George Lucas Educational Foundation

Observe Your Peers For Improving Classroom Discipline

Observe Your Peers For Improving Classroom Discipline

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With so many teachers struggling with Discipline Problems at school these days it is hardly surprising that more people are coming online to find classroom management ideas. Effective classroom control is hard, and coming up with classroom management ideas is difficult when teachers are swamped by ever increasing piles of work. One of the best sources of effective classroom management ideas, is also one of the most overlooked. In every school, in every part of the world, there will be a few teachers who have superb classroom control. No matter how much student behavior has deteriorated in the schools today, these teachers can control even the toughest students. I have noticed on my rounds at school that some teachers manage to demonstrate excellent classroom management skills, day in and day out. Each teacher has a different range of effective classroom management techniques and strategies, but they will all be effective. I often recommend to my staffwho struggles with discipline problems in their classroom to go and watch these teachers in action. If you’re struggling with student behavior in your classroom, and if you’re desperate for some top quality classroom management ideas and tips, then go and observe your peers who are good at it...!! You will be surprised by how much you can pick up by watching them at work. I frequently have other teachers now especially new ones, come and ask if they can observe their peers. And each and every time, I’m delighted to say yes. Having your peers ask to observe your lessons is second only to seeing your excellent classroom management strategies start to yield results. So if you’re desperately in search of effective classroom management ideas, then go and watch a fellow teacher tomorrow. You never know, you might just pick up a life changing classroom management technique, and never look back....All the Best...!!

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Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Tina!

I love your post! I totally agree. As a nonprofit direct service provider, I learned much from working with other teachers on the subject matter of managing students. I think a strong network and a supportive teacher environment makes a huge difference for all teachers and students.

Judy Johnson's picture

I agree with you that peers can help with classroom management. I also agree that a strong netwok of supportive teachers would be helpful. What do you do for classroom management?

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

When working with MS children/youth, I used game formats to teach math. For HS youth I used team projects. From my experience these methods I've seen a high-level of engagement. It's really exciting to see them working together and functioning to accomplish their goals and objectives. Also, I have always bounced ideas and various methods off of educators.

Eric Zeissig's picture

I agree 100%! The education profession is one that needs to be taken on with bit of humility. I can admit, sometimes it's hard to admit you need help. However, it's okay to "borrow a little inspiration" from those have been in battle before you.

My first year as a special education teacher I knew I had a lot to learn, and I thought classroom management wasn't one of them. However, I asked my principal if I could observe other teachers in their classrooms. She happily helped me arrange some observations and I learned more than than I thought I would. What I found was that everyone does things a little bit differently, and that's the great part. In each classroom I visited I was able to find "nuggets of wisdom" here and there that I was able to piece together into what ended up becoming my own style of classroom management.

I also encourage after school or lunchtime discussion groups. Invite the "experts" on your campus and have members (teachers) share areas of concern and the group discusses proactive (emphasis on proactive) strategies for managing the issues of concern. Everyone in the group can benefit from brainstorming and sharing of ideas. You also do not have to limit yourself to only classroom management and discipline.

There is truth to the saying, "some of the best ideas are stolen".

Heather Sawyer's picture
Heather Sawyer
High School Math

Observation can provide teachers with so much insight. I am interested in establishing an observation procedure into our school PLC groups. Not only could teachers benefit from observing various classroom management strategies but also they will learn about new instructional strategies. Do you feel that teachers need to build a trusting relationship before these observations, and if so, how did you make that happen at your school?

Jennie's picture
High School Physics

I have a student teacher right now. He has done a great job of picking up my classes and teaching them in a way that is similar. He assures me that this is how he envisions his own classroom. Still, I have arranged several observations with other great teachers in the school, and we have had a great time discussing some of the ideas he has gotten.

I observed several teachers (probably out of desperation!) during my first year, but now I am itching to do it again. Plus you can build peer relationships and strengthen other's teaching by giving positive feedback on your favorite parts!

Patricia B's picture

I work with students with a variety of disabilities and often the best way to learn what strategies work with a student is to find out what class they enjoy the most and then observe them in that class, noting what strategies the teacher employs in the classroom. Often I have student teachers that I send to observe other classes so they can see our students interactions with other teachers.I think that we can and should use a variety of strategies with our students, but they work best when we build meaningful relationships with each student.If they feel ownership of their learning and want to be in the class the problems usually diminish.

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