In this workshop we will introduce the topic of classroom management. This lesson will address: •
Starting the School Year on the Right Foot
Minimizing Discipline Problems Once School Has Begun
Identifying Class Procedures and Expectations
The one problem with which almost all beginning teachers struggle is controlling inappropriate student behavior. Students have unique backgrounds and experiences, so every day the teacher needs to address a wide spectrum of individual student needs. On some days the needs of one student may conflict with those of another student or with the intent of the teacher. This makes life interesting for a typical teacher. Appropriate student deportment is critical to establishing and maintaining a learning environment. Student behavior must be under control and directed toward active learning. Some students arrive ready to learn, some arrive ready to disrupt learning, and some do little more than just arrive. It is the job of the teacher to move all students toward learning. As a new teacher, it is helpful to visualize student problems in advance and prepare options for their remediation. Talking with peer teachers, mentor teachers, and administrators is a good place to start. This workshop will help you formulate your classroom management strategies to minimize student discipline problems. A number of subtle discipline strategies are presented that are particularly useful for smaller, misdemeanor types of offenses. Why use a jackhammer to drive a nail when a normal hammer will do the job more quickly and efficiently? In many cases, subtle disciplinary responses are better suited to solving problems and preventing them from recurring because they provide opportunities for the teacher to remind the students of existing class rules in a non-threatening way, and they do so without affecting the flow of the lesson. A wise teacher can maintain class control so subtlety that the majority of the students in class are unaware she is even doing it. For students who need more structure, models for a progressive discipline plan are presented in such a manner that they can be easily modified for use in any new teacher’s classroom. Additionally, a sample Student Daily Disciplinary Form and a Student Cumulative Disciplinary Form are provided that can be used to track continuing discipline problems when additional record keeping is required. It is the teacher’s responsibility to create and enforce the rules. If the students help create the rules for their own classroom, they are more likely to remember and abide by them. Ideas are provided which allow students a modicum of ownership in the creation of these rules and the consequences for not abiding by them. Tactics are presented which allow the teacher to facilitate the development of their own rules that coincide with existing school rules. Sometimes students do not want to do what is in their best interest. When that happens the teacher needs a tool box full of responses that vary from gentle and passive to confrontational and aggressive in order to deal with any discipline problems that arise. Additionally, a narrative is included that helps identify reasons for student misbehavior and how to tweak your disciplinary plan for maximum effectiveness. A sample Student Behavioral Contract and an Office Referral Form are available for use or modification. Once you have completed this workshop, you will be able to develop a Progressive Discipline Model (PDM) and will understand strategies to manage student behavior in a wide variety of scenarios. Starting the School Year on the Right Foot
Behavioral modification techniques must be used effectively and consistently throughout the school year in order to keep students focused. However, there are a few things you can do very early in the school year to minimize later student behavior problems: •
Learn the students’ names as quickly as possible. The sooner, the better, so the...
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