Classroom Management Plan
The Management Structure
The management structure for your plan will consist of the rules, consequences, procedures, and routines.
To begin, teachers could go about establishing class rules with the assistance of the class. When doing so, it is important to keep in mind that the task at hand is not to take on the legislative load of Congress. We don't need 113 rules governing every contingency that may arise in a classroom. Rather, the teacher and students simply need a brief list of, say, perhaps five rules to govern the class. It is generally suggested that when you make rules for a classroom you stay with about five rules, and no more than seven. There should never be more rules than can be readily remembered. If your students cannot effortlessly recite the rules, then they aren't rules.
Make the rules positive, make them descriptive of the behavior you require, make them observable, and make them enforceable. Something like "Think happy thoughts" sounds nice, but it is not something you can observe nor can it be enforced. A rule such as "Treat others as you wish to be treated" is also a nice rule but subject to individual interpretations as to how one may want to be treated. You may find it helpful to discuss, role-play, and display behaviors which follow or which violate the rules (Jones & Jones, 2001). It can be beneficial to have the rules drafted by the students themselves because this ensures that they are understandable by those who are expected to abide by them. In keeping with this, the rules should be simple. If extensive discussion is required to clarify a rule, the rule is too cumbersome. Break it into two rules or decide what is to be expressed and then rephrase the rule more succinctly. Emphasize the appropriate behaviors that are expected rather than focusing on examples of inappropriate behavior. You don't want them to practice bad behavior just so you, the teacher, can say, "And then I would tell you to stop doing that." And finally, academic issues should not be a part of the rules as prescriptions for behavior, and certainly not as consequences for misbehavior. Keep the two separate.
Communicating expectations to the students, involving them in establishing the rules that will guide their behavior, and using rules that foster positive classroom participation are the themes that drive an effective management program. Relinquishing some of one's own sense of control, or "power," is necessary for empowering others. This is as true in the teacher-student relationship as it is in the administrator-teacher relationship. Interesting how that happens, isn't it?
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