Monday, October 15, 2012

EDSS 511: R8.1 Management Strategies

Classroom Management Plan
            My classroom management strategies stem from the foundational educational philosophies of Post-Modernism and Experimentalism. I believe that students construct his or her own knowledge and that the teacher is a facilitator for learning. Students need to experience what they learn and understand that there are multiple perspectives when it comes to solving problems. With this belief, I identify with the Cooperative Discipline, Synergetic Discipline, and Inner Discipline with Self-Control strategies as ways to foster a learning community within my classroom. I believe that it is my job as an educator to allow my students to make mistakes, but teach them to understand how to solve his or her own problems in a constructive way.
Preventative Approach
            It is important to implement preventative management strategies to avoid student misbehavior and to increase instructional time in the classroom. The first preventative management strategy I would like to implement is derived from the cooperative discipline approach. 
1. In order to build a positive learning community students and teachers must build caring relationships with each other (Albert, 1989-1996). This can be implemented by incorporating team building activities where students get to know each other and work cooperatively to solve problems. This approach fosters an environment that is safe where students can express his or her own concerns without the fear of making mistakes. Another way to foster positive-social interaction within the classroom is for the teacher to model connectedness with every student, and encourage the students to do the same with their peers (Grant, 2005). If the teacher leads by example the rest of the class might follow. By building connectedness with every individual in the classroom it allows the students to feel like they are in a safe learning environment.
2. The second preventative management strategy I identify with is developing rules to guide the classroom (Coloroso, 1994). Having a partial experimentalist philosophy on education, I believe that the rules of the classroom should be stated, but also negotiable. I will state the appropriate behaviors I want to see, then allow my students to come up with rules that meet those standards. Students need to know my expectations, but also should feel ownership and responsibility for following the rules.
3. When implementing discipline strategies for preventative management it is also important that the students and the teacher agree on reasonable consequences (Coloroso, 1994). Students need to feel a sense of belonging in the classroom, and allowing them to be a part of a democratic process enables them to feel responsible for his or her actions.
4. Students need to be included in the decision-making process (Kohn, 1996) in order to see multiple perspectives of how to solve problems. Like I stated before, when students are included in a democratic process they will feel like they have more of a responsibility to demonstrate positive behaviors.
Supportive Approach
            Over the course of my clinical practice I have noticed that it is important for students to know when they are demonstrating positive behaviors in order to reinforce that they are displaying living up to appropriate expectations, and also to take the focus away from those students who are being disruptive.
1. One strategy that motivates students to engage in positive behaviors is catching students being good (Albert, 1989-1996). When students display appropriate behavior, it is important to acknowledge and highlight the behavior in order keep them on track, as well as showing the other students what appropriate responses look like.
2. As an experimentalist I think that it is important that students need to experience learning, and a way to foster this is giving them an opportunity to solve their own problems (Coloroso, 1994). Students need to delve deep to understand the root of the problem and make an action plan on how to avoid and solve the problem. There should be an emphasis that there are multiple ways to solve and issue, but come up with the best solution that fits your individual needs as well as the classroom needs.
3. In order for students to demonstrate appropriate behaviors, it first must be modeled by the teacher (Charles, 2000). The teacher needs to lead by example and show respect for the learner when communicating and instructing, in the hope that the student will reciprocate the same behavior.
4. In order for students to be motivated to display positive behaviors they need to have a sense of worth within the learning community. By delegating responsibilities (Albert, 1989-1996) to students they will feel like they have an important role within the classroom.
Corrective Approach
            In my classroom I want the emphasis of corrective strategies to be student based where the child identifies the root of the misbehavior and reflects on how to avoid it in the future.
1. The first way to identify any wrongdoing by a student is to describe the behavior, not the child (Albert, 1989-1996). Students live up to his or her expectations in the self-fulfilling prophecy. They need to know that they are innately good, but sometimes their actions might be perceived as different.
2. In order for students to correct inappropriate behavior they need to be a part of creating a plan to solve the problem (Coloroso, 1994).  Students learn from their own experiences, so teachers need to allow time for the student to reflect on their actions and come up with ways to solve and avoid those behaviors in the future.
3. When dealing with students who are disruptive I will make my best effort to not let my emotions control the situation, and remain calm and relaxed when communicating with them (Albert, 1989-1996). By keeping a calm neutral demeanor it will help diffuse the problem and prevent the situation from escalating.
4. When a rule is broken in my classroom I will focus immediately on the behavior and consequences (Coloroso, 1994). Students need to know what they did wrong, take ownership of their actions, and also be guided on how they can change their behavior for the future. By being consistent and following through with consequences they will know that their behavior is not accepted and that they need to choose a different alternative.
            When implementing a management plan within the classroom it is important to include the students in the decision making so that they can take ownership of their behaviors and the consequences. It is important to establish the democratic rules and expectations and be consistent with implementing consequences. The students learn from their experiences so it is important to provide opportunities that allow them to critically think about their behaviors and how they can come up with different solutions to be successful. It is my role as a teacher to facilitate a learning community where everyone feels safe to express his or her own opinions, and where making mistakes can be opportunities for personal growth and learning.

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