This week I gave a webinar on Classroom Management. Here is the link to the presentation. One of the things I did to prepare for the webinar was to ask the internet what their definition of classroom management was. I received a lot of fantastic answers back! Click on the date of the tweet and see the amazing responses that were given.
Can anyone give me a definition of classroom management. will put image of the winning tweet in my presentation with permission. I know doesn’t get much bigger than that.
— 𝕵𝖚𝖘𝖙𝖎𝖓 𝕾𝖈𝖍𝖑𝖊𝖎𝖉𝖊𝖗 (@SchleiderJustin) July 19, 2018
My favorite response came from Rosa Derricott.
I would ask you to dig deep on this question. Is there such thing as home management? What are we really saying or asking when we use the term, classroom management? Does the term match what you want to accomplish?
— Rosa Derricott (@RosaDerricott) July 22, 2018
I love when people make me think. I understand the idea that the word management makes it seem that teachers are controlling their students. It also puts the teacher in the power position of being the lone person in the room with the power. A lot of educators have been switching from the idea of Classroom Management to Building Community. This idea was exemplified by Andy Milne’s (@carmelhealth) winning definition. He defined it as, “Working with students to create an environment in which each individual has the opportunity to achieve”. Together we can create a space where everyone wants to be.
At the elementary school level, it is imperative that we have rules and routines. If I do not have them set up in my #physed class there is a real physical danger for my students. The beauty of sharing the power in my class is that I don’t need to set up the rules and routines. We can talk as a class and come to a decision about what works best for our class. I can not create an environment where each individual has an opportunity to achieve by myself. It has to be a group effort.
Discipline. I am reading the book TroubleMakers now for #cleartheair chat that is starting on August 1. The more I read the book the more I found myself at odds with how the two teachers were disciplining the students. They frequently threatened to take away recess and removed children from the group. Both forms of punishment did not change the student’s behavior and further harmed the student; yet they still used a failing discipline system.
Our discipline system has to enable the students to identify the harm they caused, allow them to state why they caused that harm, and permit them to repair the harm. The person or people who were harmed should also have a chance to communicate how it felt when they were harmed. These are some of the basics of restorative justice. We have to teach interpersonal communication skills. Conflict will always occur when multiple people are present. We all have different wants and needs. Sometimes they overlap on others wants and needs creating conflict. The key to community building is communicating those needs and harms between members. Some of our students need that to be explicitly shown where their actions hurt others. They also need alternative solutions presented to them. This way if they are in a similiar situation they have a wealth of knowledge to draw on to make better decisions. This is more important than any content we could possibly teach our students.
Like everything else in education classroom management/building community is grey. A lot is based on the teacher’s personality and experience. The only common thing we can all agree on is like and love our students. When we like our students they will feel it. They will feel the love and patience we have. They will understand when we get frustrated it is with their actions and not them as humans. When we like our kids we want them to be happy. We want them to show up every day. We are willing to share with people we like. That is human nature.
Take a look at the presentation. If you have any questions hit me up. As always I appreciate your time.