As the school year starts for some around the country and approaches like a shambling zombie for others, inevitably getting closer no matter how fast we run, I was thinking about Classroom Management. I'm not sure why I was thinking about it because I never really think about it. My classroom just sort of runs. It's kind of odd really. I've seen so many posts on how to run the classroom and classes that are designed to give the new teacher all this tips and tricks to running an efficient classroom. Some seem helpful and others seem way off.
In my 14 years of being in the classroom, I have only sent one student, maybe two, down to the office. This was a number of years ago. He created an unsafe space with some language and the flipping of a desk. I sent the student down and the secretary asked him who sent him. He proceeded to rant about how I was so unfair and that he didn't do anything wrong. The secretary looked at him and calmly said, "Mr Provenzano never sends anyone to the office. Never. If he sent you, you must have done something worth the trip."
I'm a firm believer of handling my own business. I tell the students that. If something goes on in my room, I'm going to be the guy that deals with it. The simple reason I give them is Respect. It's all about that one idea. If there is an issue, I will be the one to address it and we will work together to rectify the situation. I've always felt that the minute I send a student to the office, I'm sending a bad message to all of my student.
"You're not worth dealing with."
Letting students know that they are important and that they have a voice in class is one of the best ways to show respect to students. By doing this, you will not have many problems in class. Students want respect and will sometimes act out to get it. If they are already feeling the respect, they will not act out.
Again, there are instances where you need the admins involved and their support is crucial in setting students up for success. However, sending a student to the hallway or asking them to hang back after class for a quick chat has solved more problems and created a stronger classroom than sending students through the revolving door of the office.
As you start your year and are thinking about classroom management, think about how respect plays a part in your class discussion those first few days. If you can establish that, everything else will just fall into place.
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