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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Articles for Teachers

Classroom Management - The Motives For Becoming A Proactive Teacher
By:Sandra Perez

So you are sitting there in your chair wondering how your class got so out of control. Maybe you think your behavior system is worthless or you need another one. Well think again, you as the teacher setup the failure of your system way before your first day of actual class. How is that possible?

Your students are scoping out your class and you as a teacher from that very moment they arrive in your class. They are watching to see how you react to different situation in class. If you don't become aware of want they are doing they will play you and disrupt your class.

Maybe you are thinking you need to add some more rules for the class. Students love rules because they know that teachers don't stick to them. The students know words are cheap your action are what counts. They are watching to see if the teacher will actually stick to what they say they will do. When you don't follow through with your rules they know that they can play you and what they can get away with. When you don't follow your set rules they learn that rules are optional. Your rules will be well defined by what you let your students get away with.

How do you fix this? You need to become Proactive, which is the process of becoming very well organized well in advance to the start of the school year. When you are Proactive you learn to organize a classroom activity that will result in getting something done. How do you organize yourself for this process?

Stop nagging your kids to get things done it doesn't work

You need to give yourself permission to be in complete control

Look at the arrangement of your classroom, can use the rule of proximity

Have your Do Now (activities that are done when students first come in to class) work ready as they come in.

Icebreaker activities for first day

Stop nagging your students to do their work. I know that this is the most common classroom management strategy they use but it doesn't work.

It is the most ineffective strategy to use. The kids just tune you out. It teaches the students that you are a nagger.

You need to give yourself full permission to be in control. This is a difficult task for new teachers. They want their students to like you and kids know that. The level of control and structure is new for beginning teachers but if you hesitate to setup your class it will be pure torture for you all year. Habits of behavior are difficult to change once they are set. So start the year in control.

Look at the arrangement of the classroom. Did you leave room for walkways so you can practice the strategy of proximity? You need to be able to reach every student in your class without having to jump over pack backs or children's feet. Once you arrange the room, visualize all the students in their seats and see if there are places where you still need work on.

Do Now are activities to start the teaching day. You should always have a morning activity so as students enter your classroom it shows them that it is time to work and not for goofing off. They also learn that the hallways are for conversation and goofing of. This work should be something simple for them to do. This time in the morning can be five to fifteen minutes if needed.

Icebreaker activities on the first day of school are very important to the well being of the class. It will help answer basic questions students have about you and get to know their fellow classmates. These activities help establish in the students mind that you care. There are a wealth of icebreakers to use. Choose one that won't make students feel too uncomfortable.

Remember Proactive teachers have less behavior problems during the school year, Remember they also enjoy teaching and their students learn and are more productive. Always allow yourself the right to be in control. Good Luck and happy teaching.

Written by a veteran teacher of 32 years who hopes to give new teachers tried and true strategies that work. Come join me at http://www.squidoo.com/classroomanagement and look for the educationfairy.

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