Influences in the Teaching Environment
In this essay I will identify how ten negative behaviors and/or classroom conditions can influence the teaching environment. In addition, I will outline several different strategies that may be used to create a positive atmosphere conducive to the learning environment. In my personal experience inside the classroom, I have witnessed students act out for a variant of reasons. Most of my experience is primarily with elementary aged children so I feel it is especially important for me to instill in them the proper conduct and self control skills early. Some of the negative conditions I have seen consist of: 1) The groups inside the classroom that negatively influence another’s individual behavior. 2) The teacher’s poor communication with his/her students. 3) The teacher’s dictatorship of rules and policies that the children do not understand or agree to as fair. 4) Students that do not have a sense of belonging inside their class. 5) Teacher’s that hold grudges or prejudges against students based on multiple factors. 6) Student’s who are punished opposed to being disciplined. 7) Teacher’s who do not maintain the respect of their students who may view them as a role model, source of knowledge, referee, judge, or surrogate parent etc. 8) Students that only behave to get rewards and do not know true discipline. 9) A lack of order, organization and structure inside the classroom. 10) Teachers that are nonassertive and take an overly passive approach with their students. These negative classroom conditions can have a huge influence on the classroom management of the teacher and the learning environment of the children. It is important we understand how to handle misbehaviors in a way that teaches discipline and promotes self discipline.
In our first example of negative group behavior, one may observe imitative behavior, scapegoating, and hiding places for non achievers. Redl and Wattenberg state, “In any class, students take on student roles, such as leader, follower, clown, instigator, and scapegoat.” They informed teachers to be watchful for the emergence of these roles, bring them to the class’s attention, be prepared to encourage or discourage them as appropriate, and know how to limit their detrimental effects (Charles 2008, p.55). In our second example of a teacher’s poor communication one can realize the importance of congruent communication. A teachers poor speaking can result in a negative teacher-student relationship. Ginott explains teachers should use sane messages to address misbehavior. Sane messages focus calmly on what needs to be corrected without attacking the student’s character or personality. In addition to this, he recommended using I-messages instead of you-messages. This means to direct the statement onto oneself and not on the student so they will not feel defensive (Ginott 1971, p.72).Thirdly, a teacher’s dictatorship can result in a negative teaching environment as well. Ginott warned against this advising, “teacher’s at their best, using congruent communication, do not preach, moralize, impose guilt or demand promises. Instead, they confer dignity on their students by treating them as social equals capable of making good decisions.” In addition, he emphasizes “do not dictate to students or boss them around, which are acts that evoke resistance” (Charles 2008, p.61). According to Dreikurs, good discipline occurs best in a democratic classroom, where both the teacher and student work together to make decisions regarding the class. This will help to prevent and minimize misbehaviors in the classroom. Our fourth behavior consists of students who do not feel a sense of belonging. Students feel like they belong when they are given attention and respect, involved in activities, and are not mistreated. When students do not feel like they belong they...
References: Charles, C.M. (2008) Building Classroom Discipline (9th ed.), Boston: Allyn and Bacon
Ginott, H 1971, Teacher and child, Macmillan, New York.
Glasser, W 2000, Reality therapy in action, Harper Collins, New York.
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