As the fall moves along, students become comfortable with their new classrooms, teachers, and schedules. Teachers, lulled into asleep by a relatively easy start to the school year, begin to let norms and procedures to slip. The result is a sudden influx in disruptive behavior. This causes teachers to revisit their classroom management. Sometimes it’s just a matter of needing a change and other times it’s a moment to get back to basics.
For those looking for classroom management answers in the middle of October, we have a list of resources for you to check out…
Alfie Kohn is a leading expert in behavior management and educational policy. His website is loaded with excerpts from his many books on these subjects. Order his books from his site or simply follow him on Twitter for some insight into what research says about child development and behavior.
At Teacher Reboot Camp, guest author Alexander Marchuk proposes that the answer to managing behavior (among other factors) is to search out new ways to involve parents. Instead of simply blaming parents, Marchuk offers examples of how increased parental involvement has resulted in better student performance and behavior. When we look for management solutions, we often look at the student and our own teaching practices, but we forget the power that involved parents hold.
David Altshuler wonders if a student’s behavior is more likely tied to the richness of curriculum than to other factors within the student. This post is mostly intended for parents, but it provides a good framework for teachers to assess their curriculum and instructional practices. Are we engaging students enough to hold their interest so that they don’t act out?
NT&L favorite Larry Ferlazzo offers a couple of good resources for answering the classroom management question. On the Classroom Q&A blog for Education Week, Larry gives several valuable tips for addressing disruptive or “unpredictable” student behaviors. This is extremely valuable as every management system breaks down now and again. We need strategies to deal with such behaviors immediately.
The second piece from Larry is on his Website of the Day… blog. Here, he points to an article on how Steve Jobs changed his management style in order to allow his company to thrive. Jobs relinquished some control in order to involve his subordinates. Maybe giving up some of your own control will allow students to become more involved in how their classroom community functions effectively.
NT&L contributor Krissy Venosdale has an interesting post on rewarding gifted students. Although not specifically about classroom management, it addresses the idea that teaching is about addressing individual needs, not seeing how many races can be won or hoops can be cleared. We all know that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us that students can’t attend to academics until their basic needs are met.What needs do disruptive students have? How can we address those needs so that they can concentrate on learning?
How do you manage your classroom so that students can learn in your classroom? What are you doing to readjust your management to meet evolving student needs? How are the norms holding up that you established with your students?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.