To create a learning environment that is conducive to learning, it is first important to consider classroom management. At the beginning on the school year, I will set out the classroom rules. I will first create my own set of rules, knowing that throughout the year, they may need to be tweaked. To include my students in the rule-making, I could ask them what they think would be important rules to follow in a classroom, and add those to the list. I believe this will allow the students to feel like they are a part of the way the classroom functions. I will arrange my classroom so that it is easy to interact with others at the appropriate times. I will put the desks in rows horizontally so students are still facing forward and looking at me, but when it is time for group work, they will have someone beside them to work and discuss with. This will also allow me to walk around the room and monitor their work and behavior. I would hope to have a lot of interaction with my students, both as a whole and individually. This will allow me to form relationships with my students. I want to know the strengths and weaknesses of each student so that I can help them get to their full potential. I also need to understand different learning abilities and disabilities, as well as personal differences. I would hope to give students constructive criticism so they will know how they can improve their work. I will hold students accountable for their work and explain to them (from the rules) what kind of work it will take to receive a certain grade. To create a positive climate in my classroom, I will let my students know that they should set specific goals for themselves, and should work towards those goals throughout their academic careers. I would also want them to feel comfortable in my classroom. To accomplish this, I would encourage a lot of group work and discussion. This will give the students an opportunity to get to know each other, but also learn from each other. I will want to have routines of how work will be completed, turned in, what to do after it is completed, and etc. Although I want to keep an orderly classroom and keep the students on task, I also believe it is important to give the students options. These options could be assignments we do, activities or how we spend class time. All of this is important to keep my classroom managed and conducive to learning. I know along the way in my teaching career, I can expect bumps in the road, and have to alter my classroom environment. In this type of career, I would expect to constantly be learning and improving myself and my classroom.
2. Develop a full continuum of responses dealing with your CSEL case study.
I am dealing with the middle school case study. When trying to deal with a disruptive student student that seems to be the "leader" of the class, there are many things I would consider as a teacher. This would be a noisy, active, and disruptive classroom. Since Cherie disrupted the class repeatedly, I would have to enforce the rules consistently; I could not imagine ignoring this behavior. If I let any of this misbehavior slide from Cherie, I could expect that she would continue to disrupt my classroom. If i wanted to address the problem in class at the time it was happening, I would cue Cherie with a stern look or signal her to stop so she knew her behavior was unacceptable. On the other hand, cueing may not work for Cherie. If not, I would let her know which rules she has broken, and discuss the consequences to her privately after class.I would not want to call her out in class and give her the feeling of "empowerment." I would want to know why she continually disrupted my class. For her behavior, I would give her the choice of if she would rather try to listen quietly and not interrupt the class anymore, or if I would need to move her closer to my desk by herself so she can stay focused, and know I am monitoring her behavior closely. If the problem continued after our conversation, I would rearrange the desks to where she wouldn't have any close contact to friends, the group of students who are engaged with her, or a classmate she liked to pick on. This would also isolate the students who were reinforcing her behavior. I do realize that she may still disrupt the class by yelling out, making jokes, etc. If Cherie was continuing this behavior after I have tried these options, I would have a conference with her parents. I would let her parents know that her behavior has continued over a period of time, and that her behavior has been reflected in her grades. I would want to let them know that in order for Cherie to be successful in the future, she must learn to stay focused and stay on task. I would want to get her parents' input on ways we can help fix the problem, and the ideas they could discuss with her at home.For the tripping incident, I would let Cherie know that tripping a student is not tolerated in any classroom or school, and that she could really harm someone by doing that. I believe it would be necessary to send her to the administrator for an event such as this (a classroom punishment would not be sufficient enough). I haven't yet come up with a theory or strategies for building motivation, but I hope to find one I can identify with as we cover different units.