Successful teachers must be effective classroom managers. Classroom management is the element that holds effective instruction and learning together. The ability to manage a classroom increases instructional time, creates a safe environment, and most importantly, maximizes learning. Instruction in classroom management techniques and experience during my student teacher has prepared me to meet each of the Professional Competencies under this domain.

Classroom Management

  • Use effective routines and procedures and maintain effective and efficient use of time
  • Organize a classroom for effective instruction through appropriate physical arrangement and grouping of students for optimal learning and safe movement around the classroom.
  • Develop and use a classroom management plan that provides clear expectations of student behavior, including appropriate responses to inappropriate student behavior.

Use effective routines and procedures and maintain effective and efficient use of time

During my student teaching I have learned that a well developed lesson with seamless transitions and routine activities is the best way to avoid issues with classroom management. Looking at any of my lesson plans, one can see that I allot time to each activity in the most specific way possible. Most behavior problems occur when my students do not have something to be working on. To avoid that issue I ensure that they have something to do the second they walk in my classroom until the bell rings ninety minutes later. One of the routine activities that I use each and every class is a bell ring. Bell ringers serve as a warm up for my students, and provide me with time to take attendance and set up anything I might need for the rest of class while students are kept busy. Often times bell ringers review material from the previous class, or serve as a hook to engage and interest students in a new unit. Students know that as soon as they step into the classroom they have something to do. After a few weeks they immediately look up at the front board to find their assignment and begin. These simple warm up activities set the tone for the class; that students will be expected to work from bell to bell. Some of my bell ringers can be seen below

Artifact:
BellRingers.pdf

Organize a classroom for effective instruction

In order to increase learning, safety, and effective instruction, and decrease transition time, risk of injury, and negative behavior I use a variety of desk arrangements. For PowerPoint presentations, lectures, individual work, and testing I use the traditional or military style of seating. Whenever students work together I do my best to pick pairs and groups. When pairing and grouping students I base my choices off of a number of factors. For one I keep disruptive students or students that have negative relationships away from one another. Second I try and pair students of either a similar academic level, or pair a stronger student with a weaker student. Lastly, I try and mix boys and girls, races, religions, in an attempt to make pairs and groups as diverse as possible. My hope is that students can learn more than just content by working with a diverse group of learners.

Artifacts:
seating.JPG
classroomseating.pdf

Development and use of a classroom management plan

As a student teacher I inherited a classroom with a strict set of rules that demanded discipline. I was fortunate in that I did not have to lay a foundation of discipline or appropriate behavior. Instead I chose to keep rules and procedures that I liked and added those that worked well for me. Above all I ensure that students understand the rules, are aware of the consequences, and that I am consistent. Displaying the rules in the classroom and in student planners along with a reminder of rules that are sometimes broken keeps students aware. When students do not heed warnings, I remind them of potential punishments and consequences for broken rules. Those two strategies prevent a lot of problems. The hardest but most important part is remaining consistent. Some students push me towards my breaking point more than others. In the same way certain students have earned more privileges than others.. I try to look at my actions from the student's perspective to ensure that I am being fair and consistent. When I stray from my course I have found that a public apology or recognition that I have erred every once in a while gains a lot of respect from my students. Showing them that I am also human typically earns better behavior and adherence to rules in the future.

Artifact:
WorldHistoryrules.pdf