2013

Management – Classroom and School Policies

Upon coming to BSN, I noticed a lot of classroom management techniques that are very similar to back home. Since my school is a private school, it is more strict and the expectations are a lot higher than that of a public school. The head, who is our principal is very strict with the students and makes it known that she has the power over the students. At the same time, she has a very sweet side that she shows sometimes too. I think the parents like her because she tells them and shows them that her school has high expectations and follows through with it. The school policies are that children are to be respectful of anyone who is older than them because they are the authority.  Children are supposed to be quite in the hallways when walking, and walk in a single file line whenever they go anywhere in the school.  During assembly which is the first 45 minutes of the day, students are to sit in their classes marked off section and be quiet until the head speaks. They are to respond to her when she says good morning students they respond, “Good morning Head Parry-Davies and teachers and staff!” All students with birthdays stand up and the whole school sings happy birthday to them followed at the end with three hip hip horrays!

As far as in the classroom, my teacher follows a lot of similar features that PBIS has. He praises the students that do well on things and ignores students who have not met expectations. He said no student wants to be yelled at, and it does no good. He veers away from doing this. A lot of the time his voice is so booming, that it seems a lot like yelling, but his voice is just loud. The students listen to him whenever he speaks or instructs because there aren’t too many male teachers that they have had. Secondly, he is tall and intimidating with his voice so he is complete control of his students. He will threaten them with a statement like this if they are messing around, “If you can’t do it right, you can practice at lunch time for the time that you have wasted now.” This makes students not want to miss their recess so they listen. I would never threaten a child with them missing recess because I think that they NEED that time to get their energy out to be able to concentrate and do well for the rest of the day. This technique works for my teacher, and he doesn’t often keep students in during lunch because then he has to assist them during his lunch time as well.

In my class, we wait until all students are silent before talking. Students need to give us their respect and attention if they are to learn, and my teacher just shouts something and they listen to him. For me, I just hold up my hand and that is my sign to be quiet and listen. So far, my technique has worked out very well for me. Students at my school are very eager to please, and they want to do what is right, so as long as I have their attention, it is easy to make sure they are paying attention when I am teaching because they care about their education and doing well.  They have a lot of pressure put on them from their families, so they put forth a lot of effort in school. It is wonderful working with students who want to do well and please. No anything like students back home! I know for myself, I didn’t really care too much about school when I was younger. These students are like gems found in a pile of brown stones. They are AMAZING.

In a pretty park!

In a pretty park!

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5 thoughts on “Management – Classroom and School Policies

  1. Hello Joy!
    I am glad to hear that you are enjoying, and getting used to, the new school environment! I was a bit nervous and unsure my first week. The private school that I am at has a different approach than the one you are working at. Our school is very creative and the classes are much less strict than any I have ever been in before! It is taking a little getting used to. The students often work together, talk during work time, and choose whichever see they want at any point! It is much different, and I am learning quite a bit. I feel that classroom management is going to be a struggle for me- so I really like how you just raise your hand until students are quiet and paying attention! I agree that yelling at students and constant reminders sometime “go in one ear… and out the other!” I will definitely be trying something similar to this approach!

    Unlike the schools in Wisconsin, and at your school, our school does not have a school-wide behavior policy! I was really confused at first. I have spent quite a bit of time observing each teacher’s individual classroom management. I find it most beneficial for school’s to have a foundation of rules that every student is held accountable to. The students often walk down the hallway talking, skipping, jumping, not in a line… I couldn’t believe it! I am adapting and still learning the rules of the school, it is interesting!
    I agree that teachers/staff need to have authority and command the respect of students, but at the same time have a connection with students, like the principal at your school! That’s really great she a role model, connects well with families and students alike, and is able to keep the school running with high regard.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to the Monday Morning Assembly at my school as well! Our school sounds to have the same approach- it begins with the teacher saying “Good Morning students!” and the students respond all-together “Good Morning (name of teacher/staff)!” Then there is a lesson shared, such as working together and community, and then the students who had a birthday the week earlier stand up at the front! All together, the students and staff sing Happy Birthday! I was able to stand up the second week for my birthday, and I must say… I felt pretty special! 🙂 Then, there is a student who plays the piano for a song. The students who attend our school often have music lessons on the piano or guitar, they are very creative and well-rounded little individuals!

    I hope you continue to enjoy your experiences! I look forward to reading more, soon! 🙂

  2. Joy,

    I also think that your idea of holding your hand up until students are quiet is a brilliant one. It is something I have not heard of before, but I think I will definitely try it. Many of the teachers at the high school will send disruptive students outside of the classroom either for the rest of the period, or just for a short time until they are talked to. Up to this point, I really haven’t seen a school-wide behavior program implemented here, but I will keep on watching.

    You were also talking quite a bit about how your teacher just has a loud voice. Even though I feel my voice when I am just talking to family or friends is soft and quiet, I have noticed in my time hear that I actually have tendency to talk quite loud in the classroom. Something my classroom teachers have suggested (because they have the same problem) is to consciously tell myself to keep my voice low because eventually the students will stop talking and wonder what I am saying to them. There is as you said, though, definitely a difference between loud talking and yelling.

    Like Brittany’s school, I feel that mine is fairly lax in their rules and classroom management. I’m still under debate as to whether this is just the school climate or if it is simply because it is term four and everyone is busy getting ready for exams or is just plain tired!

    I think it is really awesome that they have a morning assembly sort of thing at your school. We don’t have one for mine, but my thoughts are that this is probably because we are a high school. There are award assemblies every couple of weeks though where everyone stands when the principal comes in and leaves. Isn’t it amazing to find those gems in your students though? I think there are a few I’ve already come to notice!

  3. Hi Joy!

    Wow. It sounds like your school is a very well behaved school. It is great to hear that the children show respect to those that are older than them. In Australia at my school we have found that the children do not show this same level of respect. They constantly talk while the teacher is talking and will also talk back to adults at some points. Do you see any of that in your school? I also love the fact that the children are required to walk quietly in single file lines. It helps to create a quiet learning environment for other students and shows them respect. When we walk at our school the kids are constantly talking and tend to walk in pairs or threes. It gets harder to keep the class together in this aspect. It is interesting to hear that they do assembly for 45 minutes. Is this a daily activity or just once a week?

    I LOVE the fact that your teacher believes that it is important to not yell at students. It seems to take away from their learning and make them not want to be there if you yell at the students. A loud voice does really help so that all students are able to hear. I agree that it is important for students to have their recess time. What would you say to the student instead of what your teacher says? I have a hard time myself asking students to finish work during recess time, but sometimes I find myself doing it because otherwise they will not finish. I want to get away from doing this but need to find new techniques to help. At our school we have a program that is called PBS that is very similar to PBIS in theory but I do not see it being implemented as much is it should. It seems to me that the program is disjointed and the whole school does not use the same management techniques. Do you find that other teachers in the school use similar management techniques as your teacher?

    It is really cool to hear that your students are so eager to learn and to please. That is not something that you find in a class as often as you would hope. Do you think that there is too much pressure put on the students to succeed in their school? It seems like there are a lot of high expectations to meet. Do many of them have a hard time meeting these expectations? I keep comparing to my school here and thinking about how different the two schools are. I like your technique of holding your hand up to wait for the class to be quiet. I might have to try that at school tomorrow because my class can be quite chatty and it is hard to get them settled in. My teacher tends to use her voice way more often to quiet students down and I like using more nonverbal cues if possible.

    I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying your experience. It sounds like you are having a fantastic time so far. Talk to you again soon!

    Lindsay

    • Hi Lindsay,
      Sorry for the late response! Most teachers at my school at the same way as my teacher when it comes to their classroom management techniques. Students do not talk back to adults here. If they did I think they would face a pretty harsh consequence. My teachers here make the expectations known of what is expected from the students and I do as well. I think it would take a lot of guts from a student to talk back to us. For the most part, the kids that we teach are so innocent and willing to learn that they are not the type of students to cause conflicts but genuinely want to learn.

      While my cooperating teacher might tell a student to stay in during lunch time to finish something or to sit quietly as a punishment, I have had my student work during downtime during the school day when they have free time or when something isn’t as pressing as what i want to talk to them about to get it done during that time.

      I feel that some of the students in my class have too much pressure put on them. For example, a student that we have in our class is from France and her parents are worried because her spelling is behind on standardized tests. However, she excels in key ideas and concepts, math, science, and pretty much everything else at school. They came to parent teacher conferences and didn’t care about any of the positive and were so angry with the spelling mistakes that they saw in her spelling book at school. No matter how much my cooperating teacher tried to talk about the good that he saw in this student, the parents were not having it. My heart broke for this girl because she is such a great student to have in class in definitely in the top percentile in the class overall. I would say most students meet the expectations that we have and only the bottom two or three are underachieving what we would like to see.

      I hope your school experience is going great and cannot believe how much time has flown by already! Before we know it we will be at our meeting with Dr. Petesch!

  4. Edit = Dear Joy! Sorry.

    I had similar experiences at the Frankfurt Intern School as far as motivated children and interested parents. Sounds like you have an imposing coop teacher but that groundwork of management certainly helps you as a student teacher.

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