1 Katherine Brou Classroom Management Plan Philosophy
My philosophy is a good mix of a lot of different ideas. It is greatly influenced the
Dreikurs Model, the Skinner Model, the Jones Model, the Glasser Model, the Ginott Model and the book The Power of Guidance by Dan Gartrell. I believe that children always have a reason for what they do and it is my job as the teacher to try to figure out that reason and act accordingly. I believe that “misbehavior” is actually often mistaken behavior. The Dreikurs model is closely related to my view of mistaken behavior. According to Dreikurs, there are four instigators of mis/mistaken behavior: seeking attention, gaining power, taking revenge, and displaying inadequacy (Andrius 2011). Each of these has the same goal, to elicit a response from the teacher or others. Using the ideas of this model we know if a teacher takes the time to understand where the child is coming from and why he/she is acting a certain way, then this mistaken behavior can be addressed appropriately for long‐term instead of stopped just for the short term. The Ginott Model focuses on teacher’s providing an environment conducive to learning and when mistaken behavior occurs, to look at the child’s feelings and social/emotional development (Andrius 2011). This to me means to have a loving understanding atmosphere in the classroom and to not focus on the child’s character but instead on his/her feelings at the time in order to understand where he/she is coming from. Ginott was adamant about teachers modeling the correct behavior in the classroom so as to promote acceptance (Andrius 2011). Guidance techniques help teach children problem‐solving skills that will develop “the social‐emotional skills [they] need to function as healthy and productive adults… [and] the life
2 skills they need as citizens of democracy: respecting others and one’s self, working together in groups, solving problems using words, expressing strong emotions in acceptable ways, and making decisions ethically and intelligently” (Gartrell, 2005, pp. 19‐21). These guidance techniques will give the child the power of learning self‐control. This is very much related to the Fred‐Jones Model. This model is all about helping students learn self‐control and using body cues, incentives, and individual assistance as discipline techniques (Andrius 2011). I like the idea of allowing the children to learn their own self‐control because this is a skill they will need throughout their life. I think I already use body cues and faces a lot to convey my approval or disapproval in the classroom. I did not like the Jones’ idea of individual help because, although he is trying to make time more efficient, he is not allowing time for the child to process something in his/her own way. Telling the child what he/she should be doing instead of asking the right questions to help him/her figure it out is not something I believe in. Lastly the Fred Jones model included talk of incentives, which is closely related to the Skinner model or behavior modification theory which involves rewards, punishments, and restrictions. I believe that these things work to modify behavior to a certain extent, but they are just dealing with the behavior instead of understanding and trying to change it. I believe that there is a time and place for this model on an individual basis, however, as a classroom policy it is no good. The Glasser Model helps to show what I believe will help meet as many of the children’s needs as possible so as to prevent the mistaken behavior altogether. The Glasser Model also reaffirms my belief that if the children are interested and engaged in what they are learning and seeing in the classroom, then mistaken behavior will be minimal and only for the four instigators mentioned before in the Dreikurs Model. Glasser also focuses on self‐control believing that “students [can] make appropriate behavioral choices that lead ultimately to
3 personal success” (Andrius 2011). I believe in using guidance techniques, such as classroom meetings mentioned in the Glasser Model, as opposed to purely discipline techniques to address all mistaken behavior. Using guidance as opposed to discipline will help prevent mistaken behavior through teacher understanding, instead of addressing it after the fact. Overall I believe that it is my job first off is to provide a loving, understanding and accepting environment that keeps children engaged, interested and that is conducive to learning. This will prevent as many mistaken behaviors due to boredom and lack of interest as possible. I also believe that being clear, assertive, and direct about my expectations with my body language/cues and words will prevent unnecessary mistaken behavior due to misunderstandings or confusion. I also believe that when mistaken behaviors occur, it is my duty to first try to understand the behavior and the feelings or needs behind this behavior in order to address it appropriately. When addressed appropriately with guidance on self‐control, mistaken behaviors can not only be understood, but prevented.
4 Policies 1. If a child acts out in class in order to get attention my classroom policy will be to explain to the child the expectations and find a way to provide him/her with the necessary attention in an appropriate way. 2. If a child acts out in class in order to get something other than attention, I will remind the child of our classroom rules and tell him/her that I will help him/her get whatever it is they need/want at a more appropriate time. 3. If the child is upset because of something that happened with another child, my classroom policy will be to talk to both children and help them come up with a solution to the problem together. 4. If the child is upset because of something that I (the teacher) has said or done, I will take the child aside at an appropriate time and work through the problem with him/her remembering to be thinking about his/her feelings and needs. 5. If the child is bullying others, I will observe and talk with the child to determine what it is that he/she its getting from the bullying and work to help him/her find another way to get that. 6. If a child is being bullied then my classroom policy will be to provide the child with the resources, stability, and esteem to learn to stand up to the bully. 7. If a child has a lack of self‐esteem and does not want to try, my classroom policy will involve talking to the child and giving him/her small tasks that he/she can achieve to build up his/her self‐esteem. 8. If a child is acting out because he/she is always finished early or bored with the lesson, I will find something more engaging and challenging of the child to do while at the same time re‐examining my teaching to better suit the differences among students in my class. 9. I will practice guidance as opposed to strictly discipline throughout my classroom hoping to understand and prevent any mistaken behaviors through helping children learn self control.
5 Guidelines – Classroom “Rules” Pre‐K through Kindergarten 1. We are all friends who work together 2. We use words to solve our problems 3. We use gentle touches only 4. We use walking feet and talk in quiet voices while inside 5. We take turns and share with one another First Grade 1. We are all friends who work together 2. We are respectful of ourselves and others 3. We are responsible for our own work and belongings 4. We cooperate and compromise with one another 5. When someone is talking we listen without interrupting 6. We use the classroom and our friends to help us solve problems Second through Third Grade 1. We are all friends who work together 2. We are respectful 3. We are responsible 4. We cooperate and compromise 5. When someone is talking we listen 6. We help one another solve problems 7. We are ready to ask questions and learn new things 8. We are able to be ourselves and appreciate those around us.
6 Activities/Lesson Plans I think it is important to note that while these are my classroom guidelines, each year I would go over these guidelines with the students and ask if they had a problem with any of them. We then would work together to change it as necessary through compromise. 1. We are all friends who work together Have the class work together to make a book about friendship. Allow them to write, draw, color, etc… but the topic needs to be about friendship. 2. We use words to solve our problems •
Make a human knot and have the class work together to undo it. If that is too advanced for younger children, have them work together to solve some sort of problem. OR Present the class with a few problems and have them talk it out to come up with a solution. 3. We use gentle touches only •
Have the children come up with act out why this is an important rule. 4. We use walking feet and talk in quiet voices while inside •
Tip toe around the room whispering demonstrating walking feet and quiet voices. 5. We take turns and share with one another •
Play games such as connect four that require taking turns and talk about why that is an important rule (for younger children). OR Use a felt board to make up a story about taking turns and sharing. 6. We are respectful of ourselves and others •
Have a class discussion and possibly allow students to act out situations in which this rule would apply (have several pre‐made situations in a hat). 7. We are responsible for our own work and belongings •
Have a class discussion and possibly allow students to act out situations in which this rule would apply (have several pre‐made situations in a hat).
8. We cooperate and compromise with one another •
Talk about what it means to cooperate and compromise. Possibly compromise on the rules if the class wants to…
7 9. When someone is talking we listen without interrupting • Talk about respect and why it is necessary to listen. 10. We use the classroom and our friends to help us solve problems Pose a few hypothetical “problems” and have the class use the room and each other to come to a solution. 11. We are ready to ask questions and learn new things •
Talk about how we should respect one another’s questions and be excited about them so that we can learn new things from the questions. 12. We are able to be ourselves and appreciate those around us. •
Discuss being appreciative of those around us and how beautiful differences can be. Maybe find some natural occurring differences that turn out to be beautiful. *** For the younger grades (PK/K), hands on activities, pictures, and role play are necessary to them understanding the rules. For first grade, the same applies, but a little bit more abstract discussion can be added in. For 2nd and third grade, discussions are all that is necessary, however, examples and activities will only help reinforce the guidelines. •
Resources Andrius, J. (2011). Teacher matters. Retrieved from http://www.teachermatters.com/ Gartrell, D. (2005). The Power of guidance: teaching social‐emotional skills in early childhood
classrooms. Canada: Delmar Learning ‐ Thomson Learning Inc..
This is my classroom management plan for the primary grades