lunes, 15 de octubre de 2012

Re-Imagining the Past: Maintaining Classroom Discipline (1947)

Time To Teach Teens: The Extremes of Experience                                                               Time To Teach Teens

I call this "Re-Imagining the Past" because nowadays everyone says we are still educating students just like we did more than a hundred years ago. When we "Re-Imagine the Past", we are able to understand the present and more importantly, to shape our future.

Some things change, and rightfully so, especially when we consider things like language and technology. But where human behaviour is concerned, we should not be surprised to recognise more similarities than differences. Indeed, some things have been, and most likely always will be, the same as they were 50 or 60 years ago, as in the video we have from 1947..

How do you manage a classroom?

The best answer to the question, of course, is not to be found in theory. Instead, we must answer the question in the actual conditions of the classroom. It is what the teacher does in practice that answers the question best.

So, how does the teacher apply the theory of educational psychology to actual, real students (as opposed to theoretical students)  in a classroom? Ay, there's the rub, the practice, day to day, in the classrooms of the world. This is a world where no two students are enough alike that we can treat them all the same way. Students aren't like that.

Some students, For example, will go through their entire school career, from pre-kinder to the end of high school, and never give a teacher any thing more difficult than the occasional low-level incidences of talking or not handing in an assignment on time. Other students will present teachers with a significantly higher degree of classroom management concerns to grapple with.

For beginners, are there any tried and tested solutions a new teacher should be given?  As you might guess, I don't think so. Half of the "fun" of being an educator is figuring out what you have to do in a given situation.

You see, life in a classroom is marked by the quality of the relationships the teacher is able to establish with the students. All teachers want to teach, are well prepared to teach, motivated and dedicated. We know that, and that is the first requirement for success in the classroom.

Love what you do, love teaching, be enthusiastic, be happy and cheerful (even when you're not), because at the end of the day, you have the best profession in the world. Yes, I'm talking about teaching.  For starters, our profession makes all the other professions possible.

Second, now that you are a happy, dedicated, motivated, energetic and enthusiastic teacher, let the positive aspects of who you are carry you and your students forward, throughout the year. There are some basic things you have to do, but remember, your ultimate success or failure is in your hands.

Finally, besides loving your profession, here are three more big ideas:

1. Be predictable. Your classroom should be a place where everyone knows what is going to happen, and when. That means rules and routines, which have to be planned and carried out consistently.

2. Be empathetic, which is not to be confused with sympathetic. Have enough patience to ask yourself why things are the way they are. If you are a good listener and a good observer, you will have the information you need to make good decisions.

3. Be fair, to your students, to yourself, and to the people who care about you. Being fair means the same thing in a classroom as in a court of law, namely, justice for all, equally applied, with both sides of any issue being carefully considered.

Well, that's three tips for classroom management, just like I promised. To finish, I have a video you will enjoy. It shows a teacher in a classroom, doing everything possible the wrong way. As you watch, ask yourself, "If I were the teacher in the video, what would I do differently? Why?




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