My mentor teacher is Lars Hansen. He teaches four different subjects: Sophomore Chemistry, Junior Physics I, Senior Physics II, and AP Calculus. Because of this, there is a very large spread of students, meaning a large variance in how Mr. Hansen manages his classroom. I will begin reflecting with the simplest: AP Calculus and Physics II. While these seniors will be unruly by the end of the year, they are quite docile now. Many have had Mr. Hansen for 2 years already, so they are already very respectful of him. There are few issues in these classes, and at this point Mr. Hansen has it down to a rhythm between notes, booklets, labs, and tests.
In all of his classes, there are few rules. We use a BYOD policy, which seems to work fairly well (with the exception of the smarter, bored kids who we ‘don’t see’). There is an expectation for the kids to do their work on time and completely, to raise their hands and to uphold a general level of respect for each other as well as for us. Most of these work very well, and there are few problems that arise in the classroom. I think a good part of this is that they are Hutch students and in general are all very respectful in the classroom.
Beginning and ending class are fairly straightforward in Mr. Hansen’s classes. The structure is fairly well set in the homework/labs in the booklets. Many of Mr. Hansen’s classes are lecture based, with structured group work built into the format. Because of this, many of the classes start and end the same way. Mr. Hansen starts with going over the previous night’s homework, asking them to agree on a couple problems which they want to see, and doing those problems on the board for them. Then after strumming the piano he has at the back of the room (signaling the start of the notes) he dives in, beginning with a short hook and then lecturing. He generally tries to end about five minutes early to give them time to start the homework and get a feel for the kind of problems that are required that week.
The only slight classroom management that Mr. Hansen has to actively do is with the sophomore chemistry classes and the junior AP physics class. These are still very good students, however there are more than 30 of them in each class, meaning that there is a lot of distractions that happen, and the room is full. Classroom management in these classes is still fairly straightforward, and the content and expectations are still the same, however there are a lot more reminders to focus and to be quiet during the classes. This is to be expected, however Mr. Hansen does a very good job at keeping them on point and focused for the majority of the class.
All in all, there is a lot that I am learning from Mr. Hansen, but this Hutch internship does not constitute a training for classroom management as much as teaching, as the issues we have to deal with are much less than in other schools I believe.