What works, what doesn’t work

There are no definitive solutions for any one problem

There have been many approaches tried by this researcher who is new to teaching in a classroom, at any grade.  So learning what the rules are for the teachers and students was the focus in the beginning of the year.  Once knowing what is expected of me was manageable, I would then try to enforce the rules on the students like a referee, and I quickly learned what good experienced teachers know, you just can’t demand behavior change or order students to follow directions just because you know what the rules are, there is more to it than that.  That more to it is managed differently by different teachers.

You have to know what your relationship is with the students

I was a student, in a master’s degree residency program studying to be a teacher, that was a well-known fact as the students would surmise all the people they would encounter every day.   They know I had no direct connection with their parents or guardians.  I could be an adviser for them but my position as a student was evident because I took my directive from my teaching mentor, the same teacher that was overseeing them throughout the year, met with all of their parents, was highly respected by administrators and all of the teaching staff.  She was the director of their programs and had twenty-seven years of experience to support her role as the chief.

There are no substitutes for experience

She, like many of the eighth-grade teaching staff had more than eight years of experience behind them and have tried many ways to manage their students in the classroom.  They have come to depend on a few reliable strategies that seem to work for them and they have managed to tweak them and adapt them to almost any scenario that requires intervention and control.  Just like playing poker, they know what look works for them, how to deliver the message, how to reinforce the actions, and lastly how to build a level of communication, respect, and truth with the students that they know they can have an influence on.  Not all students will respond to their methodology, but they know the ones they can reach, and they work with them, which is most of the student body.

Making a connection at home

This researcher has seen even the most experience to teachers falter at classroom management.  There seems to be a combination of factors that lead to successful classroom management, experience and a connection with parents or guardians.  Many successful teachers will say that having a relationship with the parents goes a long way towards managing the students’ behavior in school.  The level of success in this thought depends on the level of commitment students have in learning, in your classroom.  The chances that a student will like learning in all of his/her classes is slim to none.  However, finding out about the interest of the student can help, parents usually can provide some indications of what interest their children and or perhaps the child’s ability to stay focused on something that interest them.  For instances, if a child will routinely spend hours playing computer games it would be useful information to find out what types of computer games interest them and how proficient they are in playing them.  One could theorize that if what appeals to the gaming student at home could be brought to the classroom, that students could develop more interest in what is going on in the classroom.