Standard 6: Positive classroom environment.
The teacher creates a democratic learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, student responsibility, and self-motivation.
- Creates a comfortable, well-organized physical environment with clear academic and behavioral expectations
- Works with students individually and as a group to manage their own behaviors and assume responsibility for their own learning
- Implements positive classroom management techniques for establishing structures, routines, and procedures, gaining attention, and facilitating transitions.
- Uses time effectively
- Creates an environment in which students work both cooperatively and independently
- Establishes a classroom climate of openness, caring, mutual respect, and inquiry
- Facilitates student choice and decision-making
- Engages students in service to classroom, school and community
Personal Artifacts: (To view artifact, click on title-words in red are links)
I learned a lot about classroom management while interning at Edward Little High School. For Ellen Hodgkin's Fine Arts Appreciation class, she has students write what makes a successful classroom, and consequences of disregarding the codes of conduct. When I took over student teaching, students were already well aware of the rules they had allegedly given themselves. One instance during the clay unit, a student had pushed the limits of his clay too far and the piece had ruined. He was no longer motivated to create a vessel, and took it upon himself to disrupt his classmates. Having this be my first instance of a uncooperative student, I went to my mentor for advice. I was told to have him make something or go to the 'white room'. The white room is a room next to the office where students go that the teacher cannot handle, essentially the worst place to be sent to in school. My instincts kicked in on how to handle this situation, and I approached the student in a calm and inquiring way. After some nonthreatening conversation regarding his situation, I gave him his ultimatum. Having spoken to him as an equal human being, he considered his actions and attempted to make another clay vessel. He and I discussed the situation later, with him acknowledging the fact that he has good potential, while I suggested he find some strong effort as it will take him far.
In providing a positive classroom environment, I have learned to remain calm, and remain approachable and understanding as a teacher. While interning at Many Moons in the art therapy sessions, I have learned that most students just want to be heard, and they do not want to be criticized for every small mistake. While interning at Great Falls Elementary, I was giving instruction to the class, as one student neglected to keep her attention on me. As I was done with the class, I had called on this one student, asking if she had heard my instruction. She replied honestly, saying she hadn't, but looked concerned. Instead of taking the route that I have seen many teachers take, in being impatient and criticizing, I simply let her know what the instruction was, in a nurturing way. I felt very good about the situation. By the end of the class, this student approached me with a note (linked artifact above). My first 'teacher note', and it may be my favorite I ever receive. So it is clear that an understanding and nurturing demeanor is not unnoticed in the eyes of the students.
This artifact houses my outlook on classroom management, with a consideration of physical environment, academic expectations as well as what is expected socially of the student and teacher.