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Classroom Management
Classroom management can be one of the most difficult and challenging situations a teacher is confronted with. When someone hears the words ‘classroom management’, one tends to assume the term insinuates the disciplining of students that are disruptive in one form or fashion. While this can often be the case, there are other aspects of classroom management that tend to go unnoticed. In the paragraphs that follow, I will briefly touch upon a couple of these, as well as the disciplinary role that teachers may be faced with. What exactly is classroom management? According to a quote from Jere Brophy in 1998: “Classroom management, as applied to teaching, involves everything that a teacher must do to carry out his/her teaching objectives. It includes preparation of plans and materials, structuring of activities into time blocks, direct teaching of skills and subject matter, grouping of pupils to provide for the most efficient use of teacher and pupil time, plans for transition periods--changing from one activity to another or from one place to another--pupil involvement and motivation, and adequate control of pupil behavior”. Classroom management covers a rather broad spectrum of responsibilities and requirements from both the teacher and the students alike. While most of the responsibility falls upon the shoulder’s of the teacher, it is important for students to recognize and understand their roles as responsible students. Classroom Management can be broken down into three distinct categories: Content Management 2) Covenant Management 3) Conduct Management Listed below are very brief summaries of each category. Content management is the management of of the ‘physical’ aspects of the classroom. The organization of the classroom itself (desk placement, desk spacing, decorations), the teaching materials that will be used during the course, the lessons that will be used, and the equipment (radio, DVD player,etc.) used to assist in the teaching process must all be taken into consideration by the teacher during the planning stage. Covenant Management is the ‘social side’ of managing a classroom. The social structure of a class environment plays a critical role in the development of a positive learning space. It is very important that the teacher facilitates such an environment. Gender, male to female ratio, social/economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, self confidence, seating arrangements, interpersonal relationships and learning curves should all be taken into consideration when working towards a positive class environment. Good rapport throughout the class will be made more easily available if these aspects of social structure are taken into consideration and well thought out. Conduct Management, as the name states, is the management of unwanted behavior in the classroom. By establishing a pleasant, but focused social environment, the chances of bad behavior are reduced. However, some students may be problematic. It is important for the teacher to establish the ‘laws of the land’ on the very first day of class. There are many factors that can lead to problems in the classroom (more than I can cover in this article) that should be investigated. Disciplining students can be a rather controversial issue. It is up to the individual teacher to find what works best for them. It is also important to note that schools have different protocols for handling these troubling situations. It is worth your time to talk to your schools staff to help guide you in the right direction. As you can see, there is a lot of information to process and sort through in order to manage a classroom... and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Establishing a positive rapport and work environment, with and for your students, is critical in helping students focus, build their confidence and succeed in their education. It is up to you, as a teacher, to thoroughly explore the dynamics of classroom management and deploy them to the best of your ability. And don’t forget... Have Fun!!! Source Index Class Management Jere Brophy http://www.kean.edu/~tpc/Classroom%20Management/Classroom%20Management%20Home.htm InTime Classroom Management http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/teacher/teac3summary.html The Key To Classroom Management Authors: Robert J. Morzano and Jana S. Marzano http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QDwqACGdf0IC&oi=fnd&pg=PA160&dq=Classroom+management+&ots=9qhh2tojXd&sig=cq2LlBIj5Dx3jrC_kg7MCyGi8KQ#v=onepage&q=Classroom%20management&f=false

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