Monday, August 1, 2016
On Behavior and Classroom Management
On Behavior and Classroom Management: Unfortunately, terms such as "classroom management" make teachers sound more like business executives than proper educators. Yet part of the struggle here, especially with elementary and middle schoolers, really centers on showing students that their teacher is a human being too. If students can see that their teacher is not just a disciplinarian, but rather an honest adult who cares about his or her students, then classroom management techniques become much easier to implement. In effect, the main objective behind managing a classroom should be geared toward creating an authentic, distraction-free learning space that is governed by democratic ideals such as participation and respect. Common managerial tactics might include ignoring, proximity controlling, and appealing to a student's core values. Perhaps the two most important things to avoid when managing student behavior are sarcastic humor and yelling. At the middle school level in particular, when students are undergoing hormonal changes, shouting simply gets the teacher nowhere. If anything, yelling merely de-motivates students by subverting their self-esteem.