My current philosophy on classroom management is that I want my classroom’s dynamic to feel comfortable, without a lot of rules coming from me, but more of an emphasis on the student’s responsibility to behave appropriately. I want my students to feel comfortable enough to be themselves so that they can share their opinions and jump in on conversation or debate or class discussion whenever they feel like it. Or raise their hand to ask a question during a lecture whenever they feel like it. I like classrooms with a lot of energy and classrooms that are more informal than formal. Although I know that this type of dynamic can open a window to students over talking one another or me, I feel that if I develop the student’s respect and lay the ground rules for the dynamic of the classroom from the first day on they will know their boundaries and their limits in the classroom, especially when I have to intervene and say something. I am naturally not a very serious person when interacting with other people so I don’t plan on my classroom being serious, but lighthearted. My philosophy on classroom management is to create an environment that is fun, high energy, and encouraging of student learning, where the students feel responsible for their own achievement and learning process without the sense that I, as the teacher, am an enforcer of rules.
1.) Describe effective management strategies you observed for opening a lesson, applied during a lesson, and for lesson closure.
Effective classroom management strategies I have observed my English mentor use in opening a lesson is by immediately giving direction to the students the second the bell rings (or at least within the minute) so they don’t have time to get involved in other off-task activities. During a lesson I saw this same mentor make sure every student was paying attention to her while she was talking or asking them questions. She would pause and look at the student until they stopped chatting if needed and then light heartily continue on. For lesson closure my English mentor would tell them what was due tomorrow, sometimes. Honestly by the end of class in both of my mentor’s classrooms the students are socializing and my mentors just allow it.
2.) Name 3 common transitions you observed and how did the teacher handle those.
1 common transition: Switching from journal writing on their laptops to working on a worksheet (or something like that). The teacher honestly doesn’t handle the transitions very well. Most of the students will still have their laptops out, or not even be working on their worksheets and the teacher will just allow it. 2. Working on something to reading silently. This transition is dealt with the same as above. 3. Reading to class discussion (or something like that). This is probably the most effective transition, the desks are circled up, students are focused on the task at hand. The teacher asks them to put their desks in a circle, they do, and begins class discussion, and they stay on task.
3.) Describe a strategy that you observed and may apply to your classroom.
A strategy I observed was using the “pregnant pause” when students are abandoning your attempt to transmit them to another task! 🙂
The first link is a website about classroom management. It has several short video clips of examples of teachers managing classrooms with different strategies. The second link is a blog website on classroom management. The one that I read was a post about the different between a good teacher and a great teacher, and how treating everyone fair is not equal. The third website is a video about a first year teacher seeking help from an expert on classroom management with her 6th grade class. It was very informative and useful to me since I will soon be a first year teacher!
“The Future of Alaska Native Education” written by Paul Berg is a very interesting article highlighting the issue with rural, native cultures losing their culture, still today, to western ideology and culture. Having personally grown up in an Alaskan Native community from the ages of 3 to 14 years old, I can speak on behalf of the place I call home, an Alutiiq Community of 300 at the time, now the population is down to about 100, on Kodiak Island called Old Harbor, that there was a strong sense of reincorporating traditional Alutiiq heritage into the classroom. They would have the elders come in and teach us, as elementary students, the Alutiiq language, Alutiiq dancing was an extra curricular activity every day after school and was performed at all of the school events, and a Cultural Heritage Week took place every May where we, as students, would do bead work, basket weave, and make bent wood hats to name a few. Although I am not Alaskan Native myself, I lived in Old Harbor because my parents were teachers there, I had such a wonderful time experiencing the Alutiiq culture while growing up, and feel very fortunate to have done so. I can truly say that it is so different than a non-native community and that’s what made it wonderful, and I personally want it to stay that way. The more Alaskan Native culture that village schools can bring into their schools the better, in my opinion.
4 Classroom Rules that I would post in my classroom:
1) Be respectful of other’s comments, questions, and opinions.
2) While the I, the teacher, is talking, you are not talking, you are listening.
3) When another student is talking, you are not talking, you are listening.
4) When you come into class expect to work, and expect to work all the way up to the bell.
My name is Brianne Kimberlin and I am 24 years old, graduated with a Bachelors in History and a minor in English last May from UAF, and am currently getting my Masters in Secondary Education through Distance Ed. here at UAF. I recently moved down here to Valdez, Alaska from Fairbanks, Alaska with my husband and am currently interning at the high school in the History and English content areas. I grew up in an Alutiiq village on Kodiak Island called Old Harbor and my love for rural communities began there. I moved into the city of Kodiak for my last three years of high school where I became involved with many sports and my love for coaching also began. I went to college at UAA for four years after high school, then moved my life to Fairbanks and transferred to UAF. Now that I am moved to Valdez I am so happy to be living on the ocean again. I plan on working in this community or near rural communities in my teaching career, as well as coach either Volleyball or Cross Country running, and feel fortunate that I am given the opportunity to currently volunteer with the Varsity Volleyball team here.