After being a tent camper for years and years, I recently purchased a teardrop camper. I bought it mainly for security and safety while traveling. I hope to join some communities of women campers to make more friends and connections.

I am a reader and a writer; a momma and a grandma; a sister and a daughter. I have been a teacher and librarian for over 25 years. I used to blog here for new teachers, but now I have changed to blogging about my travels, and just for fun.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Management Monday – Creating Community I

I read several teacher blogs a day and subscribe to some listservs as well. Teachers talk about today’s students as being less respectful of authority and harder to discipline. I have found this to be true to a certain extent in my own years of teaching. Kids say, “Who cares?” Well, I say, “I care” to that. Most of the time I would get an argument or a kid stomping off to their desk or a corner, but I really do care. Most educators have developed approaches to behavior management that do work with today’s kids and they are practical, everyday strategies that any teacher can use. Your colleagues are finding that in classrooms, rewards for excellent work and consequences for poor work are not great motivators. Behavior management is more effective if students set their own goals, rules and procedures, have opportunities to share concerns, and use open discussions to solve problems in the classroom. We need to be looking toward creating mutual respect, and sharing a vision for success and dignity for everyone in order to promote better behavior in the classroom.

I will take this opportunity to post every Monday about classroom management strategies I have found that work. I’ll try to find ones that are positive ways to inspire good behavior by students.

The first thing you must do with a group of students is to build community in your classroom. “Getting Along” needs to be a class goal. You must be intentional about this. You should announce to your class on the first day of class that you want the class to be good at getting along, helping one another and supportive of one another. Tell them you want them to work together as a happy, cooperative community of learners. Also, tell them that they should enjoy being in class each day. If YOU expect this kind of behavior the students may come to expect that they will behave in this manner.

Icebreakers during the first few days of school will help your students get to know one another. You will also participate in these activities so the students will obtain information about you as well! If you need ideas for icebreakers, just Google “school icebreakers” for a voluminous list of them. Always take into consideration the age and abilities of the students for which you will be using these engaging activities. If you have any students with special needs, be sure they are able to participate. I particularly like games that have the students “against” the teacher in some way – this unites the class and is a great bonding activity.

I hope you will enjoy receiving a new behavior management tip every Monday. Check back tomorrow for Tuesday “Truths”!

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