Blogs on Classroom Management

Blogs on Classroom ManagementRSS
Todd FinleyNovember 19, 2013

On a spring afternoon in the 1990s, I happened upon one of my professors in a campus restroom. The renowned metaphysical sci-fi author caught me eyeing his hands, which trembled as he lathered them with liquid soap. "I get the shakes before every class starts," he explained. "Every class for 30 years."

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José VilsonOctober 22, 2013

It's easy to say that students lie to teachers all the time. Frankly, everyone, including teachers, has a lie in them, and these untruths keep the schooling process rolling along. When adults say, for instance, that they develop rules with the students, chances are that students often develop rules that teachers already thought of anyway. Or, when adults say that a student can't use the restroom during certain parts of the day "Just because," rather than "Because the hallways is crowded, and I don't want you distracted from the lesson in the classroom,” that's just one more micro-fib in a collage of fibs that we tell children.

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The Dixie DiaristOctober 16, 2013

I'm a special education teacher who thinks kids are the most important people on Earth, and that teachers and headmasters and principals and assistant principals -- as sneaky as they are -- are pretty darn important to the educational process, too.

I became a teacher when I was old enough to have legitimate ear hair concerns, backed up with a whole lot of life and work experience. And the classroom gave me a whole lot more -- ear hair included. Special education is all I've ever taught. I began as a wide-eyed substitute teacher and ended up as a full-timer with wide eyes. (I purchased my ear hair shaver at Walmart. Extra batteries, too.)

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Harvey ZahnOctober 7, 2013

In physical education, curricular requirements such as fitness development, motor skills and health knowledge must be pursued with vigor. But after my 38 years in the field, let me state the obvious. All teachers, specialists included, should consider their subject matter as secondary to teaching children. This primary mission occurs when we prioritize two goals:

  1. Building a sound relationship between teacher and student
  2. Guiding the student in the study of personal/social management skills (PSMS)
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Dr. Richard CurwinOctober 4, 2013

I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:

Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule. It's respect for everyone.
Me: Do you allow hitting?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow swearing at the teacher?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow cell phones in class?
Answer: No.
Me: Again, how many rules do you have?
Answer: (laughing) One, I think.

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Ben JohnsonSeptember 25, 2013

Squirrels. That is what they remind me of. We were all that age once and we were all just like squirrels! Have you ever watched a squirrel? Zoom, freeze for two seconds, flick tail, and repeat. The trick for being a successful middle school teacher is holding their attention for more than just those few seconds. Believing that that is possible requires a huge leap of faith and trust.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsSeptember 18, 2013

"The whole morning meeting not only sets a really good tone for the students, but it sets a tone for me." - Teacher in Louisville, Kentucky

When I first learned about the Morning Meeting model, I was working as an elementary school principal in Pasadena, California. I was new to that school, so I was skeptical about launching too many initiatives, but also curious about how it could work to transform my school and the lives of our students.

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Todd FinleySeptember 13, 2013

Education is catastrophically deficient in trust. Pro-accountability education reformers presume that, absent carrots and sticks, classrooms would be overrun with lazy and incapable teachers. Traditional instructors presume that, absent carrots and sticks, classrooms would be overrun with lazy and incapable students. Both viewpoints emerge from a noble desire to make classrooms high-performance spaces, but in actuality they suppress excellence.

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Tyler HesterSeptember 11, 2013

In my mind, the first and most basic obligation of a teacher is to see the beauty that exists within every student. Every child is infinitely precious. Period.

When we start from this vantage point, classroom management -- and its flip side, student engagement -- comes more easily. It's an outgrowth of students feeling loved and respected.

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Todd FinleySeptember 6, 2013

Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores. Journal prompts and concept questions can focus students on nutritious academic content and initiate a positive tempo for the next 90 minutes of class.

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