So why all the focus on classroom management? Well, I remember being in college and having to type up a 1-2 page classroom management plan. The directions were vague and included things like how you would arrange desks, how you would collect and return papers, where would you store materials and how would students access those materials, etc. The paper was hard to write when I was considering an imaginary classroom with an imaginary group of students.
|Photograph: Tara Moore/Getty Images|
As I was thrown into my first year of teaching under really extreme circumstances mid year, I realized I was more disillusioned than I thought. I didn't have time to put a lot of thought into classroom management. Sounds crazy right? And like horrible teaching right? Well, consider this: I got my curriculum books on a Sunday night and I started in the class at 8:30 the next morning! I just had to make a quick decision and get things going.
The next year wasn't a ton better as far as time to plan. I was at a new school in a new state and was hired with only 5 days to prepare! Again, I had to just get a plan together and go with it, and as the year progressed I knew a lot of things were falling through the cracks.
This last year was a bit better, but again, some things were just not running as smoothly as I knew they could. And even worse, there were some things that I hadn't really thought about at all. I had no plan for certain circumstances that would occur in class and that led to confusion and disorder.
See that lady drowning in papers? Yah, that is how I felt at the end of oh so many days!
When it comes to classroom management we all know that what works really well for one group might not work so great for the next. On the other hand there are some parts of a classroom management plan that stick around from year to year.
So this summer I have spent a lot of time thinking about all those things that I've done successfully, things that I would like to implement, and things that I'm going to keep in my arsenal of tools to implement for those "special" students, parents, and circumstances.
See you next time with my first topic: