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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

How prepared were you to manage students by your degree program?

How prepared were you to manage students by your degree program?

Related Tags: Classroom Management
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47 Replies 989 Views
I'm doing research about how poorly most teachers were educated about classroom management by their college/university education programs. I'd love to hear from you. Did you actually have a class that addressed managing students? I give a workshop for new teachers, and I would like to use some comments from you all.

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Lynna Kendall's picture

How prepared was I? Not at all!!!! I took the classroom management class offered by my college and the basic theme was to be instructionally prepared and have a pleasing environment for the students. What a crock! No one told the students that if I was prepared and had eye catching bulletin boards and the room temperature pleasing they should all be model students. I now work with first year teachers and parateachers to help them set up classroom mangeament policies and interventions. So many of our promising teachers quit no because teaching is hard and we're underpaid, but because they have no classroom management skills.

adonna pennington's picture

I had graduate training (Master's Level) 10 hours. Still, I was not so prepared as I would have wanted. The schools mentoring program was less than helpful: a meeting once a semester, likewise observations.
My personal feeling is the mentoring program needs fleshed out and updated. I got more mentoring with the principal who met with all of us first year teachers at least monthly. Open question and answer and great advice. I did "OK" but also had great support from other teachers on my wing.

Faith Forshee's picture

My master's program fit in classroom management here and there. The problem was that all those "mini lessons" were well before our student teaching. So, at that point in time, it was all "theoretical" and nothing we could test within a classroom setting - meaning that none of it became usable. My student teaching supervisor gave me helpful suggestions when I encountered issues, but at no time was it an actual plan for my own classroom management procedure. Going from the program into substitute teaching, classroom management confidence would have been especially welcome! I think that is what makes substitute teaching so difficult, is having to have so many different classroom management options, as each group and situation and grade is different.

Elissa Michalski's picture

I received absolutely no classwork or training on classroom management in my Master's program. I did learn little tricks here and there from my practicum and student teaching, but nothing that prepared me for my own system of management. I have learned through my 10 years of teaching that I have a solid base plan: consistency, clear expectations, and no nonsense. But, it changes slightlly from year to year, depending on the students. I also follow the 3 strikes and your out rule. But, my current administration isn't so keen on supporting that. They feel that behavior should be handled by the teacher in the classroom and that sending students to the office for behavioral discipline shows the student that you can not control them. To an extent, I agree. But, there are some students who need it to escalate to the administration.

Nancy's picture
Nancy
9/10th grade US history teacher, CT

My undergrad included minimal training in classroom management... but then it was called discipline and administrative duties. Most of what I learned was from my cooperative teacher during student teaching and the 3 years I spent as a long term substitute for 2 districts. I know that this is the biggest area of concern for new teachers and the area that most administrators will judge teachers on. Many districts give out Harry Wongs book, but this only works for elementary classrooms. Middle and High school classrooms are not set up the same way. I remember the first time I was told to do buliten boards in the hall way, being a 7-12 History teacher I was never taught how to do this. Now you would think it is easy but it is deceptively hard. This is the kind of thing that falls under CM believe it or not. It goes to the issue of college prep... I did student teaching in 9-12 HS and got hired to teach 7-8 in a K-8 school. The school is more of a K-6 with 7/8 as a afterthought. In this case you are expected to be more k-6 with CM and decore and differentiation strategies and that can be very difficult.

Nancy's picture
Nancy
9/10th grade US history teacher, CT

I agree ...so many administrators want less and less to do with the tough cases or even the medium cases that need the esclation as you said.

cheryl cloutier's picture

I have a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction, a BS in Art Education, an AS in Accounting
At no time was classroom management actually addressed as a class. Since then (17yrs) many workshops have done a better job but experience is what works. I agree with someone above, if you are the authority in the room you cannot be their best friend. You must set ground rules and consequences. Believe it or not they really do want that. I also agree that drawing your experience from motherhood and other leadership settings is essential and firsthand. Lastly discussions with colleagues, especially if they have had the students before or have knowledge of the students' situations.

cheryl cloutier's picture

I have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, a BS in Art Education, and an AS in Accounting.
At no time in my education has classroom management been addressed in an actual classroom. Since then (17 yrs) there have been numerous workshops that have given me more to work with than my formal education. I agree with someone above that drawing from real life leadership roles, motherhood, group leaders gives you experience to take with you. I also agree that if you are in the authority role you cannot be their best friend. They need limits, boundaries, and expectations and consequences for their actions and learning goals and I feel that believe it or not they actually want them.

cheryl cloutier's picture

I have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, a BS in Art Education, and an AS in Accounting.
At no time in my education has classroom management been addressed in an actual classroom. Since then (17 yrs) there have been numerous workshops that have given me more to work with than my formal education. I agree with someone above that drawing from real life leadership roles, motherhood, group leaders gives you experience to take with you. I also agree that if you are in the authority role you cannot be their best friend. They need limits, boundaries, and expectations and consequences for their actions and learning goals and I feel that believe it or not they actually want them.

cheryl cloutier's picture

I have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, a BS in Art Education, and an AS in Accounting.
At no time in my education has classroom management been addressed in an actual classroom. Since then (17 yrs) there have been numerous workshops that have given me more to work with than my formal education. I agree with someone above that drawing from real life leadership roles, motherhood, group leaders gives you experience to take with you. I also agree that if you are in the authority role you cannot be their best friend. They need limits, boundaries, and expectations and consequences for their actions and learning goals and I feel that believe it or not they actually want them. I also find discussions with colleagues who have had the students or know what is happening at home can offer insightful information that might help as well.

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