Without a well implemented classroom management plan, it would be a miracle if any learning was achieved in the classroom. My philosophy is one of mutual respect. This respect extends between students and myself, and the classroom. Instilling respect in students from the beginning of the semester will ensure that they listen and follow instructions the first time, rather than having those instructions repeated multiple times within a single lesson. Respect is not a foreign idea to the students of Minto Alaska. The community Elders uphold respect as a very important value. While the respect for Elders, mentors, teachers and peers and one’s own self is paramount, the respect given to personal possessions is also important. A student who learns respect for school supplies will be less likely to forget them before coming to class.
It can be easy enough to state that respect is needed, but to earn that respect requires a set of well developed teaching strategies. Staying consistent and predictable as a teacher is necessary. Students in my classroom will always know what to expect and what is expected of them. The consequences in my classroom will never surprise my students. When they have done something good, they will know that a good consequence is in order. Likewise, if they do something wrong they will understand that a negative consequence is needed. This balance will ensure that the metaphorical student-teacher bank stays positive as much as possible.
The idea of the student-teacher bank is quite simple. Every positive interaction between students and the teacher adds to the bank, while every negative interaction takes away from it. If students expect a negative consequence when they know they have done something wrong, it will lessen the detraction from the bank significantly. If the consequences are random and inconsistent though, the bank will be in constant fluctuation and will likely dip deep into a negative balance that is very difficult to come back from. Ensuring positive consequences in the classroom is essential in maintaining a positive bank balance. I have always encouraged the idea that consequences can be both positive and negative. It brings a sense of balance to the word and helps students realize that their choices can bring about a different result.