H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning. The H3 standard means that teacher candidates recognize and reflect on both successful and weak classroom management strategies and either suggest improvements or highlight positives. In turn, teacher candidates can implement some strategies in their own teaching environment. My evidence is a reflection on a classroom in a suburban high school which qualifies as Title 1 school. https://rileygermanis.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/classroom_management_observation/ This is a link to the observation and notes about the experience. During the day, I traveled to a completely new school and observed three classrooms. The first was taught by a veteran teacher who strongly believes in Wong & Wong (2009) Classroom Management techniques which we have discussed in our classroom management class. The other two teachers worked with Teach for America program and were both second year teachers. My linked observation focuses primarily on the veteran teacher.
My observation meets the standard because during these observations I have made text to world connections and seen the impact of a successful classroom management strategy implemented on student learning in comparison with no management strategy. One of the newer teachers had a strong management plan and implemented it well, she focused her classroom on “community” and making the classroom a collaborative place to learn. The other observation (which I did not document in my blog) was of a classroom where the students chaotically entered the classroom and students did not care about their learning environment or the learning that is intended to happen. It was clear that these students will not be able to learn as much or as deeply as the students in the highly structured classroom. Experiencing and feeling the culture of these three classrooms has demonstrated the importance of coming to class prepared and structuring classroom procedures to be time efficient and effective. One of my most notable learnings was the value of teaching students procedures. In one classroom, there were two new students. These new students had the same opportunity to learn as everyone else because they could get to task immediately. The teacher utilized the classes understanding of the classroom procedures so that STUDENTS could help STUDENTS in being prepared for class and learning the classroom procedures. Students who participated in classroom environments who were highly structured and had a management plan (including an intervention plan for struggling students) were effective in teaching students the materials. Students had many resources (calendar, homework chart, entry task, homework log with test dates). These students are learning life skills and are becoming more prepared for longterm learning.
Within my classroom, I hope to be as effective in classroom management as the veteran teacher. Her class was organized and she was prepared. I plan on making a book of classroom procedures and continually improve upon this list to teach to students. Teaching one time is insufficient to teach students classroom procedures, they must be taught, retaught and reinforced several times in order for the procedure to become a routine (Wong & Wong, 2009). Another point of learning was the teacher taking the opportunity to review classroom procedures for me (as the observer) AND for her students in the classroom. She would say “Mr. Germanis, this is how we turn in homework. The students open their homework log, and have their homework next to the log. An appointed student stamps homework and then students write down tonight’s homework. This way everyone knows exactly what they need to do tonight!” This seemed effective especially for new students who recently transferred into the class. Making my classroom expectations and procedures clear will be important for successful classroom management and for increasing student learning.