Teachers must create a positive classroom climate that will
foster respect, participation, dignity, and trust.
must devote ample time to developing the relationships within the classroom in order to foster an environment in which students
feel comfortable exchanging ideas and becoming involved in the learning process. To
do this, teachers must actively demonstrate the value she sees in each student’s ideas and encourage students to respect
the perspectives of others. In treating each student with respect and by maintaining
mutual respect between students, a classroom feeling of dignity and trust will ensue, resulting in greater student participation.
- Every student has a different
in academic ability, background experience, motivation, values, attitude, and culture will have important influences on students’
learning. As a result, it is my responsibility to utilize various teaching strategies
in an effort to reach each student. Employing different teaching models will
provide my students with multiple means of learning. I must remain conscious
of my students’ diverse learning styles and refrain from teaching with methods that only benefit those learners whose
styles reflect my own.
- Students must be engaged in learning; Enthusiasm
to research such as Gad Yair’s Educational Battlefields in America: The Tug-of-War
over Students’ Engagement with Instruction (2000), findings suggest that teachers need to work extra hard to ensure
that instruction is challenging, relevant, student-centered, and academically demanding in order to deter alienating influences
from impeding student learning. With the growing number of non-classroom influencers
in students’ lives, it is my responsibility to foster lessons that keep students actively engaged. Creating an environment that causes students to be passive bystanders in unacceptable and detrimental to
student learning. In order to engage students, I will strive to creatively design
lesson plans that implement student-directed learning – such as group work, presentations, and discussions – rather
than teacher-directed learning – such as lectures. I also firmly believe
that enthusiasm is contagious, and that students are most engaged in learning when the teacher is enthusiastic about the material
at hand. I will strive to be enthusiastic in my presentation of material, and
will use humor and a positive attitude to evoke similar demeanors from my students.
4. Reflection should be an integral
component in my development as a teacher.
I have an
obligation to my students and my profession to continuously evaluate and assess my effectiveness as a teacher. Reflection on lessons, strategies, and classroom situations will only improve my teaching in the future. As an educator, I have a responsibility to seek out the advice of my supervisors and
colleagues, to evaluate lessons’ effectiveness, and to learn from those with greater experience in my profession. Additionally, I should remain current on research within the field, and strive to
implement newfound strategies and heed findings that might change my teaching strategies.
- Classroom management should be preventative,
management is of utmost importance to the learning process. A clearly defined
plan should be developed with the students’ input (as suggested by Gordon in his Discipline
as Self-Control) so that the needs of both the teacher and students are met (Charles, 2005). Teachers should strive to be fair and consistent in implementing disciplinary actions. As Barbara Coloroso advocates in her Inner Discipline model,
teachers must help misbehaving students see what they have done wrong and present them with ownership of the problem, rather
than merely implementing punitive actions (ibid). Teachers must acknowledge that
their job is not only to teach subject matter, but also to teach students how to behave appropriately and to solve problems. Teachers must convey a sentiment of caring and nurturing with students and at all
times preserve student dignity. As Curwin and Mendler advocate in Discipline with Dignity, I strongly believe that oftentimes at-risk students have lost hope in learning and act
inappropriately because they would rather be seen as choosing not to learn rather
than unable to learn (ibid). It is
the teacher’s responsibility then, to do what she can to instill a sense of hope by encouraging these students and creating
lessons in which they can succeed. I also believe that a large part of classroom
management is fostering an environment in which students feel valued and liked by the teacher.
Fostering personal relationships with students – finding out about personal interests, expressing individual
concern or appreciation, greeting students as they enter the classroom (as suggested by Lee and Marlene Canter’s Assertive Discipline) – will create a positive relationship between students
and the teacher (ibid). It is my
belief that students are less likely to act inappropriately when they respect and like the teacher. Furthermore, as Fred Jones suggests in his Positive Classroom Discipline,
facial expressions and body language are extremely influential in classroom management, and can oftentimes be enough to deter
C.M. (2005). Building Classroom Discipline. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Yair, G. (2000). Educational Battlefields in America: The Tug-of-War over Students’ Engagement with Instruction. Sociology of Education, 73 (4), 247-269.