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Classroom management

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Viv Aitken

on 5 September 2013

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Transcript of Classroom management

Hi. I'm a student teacher!
I'm young and idealistic

I'm passionate about my subject

I want to make a difference

I believe in education

And I'm scared....!
... of THIS!
Fear not! I am ...
"SUPER TEACHER" - I will help you
fight the evil forces that stop your
effective pedagogy from saving the

Why does it have to look like this?
Next... let's talk about your classroom...
Why not this?
Remember each of them is an individual
First up, how are you viewing the children?
So... BEFORE you even meet them you could try:

Learning their names - checking their photos
Meeting them at the door of the classroom on the first day to check pronunciation
Inviting everyone in the class to bring an important personal object to share with the class (and bringing your own too)
You could try....

Spending time choosing attractive materials for the classroom walls
Arriving before the students and making sure the space is ready
Have resources prepared in advance
Changing the arrangement of furniture - even doing without desks...
How are you teaching?
Why this?
You could try:
Planning experiential activities
Using drama conventions
Using tools for creative and critical thinking
Teaching in role
Exploring inquiry approaches
What are the expectations?
You could try:
Co-constructing a class contract
Having clear routines to open and close the class
Establishing signals for attention
Natural and logical consequences
Remember - these young people have lives! Take an interest
And outside the classroom...

You could try:

Attending sports matches and cultural events
Coaching sports teams and cultural groups
Organise field trips / social events for the students
Take part in school camps / hangi / social occasions with students and their families
OK - that's all very nice...
but you'd have to be a superhero to do ALL THAT!
Yes, true! But even if you mere mortals can't do it all - you can give SOME of it a try? Can't you?
Can we just get real a minute please?
Are you honestly telling me it's ALL up to the teacher? Surely it's a two way street...
What about the kid who just doesn't want to learn?
Or can't control
their temper?
We can't deny that children's lives outside the school
have a HUGE impact on whether they are ready to learn....
But also no excuse to give up!
...and there are no easy answers
You could try:

Accessing extra support for children with specific behavioural issues or troubles at home
Talking to senior teachers / school counsellors etc.
Talking with the child (outside of class time) and setting specific behavioural goals (little steps)
Conscious use of communication strategies that make your expectations clear [e.g. I feel... when you....next time I want you to...]
Spending time teaching communication tools like these to children in your class.
But you CAN control the environment within your class...
Your classroom CAN become a model of how things might be done differently...


And whatever your 'subject' this may just be the most important 'teaching' you do for some students...
Be careful of your assumptions here...If you really think there are children who can't be helped ... should you really be a teacher?
NONE of the things you have talked about so far are 'management' -are they?
A very fine teacher (also a superhero) called Dorothy Heathcote once said...
Yes they are! Surely the best way to 'manage' is to pre-empt..
‘I realised that every single teaching strategy I've ever invented has been because I can't bear to be in a position where I have to "tell people off'. If I reach that point I am breaking a deeply felt rule to do with power used to disadvantage.’ [Heathcote, 2002]

‘To get collaboration from classes, who really owe you no attention you haven't won, needs subtle and honest strategies, which forge bonds rather than confrontation.’ [Heathcote, 2002]
Here's how Brian Edmiston puts it...

One of the core reasons why as a teacher I use drama is because when we create an imagined world, we can imagine that we frame events differently so that our power and authority relationships are changed.
A long-term aim of mine as a teacher is as much as possible to share power and authority with students. I want students to have more opportunities to use words and deeds to act appropriately but in ways that are often not sanctioned in classrooms.' [Edmiston 2003, p.225]
The use of role in the classroom is an exciting option
Good luck in your mission!

Books like "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk" by Faber and Mazlish, can teach you skills of assertive, fair communication and following through with consequences

With chapters like:
Engaging co-operation
Encouraging autonomy &
Alternatives to punishment

This book is useful to teachers and parents alike!
If you are a parent, you may already have some super-powers you've learned from parenting!
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