There are many different ways to run a successful and effective classroom. Numerous people have tried to give me the best advice for making things work, but ultimately it will be my choice to decide what works best for me. By assessing the students' needs, I will be able to provide a curriculum and classroom environment that will hopefully motivate their learning. In assessing my own needs, I can make the proper actions necessary to make sure that those needs are met. Rules and consequences fall under both the needs of the student and the teacher, so those are essential as well. In the following, I will discuss what I find to be the needs of the student, the needs of the teacher, and how my philosophy on rules, consequences, and discipline play into these needs.
According to several educational psychologists and theorists, there are many different needs of a student. I agree particularly with Glasser, who states that students have a need for belonging, "fun", freedom, and a warm environment with a meaningful and engaging curriculum. Linda Albert contributes more by theorizing that the student needs to feel accepted (by being who they are, without judgment), and that student needs attention and affection (Devito, 2004). These, in my own opinion, are some of the most important needs that a teacher might face, especially when teaching adolescents. While all students have different needs, these are a few that are shared by most.
Often times, as a teacher you are the most influential adult figure in a child's life. By creating a warm environment where the student not only feels comfortable, but is eager to come to, you have created the beginning of a successful learning environment. Once you have the student in class, who is ready to learn, the need for an interesting and stimulating curriculum is a must. One cannot teach a student who is disengaged and bored, so as a teacher it is necessary to understand the need for exploring topics of interest.
Not only do students have the needs as listed above, but according to Kohn, they also have the need to be treated as individuals (Devito, Spring 2004). Democratically speaking, Glasser says they also need a sense of power in addition to their need to be treated as individuals (Devito, Spring 2004). Through classroom rules, procedures and discipline, these needs can all be addressed.
What about my needs though? Surely if they students can have that many, then so can I! My needs, however, differ greatly than those of the students and include not the needs that will help and guide me to learn, but rather to help and guide me to teach. Before including the students into the equation of a successful classroom, we must first look at the classroom. I need a room that is organized, structured, and meets the needs of my instructional goals. Personally, to provide the engaging curriculum that I feel the students needs, I would need technology in the room. In addition to the use of technology, I would want a classroom that would allow me to rearrange the seating to my preference.
Not only do I require all that, but I also have the need to feel comfortable and safe in my classroom. A teacher who does not feel safe and secure around her students, should not be in that classroom. Not only for the reason of security purposes, but for the purpose of teaching. How can someone manage a classroom and provide discipline when one fears the students? It cannot happen. How can one teach a class that they can't manage? It cannot happen. Above all the needs I feel I might have as a teacher, I feel my ultimate necessity is that of discipline, consistency, and structure. Those three together make for a better learning environment for all.
In choosing my classroom rules, I would like to utilize the input of the student, but not solely depend on them to make the classroom rules. That, in its own, would be asking for trouble! I think laying out a general guideline and having...
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