Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Classroom Management 1983 vs. 2014

Wow.  While scanning through some old pictures and papers, I came across this gem from 1983. It's a hand written note by my mom after my first few days as a kindergartener. A few thoughts on classroom management come to mind after rediscovering this gem:

  • A room full of quiet/still students makes me nervous.  I thrive on feedback, and need it every minute I'm in the room to both assess how I'm doing and how my students are doing.
  • I'm impressed/shocked my kindergarten teacher gave specific feedback to my parents after only three days of school.  Honestly, three days into a school year, I'm still figuring out what's going on!
  • I didn't remember why I received the happy face stickers.  Hmm... makes me question if the use of stickers and external rewards are effective at any grade level.  As a second, third, and now fifth grade teacher, I was not and am not a fan of rewards (or punishments for that matter).  Apparently, as a kinder student, external rewards had no impact on me as a behavior management strategy as I couldn't remember why I even received them.
  • Classroom management is different for every teacher.  There are many methods that work.  There are also many methods that don't work.  Each individual teacher needs to figure it out each year with each new class.  No two years are the same for any teacher or any group of kids.
  • The words of my credential program classroom management instructor at San Diego State back in 2001 have stuck with me for years:  "If there's an issue with a student, look in the mirror, not the microscope."  We should never try to change students.  Rather, we need to change or reconsider what we do, how we react, and how we talk with our kiddos to operate an effective classroom and to best reach all of our different learners.
  • Good classroom management has to be in place for learning to take place.  
  • What are your thoughts?

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