Statement of Philosophy (Classroom Management)
The primary aim of a classroom management plan, as implemented by the teachers, is to gain control over the classroom. Effective classroom management has been revealed in past research to be critical to a successful learning experience (Wong & Wong, 2009). The reality is that success in classroom management achieves a great deal of engaged time for the students. Levin & Nolan (2013) suggest three main principles that exist for the effective management of the classroom. One of the ideologies is the teacher’s willingness to accept the responsibility for being able to control the students. The other relates to problem-solving, where the application of long-term solution-oriented strategies is advocated rather than the use of short-term control approaches. Finally, the teachers should be able to check and determine if elementary personal problems result in symptomatic behavior.
Levin and Nolan (2013) propose three theoretical frameworks that can be effectively applied to classroom management. As such, the personal adjustment or the self-concept is one of these models in which the students receive encouragement from the teacher to develop self-confidence by working towards academic achievements and enhancing social relationships. Insight or cognition is the second theoretical model, which suggests the use of most of the time by the teacher to solve students’ problems. In this case, the teacher solves the challenges of individual students as he or she seeks to know everyone individually as well as inform and instruct each of them. The behavioristic model is the third theory that involves the teacher’s use of incentives, agreements’ negotiations, and directed attention to motivate positive behavior in the students. Therefore, the behavioristic approach to classroom management is the focus of this classroom management plan.
The main purpose of behavior management is to assist young children in displaying behaviors that are favorable to learning and to help them develop social conduct suitable for home and school environments. Within the interaction between the teacher and the child, it is possible for the child’s behavior to be identified, interpreted in the specific context, and responded to appropriately. Hence, this suggests the importance of the teacher or the adult to think proactively. Successful teachers have a behavior management plan since it is impossible to develop an environment for students to thrive without effective strategies for managing behavior (Carter, Norman, & Tredwell, 2011). Negative behavior is detrimental to the student exhibiting the behavior and affects the learning process of the entire classroom. Therefore, effective behavior management maximizes learning as less time is used on different behavior problems.
List of Classroom Rules
It is important to note that involving the learners in the process of developing classroom rules increases the likelihood of obeying the guidelines. Therefore, to ensure appropriate behavior in the classroom, the teacher must present the elementary class learners with a set of rules and regulations that will guide their behavior in the classrooms (Levin & Nolan, 2013). The three main factors to consider when devising classroom rules are that they must be clear, understandable, and enforceable. The rules may be categorized into sets as indicated below.
RULES & REGULATIONS
List Procedures to Enforce the Classroom Rules
Several procedures need to be addressed in an elementary classroom. Learners should be guided by the process or routine to follow when they require assistance, permission, or teacher guidance on the following requirements.
- Expected behavior when the teacher is not in class.
- The need to observe silence whether the teacher is in class or not.
- The procedure to follow after entering the classroom.
- The need to remain silent when entering the classroom.
- Entering the classroom in a proper line.
- The expected sitting arrangement in the classroom.
- Action to take when the teacher enters the classroom.
- The response or the salutations by the teacher.
- The signals utilized by the teacher to get the learners’ attention.
- Recommended learner behavior when visitors come into the class.
- The process a learner should follow when they need to use the restroom.
- The students are to inform the teacher any time they want to leave the classroom.
- The procedure to follow when one comes in late.
- The procedure to be followed when a learner wants to speak for asking a question or giving their contributions to the content being learned.
- The procedure to follow when asking help from the teacher.
- The guidelines to follow when the learners require the teacher’s or fellow students’ help.
- Taking an active part in group lessons.
- The procedures guiding group work and team discussions.
- The procedure to follow when a student requires help with an assignment from a fellow student.
- When and how to borrow something from a classmate.
- What a learner should do after they have finished their classwork.
- The process to follow when handing in assignments.
- The need to complete homework.
- The procedure to follow when one has not completed assignments.
- The procedure to follow when the alarm bell rings and before being dismissed by the teacher.
- Procedure on how to prepare for lunch.
- The need to do whatever the teacher asks.
- Cleaning up the desk once the school day is over.
- Procedure on how to use the library at school.
- Procedure in the proper ways of disposing of trash.
- How to turn in lost things.
Consequences for Behavior (Positive and/or Negative)
According to Wong and Wong (2009), classroom management has four main types of consequences: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment one, and punishment two. It is very important for an elementary classroom teacher to formulate effective consequences for learners who break the set classroom rules. In their classroom behavior management, the teacher may offer the disruptive learners choices where relevant. Consistency is the most important factor to consider in enforcing the rules and regulations in an elementary classroom (Levin & Nolan, 2013). The teacher must always ensure that they depict consistency in the enforcement of the set rules. In addition to this, the elementary classroom teacher must ensure that the punitive action or consequence meted out on the learner is in proportion to the rule broken.
The table below describes some of the consequences for learners who break classroom rules in ascending order of severity.
|CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING CLASSROOM RULES|
|1||Displaying the name of the disruptive student on the notice board|
|2||The student writes down the rule that they broke numerous times.|
|3||Some minutes are deducted from the disruptive student’s recess time.|
|4||Notes on the learner’s behavior issues are sent to the student’s parents for signatures to inform the parents of their child’s conduct.|
|5||Summoning the parent of the disruptive students to school to discuss their child’s errant behavior|
|6||Sending the student with disruptive behavior to the principal’s office|
It is imperative for the elementary classroom teacher to realize that positive reinforcement is as important as negative reinforcement in encouraging appropriate classroom behavior by the learners (Wong & Wong, 2009). The elementary classroom teacher needs to pay attention to extraordinary effort or appropriate behavior by learners in the classroom for the purposes of conferring positive reinforcement. Some effective forms of positive reinforcement the teacher may use include the verbal recognition of well-behaved learners, smiles, certificates, positive phone calls to the student’s parents, or rendering the well-behaved learner special privileges such as being in the classroom representative.
Additionally, the teacher in an elementary class must formulate a personal plan of action to respond to disruptive behavior in the classroom. As such, the plan guides the teacher in the course of action to resolve a behavior problem that occurs in the classroom without necessarily aggravating it (Carter, Norman, & Tredwell, 2011). The first thing a teacher in the elementary classroom must do in case of misbehavior is to stop the disruptive behavior. Secondly, the teacher should continue with their teaching after everything is solved. The third guideline for teachers when dealing with misbehaviors in the classroom is always to keep the learners in class to the extent possible and implement the formulated consequences rather than sending the disruptive learner outside the classroom.
There are various methods identified in research that the teacher can use in dealing with challenging behavior among students. Whatever the strategy that the teacher decides to use, consistency is critical. Therefore, it is imperative to stick to the plan for the strategy to be effective. Once the teacher can create and consistently implement an effective classroom management plan, the environment will be welcoming and safe and the students will be excited to learn.
One of the major techniques educators use in dealing with behavior issues in an elementary classroom is presenting the material being taught in a meaningful and interesting manner to the learners. Such educational content should be presented in a way that the learners can relate to. Carter, Norman, and Tredwell (2011) posit that if the content being taught and learned is interesting and relevant, learners in the elementary class are very attentive and have neither the energy nor time to engage in disruptive behavior. Teachers must also learn to treat their students with respect and dignity, particularly when disciplining them.
Learners treated respectfully and dignifiedly by their educators tend to report fewer behavior problems and disruptive classrooms compared to those who are regarded in a disrespectful manner (Levin & Nolan, 2013). Hence, to successfully approach discipline issues and respond to them effectively, it is significant for the elementary class teacher to inform the learners of what the teacher expects from them. In this case, the teacher must also ask the learners what they expect of their educator. An effective behavior plan comprises the rules, procedures, and consequences of breaking the set classroom rules and regulations.
The Good Behavior Game
The approach used in teaching good behavior was, for the first time, used in 1969 (Carter, Norman, & Tredwell, 2011). Therefore, Barrish, Saunders, and Wolf (1969) proposed a game where the class would gain access to rewards or lose rewards depending on the behavior exhibited. As such, all class members assume the approach, making it fun and encouraging positive behavior. Hence, the rewards are gained to encourage behaviors that are considered appropriate. For the actions considered inappropriate, the class does not receive any reward. The approach can be used in any level of education, although individuals with learning disabilities mostly utilize it.
Incorporation of School and Community Activities
As has been revealed in the above discussion, the teacher has a very important role in the development and implementation of the behavior management plan. Being with the children most of the time, the teacher understands the behaviors of the students under him or her. However, the teacher is not the only one who should enforce positive behavior in the children (Levin & Nolan, 2013). Other staff members, including the school heads, should be engaged in the process. Communication with the parents is also important to explain what they should do to encourage the students to continue to exhibit the positive behavior they have learned at school.
Barrish H., Saunders M., & Wolf M. (1969). Good behavior game: effects of individual
contingencies for group consequences on disruptive behavior in a classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 2 (2), 119-124.
Carter, D., Norman, R., & Tredwell, C. (2011). Program-wide positive behavior support in
preschool: lessons for getting started. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(5), 349-355
Levin, J., & Nolan, J. F. (2013). Principles of classroom management: A professional decision-making model. New York: Pearson Higher Ed.
Wong, H. & Wong, R. (2009). The first days of school: how to be an effective teacher (Book & DVD) 4th Edition, New York: Harry K. Wong Publications