Classroom Management

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Classroom Management
Effective classroom management is the key to being an effective teacher, as well as in making sure learning is taking place. According to Robert Marzano in his book Classroom Management that Works, “…well-managed classrooms provide an environment in which teaching and learning can flourish” ( 2003, p. 1). Classroom management can be defined, for all practical purposes, as the management of instruction (Darch & Kameenui, 2004, p. 4). An alternate definition can be found in Educational Psychology co-written by Robert Sternberg and Wendy Williams. They define it as “a set of techniques and skills that allow a teacher to control students effectively in order to create a positive learning environment for all students” (2002, p. 384). With either definition there are several things that go into classroom management. The area of classroom management has sub-areas such as; routines, rules, consequences, contracts, parent-teacher communication, and classroom layout. Before getting into these sub-areas a teacher needs to be familiar with the four dimensions of classroom management. The dimensions are “withitness’, letting students know expected behavior, variety and challenge in work assigned, and smoothness and momentum during lesson presentations (Marzano et al., 2003, p. 5). Out of these four dimensions “withitness” is probably the hardest to understand and carry out. In the case of “withitness” the teacher must be “observant and attentive to everything going on around them” (Sternberg & Williams, 2002, p. 389). Once familiar with these dimensions it is time to move on to the sub-areas of classroom management. The first area that is going to be discussed is routines. Routines can be as simple as what to do when entering the classroom or as complex as the whole days schedules of the class. Teacher 1 says there are ways to make complex routines easy to learning or remember. This teacher gives the example of keeping any specialty classes at the same time because then the students get used to going at that time. Another sort of routine is what the teacher does to cue the students. Teacher 3 has numerous ways to cue the students. Some the ways this teacher uses are: “clapping patterns, turn off the lights, using a microphone, or simply saying ‘Who’s talking’ or ‘Boys and girls you need to quiet down”. Once the routines of the classroom are taught they help the days run smoothly and limit the number of behavior problems. The next sub-area is rules. Rules are a vital area of classroom management. Without rules students do not have set limitations. Rules must dictate what behavior is acceptable in the classroom and during instruction. The teacher must make sure to teach the rules. Once the rules have been taught they must be written up and posted a long with the school rules. Perfect examples of appropriate rules for a primary level classroom are the school rules from the school of Teacher 4. The school rules are: “be kind, be safe, be respectful, and always try”. These rules are then posted with the classroom rules at a level that all can easily see. Rules are truly vital to keeping the classroom under control. Along with rules come consequences. The consequences need to also be taught to the students. It is very helpful to write and post them as well. It is very important for every teacher to remember that even “effective teachers cannot prevent all discipline problems” (Marzanoet al., 2003). This idea is very true. While not all problems can be prevented, Teacher 3 said, “The way to handle classroom problems is to prevent them in the first place.” The easiest way to prevent problems is at the beginning of the year when working on a classroom management plan a teacher should also “develop a plan for responding to unanticipated, but potentially serious behavior problem during instruction” (Darch & Kameenui, 2004, p. 74). A teacher should make sure to have a consequence for each misbehavior s/he thinks...
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