Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Classroom Management - Your Strength or Weakness?

My own children, now grown, have told me that I am a pushover when it comes to discipline. It's funny because I didn't view myself that way. As a teacher my students say that I am the complete opposite - BUT they say that they know I love them. I think that's the key - relationship. I think what my boys are remembering is that their mom lovingly disciplined them.

Many teachers (and parents) struggle with classroom and/or behavior management. We all judge the adult who can't "control their children" - we shake our heads and believe we can do it better. A teacher or parent who doesn't have control is a bad teacher or parent. We seem to highly value control.

But I think control is something exercised over behavior that has already happened. In the education biz we call that "behavior management." It is normally reactive. I propose, however, something proactive. We call that "classroom management." As the teacher, I am designing a learning environment and lessons that promote positive behaviors. It is a preventative measure, like fluoride! It can't prevent all cavities, and can't overcome your terrible eating or brushing habits, but it sure does cut down on the number or severity of them.

Classroom management accomplishes the same ends.

The following video is from a teacher education series produced in the 1950's. It's amazing to me how little things have changed! Also available is my PPT presentation about proactive classroom management techniques. Look for it under RESOURCES. Feel free to use it as long as you give me credit.