Classroom management, I believe, is a key factor in creating a good learning environment. Personally, I believe that there is not one specific model for the best and most efficient classroom management, but rather a combination of models and approaches that set the tone in a classroom. The important piece is that the teacher begins a school year with clear and well thought out management plan. In my classroom, I will make sure that the first few days of school will be devoted to creating classroom rules and procedures. I personally like one of the practices of the Responsive Classroom model - Rule Creation. In my classroom, I will involve students in a process of creating their own classroom rules. I will make sure that these rules are meaningful, specific and concrete so students know when they are following a rule and when they are not.
Once the rules are posted and children have had a chance to discuss and practice them, they will become guidelines for behavior in the classroom. I do not believe in the use of punishments, threats, and bribes to discipline students. These strategies impose power and control over students. Barbara Coloroso (2002), the creator of Inner Discipline, emphasizes that children “have a difficult time becoming responsible, resourceful, and resilient if they are controlled, manipulated, robbed of their autonomy and denied opportunities to make choices and mistakes. They cannot develop a sense of inner discipline if all of the control comes from the outside” (p. 43). Rather, I believe that students should take full responsibility for the problems their behaviors create. Therefore, I would use logical consequences which will help students develop inner control by looking closely at their own behavior and learning from their own mistakes.
In addition to clear and specific rules, good teaching strategies can also help prevent undesired behavior in a classroom. When students are engaged in interesting activities and enjoy being in class, there is less chance that they will misbehave. Fred Jones (2007) believes that “for students to learn they must [first] enjoy learning. They must look forward to entering classroom in the morning” (p. 1). I believe that as a part of a management plan, teachers should incorporate many different teaching strategies and vary them often during the class.
I understand that no matter how well thought out the management plan is, problems and issues will arise in the classroom; however, teachers need to be prepared for them. I believe that students need to feel safe, respected, and cared for first, and then learning can take place. Therefore, creating the right environment for all students to learn will be my major goal of implementing good classroom management.
Coloroso, Barbara. (2002). Kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline (Revised Edition). New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Jones, Frederick H. Ph.D. with Patrick Jones and Jo Lynne Jones. (2007). Fred Jones Tools for Teaching – Discipline, Instruction, Motivation (2nd Edition). Santa Cruz, CA: Fredric H. Jones & Associates, Inc.