My Personal Classroom Management Plan Professionalism as a teacher starts the moment you step onto a campus and some may argue as soon as you step into the public eye. While I was at substitute teacher training this week, the speaker said students should know who the professional is by looking at them. He was talking about what to wear as a substitute in his school district. When a colleague, parent, or student sees a teacher they should immediately know that they are one of the professionals on campus.
They know this because they are dressed appropriately, are civil, and engaged with their environment. Appearance is only one aspect of professionalism, there are many facets of professionalism to regard in the profession of teaching. The manner with which you speak and interact with your colleagues should always be in a respectful tone while being aware that students are always watching, listening, and learning. As a professional, tact and courtesy should be part of your strategy when interacting with anyone at school or in the community.
For instance, if you are sharing the floor with another teacher and a difference of opinion occurs, take a breath, note your difference of opinion silently in your head, and proceed without making your concern a public display. As adults and professionals it is important to have discussions about differences in private and not disrupt class time by arguing, having a bad attitude, or engaging in hostility. When engaging a parent, student, or faculty member diplomacy and civility are very important. The overriding goal is to navigate relationships or exchanges without alienating potential allies in the education and development of our students.
Sometimes parents might arrive to a meeting upset or become upset with something that is shared in an exchange. Diplomacy and civility allow teachers to validate parents’ concerns while continuing to seek solutions and strategies that best serve the student and invite engagement from their community. Three strategies that I use to increase engagement and create supportive learning environments are; be a good example, present the material properly, and make learning stimulating and fun. One of the biggest factors that affect student engagement has to do with the behavior and engagement of the teacher.
Students model their behavior and enthusiasm, largely after the person leading the class (Csizer & Dornyei, 1998). This means that how organized, attentive, and engaged students are, is a direct reflection of the teacher and their organization, attentiveness, and engagement. Presenting material in the clearest and most effective way while conveying the concepts that you are teaching properly can be a big motivating factor for students (Csizer & Dornyei, 1998). If the teacher is vague, unclear, and disorganized, students are going to lose motivation and might become anxious and confused.
Inversely, if the teacher is clear, concise, and effective in presenting their lessons then the students are more likely to be drawn into the lesson and participate more fully. Making learning stimulating and fun is a great way to peak students’ interests and invite students to participate in class. Give students options that appeal to them and they are drawn into the lessons. “Humans are willing to invest a considerable amount of time and energy in activities that interest them” (Csizer & Dornyei, 1998, p. 163). It is easy to think of how much more invested each of us are when we have a genuine interest in a subject.
Taking time to get to know your students’ interests, in an effort to bond socially as well as to tailor aspects of your lessons to include things that your students are terested in, is a great way to motivate students and stimulate the learning environment. All engagement strategies will have available modifications and accommodations for students that require alterations for many potential reasons. Attention will be paid throughout each day to identify potential solutions to existing challenges for individual students.
The philosophy behind my classroom management plan is; have a safe, courteous, supportive, and fun environment in which to develop academically and socially. I do this by starting each year establishing the rules, procedures, and expectations for each student’s behavior during the first two weeks of school. By exploring, identifying, and practicing how to behave, where things go, and when certain things happen several times each day for the first two weeks of school, each student thrives in their learning environment and knows what is expected.
One of the key words in my first statement is fun. The environment is inviting and stimulating for the students, myself, and my colleagues. There are some things on the walls, but it isn’t cluttered or too busy and the atmosphere is relaxed yet productive. The desks are laid out to allow me to move around freely and my desk is off to the side of the room. I spend most of my time walking around the room watching my students work, assessing comprehension, and answering questions.
I take time to get to know my students, their interests, and what their strengths and weaknesses to program interesting, motivating, and challenging material that is relevant. Classroom procedures are an invaluable way to create and manage a productive learning environment. By implementing classroom procedures and rules immediately at the beginning of the school year, practicing them for the first two weeks, and reviewing when necessary, students can relax and follow the routine, minimizing interruptions and confusion.
The five procedures that I go over with my students repeatedly for the first two weeks are; – Procedure for what to do when students arrive to class o Put your things in your desk and sit quietly with two fingers above your head o I will hold my fingers up as well o When all hands are up and mouths are quiet, we will begin class o We will do this many times throughout the day for the first two weeks to practice until the students have mastered this procedure. Where and how students store/manage their supplies o Students folders and bags will be put in their cubby upon entering the class o Common supplies will be located in bins in the closet or on a shelf o Students will be allowed to get items from the cubby or supply closet only with permission or instruction from the teacher o Students will return all items to bins and cubbies when instructed to do so by the teacher o We will practice this procedure many times during the first two weeks of school until each student demonstrates mastery.
How to prepare to leave the classroom alone and with a group o The teacher will call upon a student who is sitting quietly, attentively, and awaiting instruction to be the one who leads the class out of the classroom o Students will then be instructed to line up by who is sitting quietly table by table o Students will walk down the right side of the hall quietly keeping hands and feet to themselves until directed to stop by the teacher o Students leaving the classroom alone must elicit permission from the teacher by raising their hand and asking permission to leave the room o They will walk quietly down the right side of the hall quietly going directly to their destination and back.
We will practice this procedure many times during the first two weeks of school until each student demonstrates mastery – How to elicit attention or assistance from the teacher o Students must raise their hands and sit quietly to be called upon or approached by the teacher for assistance o Students who speak out of turn or don’t raise their hands will be reminded of the rule and asked to follow directions and raise their hands to be addressed o This will be practiced often during the first two weeks of school when any student needs assistance until each student demonstrates mastery – How to use and not abuse technology/equipment o Students will have access to computers and Ipads in the class nd computer lab
o Students will sit quietly in their seats with two fingers up o When told to do so, all students will turn on their device o Teacher will explain how to touch the hardware in a way that it won’t get damaged and for students to raise their hands if they need help or something isn’t working o Digital citizenship – appropriate conduct regarding content, online bullying, and social media. o When it is time to leave, all students will remain seated and quiet until released from class/ labo We will practice this several times in the first two weeks until all students demonstrate mastery Rules and consequences are an important part of establishing and managing an engaging learning environment.
I use four simple rules as the framework for establishing good classroom behavior. “1. Listen And Follow Directions 2. Raise Your Hand Before Speaking Or Leaving Your Seat 3. Respect Your Classmates And Your Teacher 4. Keep Hands, Feet, And Objects To Yourself” (Linsin, M. , 2009, para. 23). I use a Consequence Ladder with both positive and negative consequences listed, negative on one side of the ladder and positive on the other. Each student has their name on a moveable token that can is attached to the board. The first rung of the ladder corresponds with a first verbal warning or praise. When a student earns either, their token will be moved to that rung.
The second rung corresponds with a teacher conference and a PIP (personal improvement plan where the student identifies in their own words what they will do differently), or five minutes of free time at the end of the class. The third is a phone call home, telling the parents about the positive or negative behavior. The fourth offense results in a parent teacher conference if the student was off task, or a chance to pick an item from the treasure chest if they were being praised. Using a token on a board is great for daily or weekly progress, but further documentation is also necessary. When a student makes the board, positive or negative, I record the event in my attendance document to inform grading and behavioral reporting.
Communication with parents and guardians is important to establish and maintain from the beginning of the school year through the end of the year. Informational group texts, emails, and phone calls to the parents are the main ways that I inform parents of upcoming events, projects, behavioral concerns and praises. There are modifications, like letters, for parents or guardians that require other means of communication. During the year there is ample communication with parents and guardians about what is happening in class and what should be expected when the student is at home. Questions are encouraged from parents and guardians and answered the same day or as quickly as possible.