Saturday, November 30, 2013

Core of Classroom Management

Classroom Management-at the Core is Relationships

The Core

1. Relationships
Kids don't care what you know until they know you care.  Great classroom managers always maintain the dignity of students. Teachers who know something about their kids are better able to deal with misbehavior. As an adult, who do you want to impress more, the boss who is rude and condescending or the one that regularly makes you feel like a valued member of the team?

2. High Expectations 
Great classroom managers have a strong belief that kids want to learn. These teachers simply won't accept failure to meet classroom expectations and they are persistent. Great classroom managers are in charge of the classroom.  They look for solutions and don't ask others to solve their own classroom management issues (though they do communicate with other teachers to find answers).  Sending a student to the office is rare or simply doesn't happen.  Great classroom managers notice problems and make appropriate adjustments. The classroom environment is regularly checked.  Great classroom managers have high expectations of student behavior and even more importantly, they have high expectations of themselves.

Setting Expectations

3. Procedures and Routines
Students should be able to perform the routines in the classroom on autopilot.  Routines and procedures should be well communicated.  When students come into the room, what is the first thing that they do? Students have a question, how do they get an answer? Students need to sharpen their pencil, when do they do that? How is class ended each day?  Teachers should be able to visualize how they want class to go and then communicate how it looks to students through small and manageable instructions.

Procedures and routines are not meant to be fun.  They are meant to get the routine things done so that you can have fun with what you are supposed to have fun with, learning.

The Cosmetics

What are cosmetics? Cosmetics are on the surface and can enhance already well run classrooms.  Things like up/down charts, reward cards (we have tiger bucks), punch cards, etc. Great classroom managers do these cosmetic things.  So do poor classroom managers.  These things are tools that can help, but without the core of classroom management, will not help.  These "cosmetic" things get a lot of attention by many teachers. Cosmetics look nice and feel good, but only work if the teacher is already a great classroom manager.

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