“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
I believe effective classroom management is vital to create a positive learning environment for my students. Classroom management is not about rules; it is about shaping classroom culture and students’ character. My management philosophy and strategies have mostly been inspired by Whole Brain Teaching and P.B.I.S.
The principles guiding my students’ behavior are responsibility and respect. I believe I must earn the trust and respect of my students and model these character traits for them as I interact with them and fellow faculty members.
I believe the best way to avoid misbehavior is to make learning fun, exciting, developmentally appropriate, and hands-on for my students! My students’ learning experiences need to be engaging as possible so students see they are missing out on something fun and interesting if they are not participating.
I believe in the power of positive guidance, pre-correction, and making my high but realistic expectations clear before having students begin a task.
I believe in consistent structure and routine so students can take ownership of the daily flow of their education. I believe every child should feel as though they are an important part of our classroom. The children not only learn to treat one another with respect and work as a team, they each have responsibilities in the classroom that are vital for completing our daily routines.
I believe in reinforcing positive behavior as much as possible with encouraging notes and phone calls home and classroom rewards. The students work as a team to earn more tallies under a smiley face than under a frownie each day. The students also earn individual points on classdojo.com for working as a team, following directions, participating, and for being respectful, kind, organized, responsible, and on task. Students earn Super Improver stickers every time they reach a personal goal or make an improvement. Class currency positively reinforces behavior while teaching my students fiscal responsibility.
I believe in my students to manage their own behavior. We regularly discuss developing self-control and work stamina. I trust students to take a break in our “cool down” zone when needed in order to better concentrate on meeting classroom academic and behavioral expectations.
If a student is in need of discipline, I believe the discipline should be fair and therefore a logical consequence of the action in question. I seek to thoughtfully determine how I can best mentor and shape a misbehaving student’s character by helping them reflect on their choices and the consequences that follow. My students can lose points on classdojo.com, take a break from an activity to cool off, or reflect during a portion of bonus recess.
If behavior modification is needed beyond these strategies, I have successfully helped students reach improvement goals with daily behavior charts. I divide the school day into 15-60 minute sections and the student checks in with me after each chunk to reflect on whether their choices earned a smiley face or a frown.
Ultimately my goal in managing my students is to create an environment where as much learning, exploration, and fun can safely take place as possible!