Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Off to get a ringbinder

As a beginning teacher I am always keen to learn and try out new strategies for classroom management. More so due to the fact that I have a classroom of 28 albeit delightful, but challenging learners. Several times this year I have questioned my ability, sanity, and coping strategies, feeling at a loose end and not knowing what to do next to manage the classroom atmosphere. Needless to say, I have sought much advice and tried many strategies, some more successful than others.

Also being part of a PB4L [Positive Behaviour for Learning] school I am learning many strategies, which reinforce my undergraduate studies of Sociology and Human Development's ethos, where behaviour is learnt. Behaviour's are a product of our experiences, and therefore, positive behaviours can also be learnt. As part of PB4L we are working towards modelling the desired behaviour, reinforcing the positive behaviours, and recognising that the child whose behaviour is troublesome, require you to shift your mindset, to let them know that you have higher expectations of them, that you believe they can do the right thing, and that you are willing to show them how.  As a result of this and my own reflections to the feeling I get when the class seems out of control, I have learnt not to sweat the small stuff, I am different strategies of dealing with inappropriate behaviour,  (see previous post on a The art of an Apology) and I am finding my learners becoming more knowledgeable of their own behaviour and what is right and wrong.

Today I watched this vlog A Simple Notebook System for Classroom Management by Jennifer Gonzales and decided that this was going to be my next step with my class. Next term I will set up a notebook with each students name per page and record all the wonderful, or not so wonderful things in it. I'm not sure how my class will react, no doubt very curious, but I think as Jennifer said, it will be just as helpful for me to learn the patterns, or to use as a calming tool, as it will be for them to reflect on the fact that they are accountable for their actions.  If I set it up with blank note pages in the front and individual learner pages in the back, then I will be able to achieve both goals from Notebooks Part 1 & 2.