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Guidance in the Classroom

Updated on August 11, 2014

Recognizing a students' good behavior is far more effective than recognizing bad behavior. Rather than using rewards or punishments, I will establish a mutual respect with each student. Modeling how to make good choices and acting out different scenarios will pay off in the long run. By consistently setting good examples and demonstrating good behavior will be the most effective way to teach students what is expected of them and what is appropriate behavior. Remembering not to take basic things for granted, or that everything must be taught and shown by example, will ensure successful behavioral management among this age group.

When students act in a defiant manner, their goal is not to irritate, disrespect, or annoy, rather, their goal usually is to get attention. A defiant student can result in a power struggle between teacher and student. I need to remember not to engage in power struggles, as nobody ever wins. Ideally, working calmly with a defiant student to abstain from power struggles will show the student that they are important and deserves attention, however, the student will also see they are still accountable for their actions.

Student's will always know they can depend on me and come to me with any question or problem they may have. I will make sure that each student is acknowledged and feels safe, needed, and "part of". Students whom are isolated or who lack the social skills to play and communicate with peers will likely not be receptive or open to instruction in the classroom, thus greatly compromising their academic progress. By actively monitoring student’s relationships and student interactions, I will be able to take action when needed to include the isolated student and help them to reach out to their peers. When a student is a victim of bullying it is important to speak with both parties-the student who is being bullied, and the student or students who are doing the bullying. By showing that I enjoy a student's company this will set an example to other student's and often result in another student's reexamining their behavior toward the bullied student. Bullying can have a lasting effect on a student. Any bullying needs to be dealt with immediately in order to send the bully and other student’s the message that bullying will not be tolerated.

As classroom numbers increase, controlling classroom behavior is becoming increasingly complex. There are several behavior management approaches that assist teachers maintain the behavior in the classrooms, and improve an environment that promotes learning. There are also various actions that focus on inappropriate classroom behavior, or strengthen positive behavior. One skill that I will benefit from in my teaching career is to learn how to be versatile and understanding towards young children. Learning will not take place if a child is overtired, hungry, distressed or worried. In my classroom, I would use a few different behavior management methods simultaneously. I would welcome each student in the morning, by doing this I will be setting a positive tone for the day.

I will implement a behavior system that will hold each student accountable for their behavior. Systems such as gold stars, behavior charts or keeping score of behavior do not work, simply because they are “all or nothing”. They are also negative and charts or other systems that are visible to the whole class is demeaning for a student. Being made to feel "bad", or shamed does not offer positive reinforcement, nor does it help students learn to regulate their own emotions. I think it’s extremely important to help students learn to problem solve by offering choices and options. By showing students that their actions are a choice, they will begin to make the connection between making good choices and the potential outcomes their choices will have. This is setting up valuable life lessons that will be utilized in the future.

Students react well to positive reinforcement. When a child misbehaves or does not follow instructions, yelling or utilizing negative language typically does very little to improve the behavior for the long term. Teachers can learn positive reinforcement strategies in order to get children to demonstrate appropriate behavior.

Studies have found that teachers who concentrate on useful routines that manage behavior at the very beginning of the school year to produce more positive results. (Evertson & Emmer, 1982, p.75) revealed study’s findings that show teachers who were ineffective at managing their classrooms at the start of the year discovered difficulty in developing and sustaining control as the year advanced. Successful teaching and learning cannot take place within a poorly operated classroom. When there are not any expectations for behavior in a classroom, it is very likely the end result will be a disorderly and chaotic classroom. Teachers strive to teach both students, more times than not, learn a great deal less in a classroom lacking managed behavior. A well-managed classroom is where learning can succeed. Through many of my own experiences, I have found that by connecting with students and showing an active, and genuine interest in each of them, will assist in reducing tension, thus creating a more comfortable classroom. For a teacher to be effective, it is important to model, teach, demonstrate and most importantly communicate in a way that is most effective with the students.

Perhaps the most significant element in preventing misbehavior and a disorderly classroom is to develop and sustain a positive and welcoming school environment. Numerous researchers acknowledge that this is the most effective way to make schools safe and productive. Successful schools are those that set high expectations while at the same time provide students with the support and guidance they need to reach their highest potential. In order to achieve this goal, it is imperative as a teacher to offer the support needed to prevent disruptive behavior and instead develop an effective behavior management system so that students can learn and become productive and successful students.

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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 3 years ago from Cape Cod

      Hello Julia and welcome to HubPages. I have never been a teacher, but I was a trainer for a large mail order retailer with sales in the billions of dollars.

      I think engagement is the key. If you can stir the students' interest, you'll not have to make elaborate plans and preparation for behavior management.

      How is this obtained? In one of my training programs, I was working with a large group of Spanish speakers. With their limited grasp of English, they had been unable to comprehend the instructions of their supervisors regarding an upcoming week-long annual inventory.

      So important was this inventory, that the entire facility was shut down for one entire week - representing a sales loss of about 12 million dollars.

      The workers were responsible for a physical count of items of clothing that were shelved in a warehouse of about one million square feet. I nailed down one basic problem. Management had labelled the shelves A, B, C, D, and E. In Spanish the letter E is pronounced A. So when supervisors were directing people to shelf A, they were counting items on Shelf E. Working with a few translators, we quickly got the problem sorted out. I found that rather than drone on about how to do the project, if I could get them physically and mentally involved, things went very smoothly. After this particular inventory, which was one of the best in company history, I got a promotion and a big raise.

      How this translates into the classroom I think, is, if a teacher is excited about what she or he is teaching, and assumes a bit of an actor's pose, the students will get excited. Language teachers are the worst. They force feed boring lists down the throats of the students. If they came into the class as a "Frenchwoman or Frenchman" or as a Spaniard, their results could be much better. I took three years of French and when I went to Montreal, I was lost! because all the school ever taught me was lists and conjugations, when they should have been teaching "conversation". In a month of actual speaking with people in real conversations I got pretty good.

      Well this has been a long ramble. I think you are on to something. Don't let the system change you or beat you down. Play by their rules, but bend them to make them work better.

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