Student Diversity and Classroom Management
Maintaining order in the classroom is the number one challenge that new teachers face. In the past few years due to children maturing faster and many coming from broken homes this problem has intensified. Students seem to be more defiant and teachers are more intimidated and unprepared to deal with the issues in the classroom. This usually results in poor classroom management. With the implementation of an effective plan the teacher can make modifications to the classroom to ensure the students are under control and the environment is set for students to excel. There are several strategies that have captured my attention for various reasons over the past few weeks. They are Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle, Win-Win Discipline, Morrish’s Real Discipline, Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom Discipline and William Glasser’s Discipline Guided by Choice Theory.
The Canters take an assertive discipline approach when it comes to behavior management. “Assertive discipline is a systematic and objective way of ensuring a teacher controlled classroom” (Charles, 2008). Lee Canter and his wife founded this behavior management plan from a three step cycle. First explicit directions should be communicated to the class. When these instructions are given, behavioral narration can be used to reinforce positive behaviors of those students doing as they were told. In the case that the student continues the disruptive behavior, corrective actions must be taken to stop the unwanted behaviors. This cycle can be modified to target any age group. In addition, it can be tailored to deal with different stages of classroom disruptions as well. Canter firmly believed that teachers have certain rights and responsibilities. Both he and his wife feel that the teacher is responsible for establishing the rules and directions in the classroom. These rules and directions are to be clearly defined and understood by the students. It is also expected that students follow the determined set of rules each and every day.
A prime example of this type of management cycle would be Mrs. Jones instructing her 4nd grade class to come in, have a seat and without talking begin working on the bell assignment posted on the board. The directions given were explicit and there should not be any students that are unclear on what to do because of the details given. If Mrs. Jones comes into the classroom and sees Maria and David are talking and not working the assignment she could use behavioral narration to reinforce the positive behaviors of the students that are doing as they were told. For example, “I see that majority of the class is working on the bell assignment without talking.” This will allow the students that are not on target a second chance to do as they were told. If they continue to break the rules consequences must follow.
The second classroom management system is Kagan, Kyle and Scott’s Win-Win Discipline Model. “The primary goal of Win-Win Discipline is to help students develop long-term, self-managed responsibility” (Charles, 2008). This method allows for second chances which can be a disadvantage to some students. For example, if a student is always allowed a second chance he/she may be led to believe that every time they are wrong they will get the chance to correct that mistake. This is not always the case. This method also empowers student to make choices that best suits them and are compatible with the interests of their classmates.
I feel that this method is best suited for older students, perhaps the latter years of junior high and high school. Elementary aged students are not capable of making decisions solely by themselves that will benefit them and their classmates. Also this method places a lot of emphasis on the student asking for help when needed. Younger students require more help and that...