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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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Kim's picture

If you can believe it, my credential program had ZERO information on classroom management. And I was hired on an emergency credential, so all of my "student teaching" was done on the fly in my own classroom. Luckily, classroom management has always been a key interest of mine, and I did a LOT of reading and trying out new things to find what worked and what didn't. I'll be curious to hear what other teachers have to say who have more recently completed their credential program; I was under the impression that things had improved, but it probably still varies from program to program.

Karen M Adrian's picture

My master's program briefly discussed it, but there was no classroom time given to it and much less a class devoted to it. The information that we did receive were book suggestions and perhaps photocopies of ideas. When I did my student-teaching, I got more suggestions from my cooperating teacher and sometimes his methods were childish... and the kids knew it. I can honestly say that as an upcoming not-yet teacher, I am unprepared for the classroom. I hope this group will provide me with better insight.

Debbie Kea's picture
Debbie Kea
12th grade English teacher from Atlanta, Ga

Thank you to all those who commented. It appears the general concensus is virtually no training in classroom management. My best advice is assertive discipline. Make expectations and consequences clear. Follow through or you live in a zoo! I use a three strikes you are out policy. Warning, Detention, Referral that takes you out of my sight. It works, but of course you must have an administration that backs you up. If you stick with it and are consistent, it works. You are the authority in the room; don't try to be their friend. That's the worst mistake I see new teachers make. They need to respect you.

Shari Sjogren's picture

I'm currently in the second half of my student teaching year as part of my master's program. My master's program started us off with a three week, daily, three hours a day class on classroom management last summer. It was a good course, but there has been no follow-up. I feel as though the class itself was good but the program has since abandoned the idea. Follow-up would have been nice.

Cynthia Corum's picture

I believe in the two years I was in college for my degree, I spent last than I week on classroom management. And I even elected to take the year long student teaching program. I spent a whole entire year with a 5th grade class.... had a few private discussions and two classroom discussions and that was it.
When I was hired, we discussed Harry Wong's first year teacher book. I pretty much have relied on my skills as a mother and for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Lisa Matson's picture
Lisa Matson
Pre-Service Teacher in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania

I am about halfway through a Masters program in elementary education and thus far I haven't had a class in classroom management and I don't remember it being discussed within my other courses either. We are required to do field placements and I have been trying to get ideas from the teachers I observe. One thing that seemed to work in a first grade class I observed recently was that the teacher got the students involved in the discipline problem immediately participating in the lesson being taught. When the students had to get up from their seats and engage in the lesson at the board, it seemed to help them refrain from acting up again. Does anyone else want to comment on what works in their classroom when students act up?
Thanks.

Mrs. H.'s picture

I have received virtually no instruction on classroom management. I have tried to read many books on the subject however I have found that teaching and then self-reflecting has been helpful. I recently realized that I am too friendly with the students. I'm not necessarily trying to "be" their friend but I want to come across as warm. Now I realize that I need to lose some of the sweetness and be more matter-of-fact. I have found tremendous help from the book, "Teach Like a Champion" by Doug Lemov especially b/c it includes a DVD of teachers actually using techniques from the book. I noticed that the teachers are all very matter-of-fact but still manage to come across as warm rather than cold. This is what I am aiming for.

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