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Classroom Management

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Classroom Management

Having classroom rules are an essential part of classroom management. I believe it is very important for the teacher and students to communicate the classroom expectations beginning from the first day of school. When this communication is clear it will help with maintaining a well-structured learning environment. Usually schools will have a universal set of classroom rules and procedures but some teachers may add to that list of rules to better accommodate their class. In order for me to determine appropriate rules for my classroom I would have to start with the age group I am teaching. Being that I am a middle school teacher my rules and expectations would be different from an elementary school classroom rules. For example, five rules for my middle school classroom may be: 1.) Be in your seats when the bell rings. 2.) Bring paper, pencil, notebook, and book to class daily. 3.) Listen to and follow directions. 4.) Speak without using any negative comments. 5.) Raise your hand before you leave your seat. Another method for determining the classroom rules will be based on the subject matter being taught in that room. For example, a science class would have different rules than a math or literacy classroom. As a Science teacher we have numerous additional rules that must be followed to ensure student safety. Being that students will be working with laboratory equipment there are rules to accompany that, there are additional rules that show a student what to do and not to do in a lab setting. There are several factors that can be considered when determining appropriate rules. Some factors would be: 1.) Get student input 2.) Set a limited number of rules. 3.) Discuss student expectations. 4.) Rewards and consequences should be discussed. 5.) Realistic rules and consequences. Students are likely to accept the classroom rules if they have a part in creating them. Students should have the opportunity to communicate with their peers and teacher the appropriateness of rules and be able to write down a few rules they think are appropriate for the classroom environment. The rules that the students create can be voted upon by their peers and teacher to form a more unified list of rules. I do not believe that classrooms should have a long and strenuous list of rules and regulations. This can overwhelm students and cause an adverse effect on classroom management. I think that a set number of five to six rules should be selected and enforced. This way it is easier for students to remember the rules and the teacher can refer back to the list if there is a violation. It is important to discuss the student’s expectations of the class so everyone can be on the same page. This means the teacher should ask his/her students what they expect to gain from being in the class. Upon learning what the student’s goals for the class is a discussion about how the rules and their behavior can assist them in achieving these goals. This discussion can be useful in personalizing each rule that was written. For example, if a student expects to earn an “A” in the class, the rule, “Bring paper, pencil, notebook, and book to class daily” can be used to reinforce the student’s expectation. Another factor in determining appropriate classroom rules is providing rewards and consequences. The teacher and students should discuss the types of punishments and rewards that should accompany the new set of rules. Punishments should be effective and fair and rewards should be wanted by the students. For example, a consequence for breaking a rule could a phone call to the student’s parent or detention. A reward for following the rules could be extra reading time or earning materials such as a pencil and/or pen. I think it is very important to have realistic rules in the classroom. This means that all the rules can be maintained by all students no matter what their abilities are. Rules that are too lengthy and strict can create disequilibrium in the classroom and take away from instruction. For example, if a teacher’s rule is that all students must sit still and be quiet the entire class period this is clearly unrealistic. Students may spend more time trying to figure out how they can move and communicate without getting in trouble rather than paying attention. Realistic consequences are important as well. If students know that the consequences are not realistic then they will be less willing to follow the rules. For example, if a consequence is that a student will be sent to the principal’s office for expulsion if they are tardy twice, the student’s know that clearly is not possible and will be lead to believe that the teacher will only use empty threats as a form of punishment and will become more of a behavior problem. In conclusion, appropriate classroom rules are very important. Rules should be used as a method of maintaining a positive and safe learning environment. A teacher will be better able to properly manage their classroom once these realistic rules are discussed and enforced consistently.

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