I learned a lot in my 6 weeks pre-interning. I thought I would be really good at class management, but it threw me a bit of a curve ball. I have 6 kids of my own and my kids would say I am tough but fair. A classroom full of 8-10 year olds that are not my children, turned me into a total softy. Also because I have 6 kids, I am fairly adept at tuning out minor noise and fidgeting behaviours.
I don’t think children need to be called on all behaviours but I did realize, some of those behaviours and noises may be hindering their learning or the learning of those around. I also noticed if kids are staring off, I don’t tend to do anything about that behaviour because my reasoning was they aren’t disturbing anyone. After having it pointed out to me on the evaluation sheets my co-op teacher has to fill out for every lesson, I realized that the student staring off, is hampering their own learning, and need to be brought back to the lesson. My other quandary is how to get the student back with out embarrassing them. So my goals are to work on classroom management.
Goal 1: Is to be more patient and use wait time for a classroom management strategy. I often would talk even though the students hadn’t settled down. So my goal is to be more conscious of this and use wait time to get the students attention.
Goal 2: To be aware of the students I have lost during a lesson and bring them back. I want to use strategies to bring the student’s attention back in ways that do not call them out or bring unwanted attention to them. One way of doing this is too stand next to the student and continue the lesson. I don’t know any other ways but will be searching some out before my 3 week block.
Goal 3: To use other classroom management strategies other than just my voice. While just stating what I needed them to do worked because it was only one lesson a week, my voice will soon be something the students get used to and ignore. My goal is to incorporate other techniques for getting their attention such as: rhymes(1,2,3, eye on me), actions(clap once if you can hear me) or my favourite technique is the windchimes my co-op teacher uses for this purpose.
Goal #4: Is not directly classroom management related, but will help in that area. My fourth goal relates to my planned lessons. I want to create lessons that have less of me talking and students sitting, and more students doing. I am not sure how to do this in subjects like writing which lends itself to a lot of sitting and listening. I am going to try.
I think these goals are manageable and specific enough to work on in my 3 week block. Hopefully by the end of that time I won’t be such a softy.