in the classroom according to Lee and Marlene Canter. “The goal of Assertive Discipline is to teach students to choose responsible behavior, thereby increasing their self-esteem and increasing their academic success.” (DuBois, S., Bowman, T., Clark, A., Candela, N., McDonough, L., 2001, para.3). By assuming ownership of their behavior and the associated consequences, a student will become positively motivated to act responsibly in the classroom. The Canters believe that it is the responsibility and right of the teacher to have an environment that is suitable for learning. When punishment has to be administered, “it must be unpleasant but not harmful to the childrenâ€¦give consequences calmly, and provide students with escape mechanisms in case they wisely choose to avoid a conflict” (Theories, n.d., para.3). The teacher’s role in assertive discipline is to have expectations that are clear, positive and consistent. The Teacher will acknowledge good behavior through positive recognition (DuBois, Bowman, Clark, Candela, McDonough). I follow the Canter’s beliefs of assertive discipline. I have seen many children in my classrooms try to gain self recognition and esteem through the admiration of their peers by misbehaving. At these times I could not teach a lesson due to the disturbance of one or a few students. This type of classroom is completely contrary to my personality. I feel as though it is my right to have control and leadership over my students and I expect parents and the administration to support me in my efforts to teach their children. I would in no way want to harm a child through punishment but I do want the child to know that punishment, though not physically or mentally harmful, is unpleasant and is to be avoided. To implement the Canters theory I will clearly define the rules and consequences for disobeying in my classroom on the first day of school. I will be consistent and firm in employing these rules. I will make it a personal policy to reward good as well as bad behavior. If needed, I will ask for assistance from my supervisors as well as parents in carrying out any punishment deemed necessary. I will give respect to my students but will expect the same in return.
The theorist Barbara Coloroso believes that students can be taught to have inner discipline. She feels that, adults should follow the Golden Rule and treat others as they want to be treated (GÜRCAN T., TEKÄ°N, E., n.d.). Coloroso says that students should be provided “a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn and deal with consequences” (Class, 2001, para.3). She believes that students should be allowed to solve their own problems with the support of the teacher. The guidance provided by the teacher should be without judgment; letting the students experience the results of their decision. When it is time to face consequences of misbehavior, the teachers should not give in to the three cons: (1) begging, bribing, weeping and wailing, (2) anger and aggression, and/or (3) sulking” (Class, 2001, para.1). I also support the Golden Rule and want my students to have concern for others and what they feel. Although I will be sensitive to the feelings of my students, I will also remember that they are children and will not always be concerned for the teacher or classmates. I have noticed how many children of today are very self- centered. They have been brought up to think no one has the right to have authority over them. I want my students to have opportunities to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences. This is part of growing up and getting ready for living in a harsh world. But I also want them to grow up having respect for others especially those older and wiser than they. My personally indicates that I will not tolerate begging, bribing, weeping, wailing, anger, aggression or sulking. These attitudes build poor character if allowed success. I dealt with the same issues raising my son and I face some of these same problems every week when I teach pre-schoolers at church. I did not give in to my son’s tantrums and I do not give in to those in my church class. By past and present indications, I will not give in to my future student’s efforts to avoid the consequences of misbehavior. The way I will use the Coloroso theory in my classroom is by making the effort to ensure my students of a safe, encouraging environment. I will be constantly aware of my students and be sensitive to any bullying that might be occurring and take immediate action when needed. I will try to understand the feelings of my students and compare that to how I would feel in a similar situation. I will try to help my students to solve problems by self exploration instead of solving for them thus building up their self esteem. I will not give in to the three cons that students may use to avoid the consequences of their actions.
The theorists that I have chosen compliment my personality by authenticating the authoritative role of the teacher in the classroom. All three theorists believe in having rules and consequences for misbehavior and expect the results of bad behavior to be carried through to the end. They also support praise for good behavior which assists in developing an overall managed class of students. By asserting Glasser’s beliefs of an engaging curriculum, Canter’s clear expectations, and Coloroso’s self-imposed consequences, my future classroom will be a place where children will enjoy learning while gaining respect for their classmates, their teacher, and themselves.
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