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Jim Hill High School

Position Paper: Classroom Management
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Classroom Management

Although there are several strategies for effective teaching, classroom management is among the most significant. There are a number of different classroom management techniques. Among these are different discipline approaches and basic classroom strategies.

The Positive Discipline approach is based on the work of Rudolf Dreikurs. Dreikurs believed that misbehavior was the result of attempts to find belonging and significance in unacceptable ways. Those mistaken attempts resulted in misbehaviors.  Dreikurs and Adler created the “Mistaken Goal Chart” that describes several misbehaviors and helps teachers to understand the belief behind the behavior. Positive Discipline includes creating an atmosphere of respect, using positive discipline classroom management tools, and using encouragement.

According to the article, Managing Behavior Via Teaching Style, inappropriate behaviors can be reduced or eliminated if the following procedures are performed: there is a “do now” activity in which the students start working on as soon as they enter the classroom, the lessons are interesting and challenging, there is a variety of instructional presentations such as guest speakers, group work and the use of computers, and there is a closure activity at the end of the lesson.

This same article also listed strategies for classroom management when taking tests. It stated that teachers can sit in the back of the classroom when giving a test. By doing this, students will be more nervous about cheating. It also stated that teachers can administer tests that require short essays, instead of true/false, fill-in-the-blank, or multiple-choice questions. Tests like these make it harder to cheat.

Another classroom strategy is establishing a positive working relationship with students. From my student teaching experience, I have noticed that students are less likely to display inappropriate behaviors when they have positive relationships with their teacher. Establishing rapport with students early will do more than assist in managing the classroom. It will cause students to want to listen to their teacher, which will lead to them learning more in the classroom.

Frequently acknowledging appropriate behavior and praising students for demonstrating appropriate behavior is a very valuable technique that will assist in classroom management. Students, especially those with social behavior plans and functional behavioral assessments, are more likely to cooperate with teacher directives when they are periodically acknowledged and praised for demonstrating appropriate behaviors. Also, all students benefit from some form of praise. Many students may have low self-esteem. Hearing a positive comment directed toward them may boost their self-esteem.

            Other classroom management strategies include the following: providing a full schedule of meaningful activities to avoid “down time” problems, using activities that engage the students’ interests, providing activities that are in each student’s proper zone of proximal development, and developing and implementing a classroom wide positive system that directly connects academic performance and appropriate behavior with rewards and consequences.

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