Author: jesb

My Classroom Management Philosphy

During my 20 hours of observation I picked up some very handy hints and tricks to classroom management, and I definitely picked up on the fact that every teacher does classroom management in their own style.   I plan on incorporating these observations   into my every day philosophy of classroom management and hopefully become an effective teacher.

I will treat all students regardless of annoyance level or dis respectfulness with respect and patience

I will tweak my rules and policies depending on what class I am teaching (i.e. freshman vs. senior) for maturity reasons

My room will be warm, inviting, and safe for all students to come to learn, full of maps, posters, and other interesting items

I want to show students that I am a smart, effective, fair, warm, but stern teacher and they will be treated like young adults if they act like young adults

There will be clear consequences for not following the rules and policies, and some will be harsher than others depending upon the infraction.   I would like to incorporate a “silly” punishment here and there just to keep the mood light and let the students know it isn’t a big deal but next time please don’t do it

All in all, I want to keep a tight hold on my class for the first few years and get the hang of teaching before I try to sit back and watch it all fall into place- that won’t happen unless we work hard and learn fast in the first few years.



Some Inspirational News

This elementary social studies teacher sparked my interest in terms of being an inspiration.   She started a new project for her students to get them engaged and excited about learning social studies subjects.   Her early failures in school made her more determined to make sure students didn’t feel the same way she did about failure, and actually being interested in the topics not just memorizing dates and names.   This news article goes more into depth on her story but I just find it neat.

Classroom Management Help

Classroom management is obviously very important for being an effective instructor, and here are some sites that may help us budding teachers if we run into any issues:

This site has many videos that show teachers effective teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, and an array of other things helpful for new teachers.   They recently set up a blog site as well where teachers can go to share techniques and materials as well as personal success stories or failures.

This other blog site I found has a teacher that blogs regularly about different instances in the classroom that they utilized effective CM techniques, and these real life situations and how they handled them can really teach us more than just reading it in a book.   They also put up videos they created on CM techniques and include helpful articles they find for teachers.


This last link comes from the teacher’s guide classroom management site

and has a list of different techniques for CM.   It pretty much copies what the other sites we all found, but it is all words and not a lot of videos.   More of a textbook approach online if you learn that way.   It also has some links to other interactive sites and job searches.

Attention getting– 1 minute video on getting students attention



Gimme back the Nike….

Alright, so this guy wants all non-native “experts” to get out and let them do their own curriculum and education…sounds all well and good except that if the students want to leave the village how are they going to be assessed for other colleges and careers?   Does a bunch of their “rich cultural history” really prepare them to integrate or synthesize with the dominant culture?   I’m not saying it does not have value to be taught-it is their culture and heritage and should be taught.   But this guy makes it sound like all western influence needs to leave in order for them to fix themselves and become better.   Well I can start a long list of things to go with us when we leave….gimme back the nikes, the basketballs, the snowmachines, the oil, the houses, the electricity, internet, cars, boats, winter clothing, arabic numerals, english language, medicine, firearms, fashion, alcohol, cigarettes and what else have you.   Of course I’m being extreme but to make my counter point- they don’t get to have just what they want from us and tell us to leave, if it weren’t for white teachers their children wouldn’t be getting ANY education other than oral history from their elders.   If they want native educators in their villages then send them to us, stop the alcohol and drug abuse, teach your children to be responsible and hard working and not dependent on government for everything.   It is not our fault you don’t have more “experts” of your skin color working in the community.   We go out to make a difference in their lives since they aren’t willing to do it for themselves.   If you want your culture back don’t just take what you want of ours and tell us to butt out.

Managing the Class

I have been observing Coby Haas and his student teacher at WVHS, and have noticed some very neat classroom management tools that are practically textbook.   The main management tool I saw was the “withitness” and respect the students give for teachers who are “withit”.   There were very few issues in either one of their classes, and as an observer, it was obvious they respected them when they were teaching.   If there was an issue (usually very minor and were typically just off-task conversations) they would just literally re-focus them with a short “hey guys back on task” or something close to that, and the issue would be resolved.   It was the respect, and fact that they didn’t over react every time there was a small issue, that kept students controlled and reigned in.

I didn’t really see many transitions, but in Mr. Kennedy’s class he would just tell the students to take a “cake and break” or a talking, get up and stretch, or go to the restroom time while he transitioned to another activity.   He would also use this strategy if he felt the class was getting out of hand, bored, or in general just a lot of side conversation.   It wasn’t really him giving in, he just knew they needed a break before getting them re-focused.   I found it really worked well.

I would apply these strategies along with the discipline strategy I observed with Mr. Haas’ class.   He would use the threat of staying after class (the entire class) when a student or group of students were disciplined multiple times and would not get under control.   He would hold the class a minute later every time an additional offense was committed.   So maybe three warnings and corrections, and then after that each outburst would cost the class a minute.   They had to sit quietly for the extra time, and if anyone spoke or caused trouble, another minute would be added.   This would be a great tool because it pressures students through peer pressure to follow the rules, and doesn’t really involve the teacher blowing his or her top.   He or she can be calm, collected, and assertive, as well as not disrupt the class.   Just make a mark on the board and the class knows you just tacked   a minute on.


Corny title I know but after a little bit of research we can see that we approach situations with certain mental sets (usually based on previous prejudices and experiences), and that is the “set”.   After we get into our mental set, we approach the situation with a certain behavior (verbally or physically) and that is the “go”.   It sort of helps me with the connection between mental set and behavior.

Here is a link to a great site with some more info and some cool diagrams

Student Teacher Relationships

“The teacher student relationship is very important for children. Children spend approximately 5 to 7 hours a day with a teacher for almost 10 months. We ask ourselves what is considered a good teacher? All of us have gone through schooling, and if fortunate had a favorite teacher. A positive relationship between the student and the teacher is difficult to establish, but can be found for both individuals at either end.”   – (no author)


Considering how much time we will be spending with our students, it will be extremely advantageous to develop positive teacher student relationships.   Like Ben, I believe respect will have to come first, and as we all know respect is a two way street.   I would never expect students to do something I wouldn’t or couldn’t do and I would listen to and respect their opinions and beliefs.   Giving students a little lee-way for maturity would help as well.   In my observations I have seen AP classes allowed to use phones and have food, with no issues whatsoever.   However, the same teacher will not allow the same things for regular classes, and especially classes with a high number of freshmen and sophomores.   So I will have to tailor rules and expectations to the class I am teaching.

A positive relationship with students should help them open up to you, and this may help if they are having family issues, or issues with friends or anything else.   If a student feels comfortable around you, you should be able to help them with more than education if need be, and in return they will most likely be a better student because they are comfortable and respect you for your help.   Keep it professional however, we are still educators, not friends (its OK to be friendly obviously to a point I think we all know the line.)   Here is a link to a site with a quick blurb about relationships.