Upon starting my internship at Bartlett High I quickly realized that classroom management would be the most difficult aspect of teaching for me. Its something that doesn’t exactly come naturally for me and I will need to train myself extensively to become an effective teacher. Through my first month teaching I have realized that having clear, strict, and enforceable rules is the key to good classroom management. If you are not clear students can simply claim ignorance, if your rules are not strict students will find ways to bend them, and if you do not enforce them students will know that they can break your rules without consequences.
Four rules I would have for my classroom are as follows.
1. Give your attention to whomever is speaking.
Naturally we need to have the student’s attention before any effective teaching can begin but I have also notice that sometimes students do not give their attention to others. We offer the students a chance to make announcements at the beginning of each period, sometimes students will talk over others or try to but into their announcements. Not only is this disruptive but it is also extremely rude and disrespectful. Which brings me to the second rule.
2. Respect others.
We will not tolerate any sort of bullying or mean spiritedness directed to ourselves or other students. It creates a hostile environment and hurts the learning process.
3. Come prepared to class.
This includes not only completing the necessary homework but also bringing paper and a writing utensil.
4. No electronic use in class unless it directly relates to your work.
I’m sure as I develop my classroom management skills this list will expand but for now they seem to be decent ground rules.
A relevant article I read was from NEA, it discussed an anti-swearing campaign at a school in Washington. https://www.nea.org/tools/15935.htm
Nearly 1,000 students, on their own accord, signed a pledge not to swear. When asked why some students said they wanted to help make the school a nicer place, and that they wanted to expand their vocabulary by finding better, more intelligent, ways to express themselves. After reading a bit about classroom pledges in our text I have been trying to decide if one would be appropriate for my classroom. As one can see here students who make a conscious decision about what the rules should be are much more inclined to follow them.
Here is a link to my wordle https://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/7085683/Untitled