While in my internship, I have been able to observe and practice, learn and grown, and pick up tricks from my mentor teacher and others around me. Throughout this time at Hays Consolidated Independent School District’s Dahlstrom Middle School, I have been able to add tools to my own personal Classroom Behavior Management Tool Box.
I believe the most important tool in my toolbox is that of respect. I have noticed that when your students respect you as the authority figure, classroom management is easier to handle. When students have respect for you, they will try their best to keep you happy and will not purposely try to upset you. Sometimes my mentor teacher will questions her misbehaving students about their level of respect for her, asking, “Why are you acting like this? Don’t you respect me?” When your students understand their relationships with you, it will be more of a partnership making your job easier.
Another option that one has when managing the classroom is arrangement of the classroom. When assigning seats for students, the instructor has control and is better able to manage behavior. My mentor teacher uses this option extensively as she moves students daily. She separates students who are not able to work successfully together and moves students to prevent distractions. She tends to place the students who require more attention near her desk and will place students in solitary areas of the classroom when they socialize extensively. By taking control of the arrangement of the classroom, you will also be able to control the behavior within the classroom.
Proximity, of course, is another important strategy. Students are less likely to misbehave when they are close to the instructor. Similar to placing students near the instructor’s desk, the instructor may move himself closer to the misbehaving student to prevent further misbehavior or to discourage future disruptions. When students see an instructor moving closer, they tend to redirect their attention and focus towards the assigned work and will oftentimes put away any distractions they may have had out. When a teacher circulates the room, he is better able to be aware of the classroom’s behavior and is also better able to address it. Students are less likely to misbehave when the instructor is on patrol.
A successful instructor should have a well-stocked Classroom Behavior Management Tool Box consisting of a wide variety of tips and tricks. Thankfully I am having the opportunity to well-stock my tool box before entering the profession. I am hoping to find great use from my Classroom Behavior Management Tool Box in the future.