Sunday, January 20, 2013

Classroom Management

So I mentioned in my post Be the BEST you, you can be last week that I was going to start discussing/sharing/analyzing some of the information from the SDE conference I went to on the 10th and 11th of this month.  I decided to start with Debbie Silver, her sessions were great.  She was my favorite presenter, which may have had part to do with her humor, but mostly because I could relate with SO much of what she shared and I had about 1,378 "ahhh-ha" moments!

The first session, minus her keynote presentation, was about classroom management.  I think that this is something that EVERYONE has or will struggle with at some point in time.  In my three long short years of teaching, I can vouch for this.  Before I go any further, take a minute to stop and think about what classroom management means to you....

This quote from Haim Ginott is one that Debbie Silver shared with us.  I feel as though this quote encompasses so much of what classroom management actually is.  In the past, when I was asked what my classroom management looks like, I immediately interpreted the question as "how will you manage your kids?"  While I have always known that the relationship that I form with my kids is almost as important as the "managing" part, I didn't take the relationship into consideration when thinking about my classroom management. 

While at D. Silver's classroom management session she gave three bullets under the term "Classroom Management"
  • It is not just the rules
  • It is the mindset
  • It is an extension of who you are
Ummmmm.... WHOA, my first real "AHHH-HA" moment.  I mean how much sense does that make?!?!  Let me break it down a little more and share my interpretation of this...
  • It is not just the rules .... Ok... Yes, rules are important, we all know that.  Without rules well our classrooms would be more of a zoo than they already are, HOWEVER classroom management is sooooo much more than just the rules. 
  • It is the mindset... It is the mindset of you, the teacher.  If you come to school one day and you had the roughest of nights and you bring that into the classroom, what kind of day do you think you're going to have?!?! Probably a rougher day than your night.... Just speaking from personal experience.  Kids feed off of us... be it the kids in our class or our kids at home.  If you are dressed to a T everyday, but are completely broken on the inside... your kids will see past your picture perfect outfit and feed off of your inner feelings.  Some days we just have to tell ourselves that it is going to be a good day and actually believe it.  Yes, your day may not have been as "good" as you had hoped, but it will be better than it was.  Some days you just have to put on that smile, paste it on, eventually you'll find yourself actually happy.  If you're feeling blue, then wear something bright!
Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic, just as if you act mad, you will be mad. 
I can attest to this, before the break my kids got in trouble for something, for what I can't recall.  In turn I had to "act" mad/disappointed.... this acting turned into the real thing before I knew it!  I had to quickly pull myself out of it before I let it really it affect the out outcome of the day!  We really have all the power to determine the mood and climate in the classroom. 
  • It is an extension of who you are... I feel like this one goes hand in hand with the bullet above.  If any of my friends outside of work were to come in and observe my class, the way we interact, how it is set up, and the clutter organized chaos of everything, I truly feel would say that the way my classroom is run is the way my life is run.  My sarcasm, humor, seriousness, laughter, playfulness, caring personality is one in the same be it in the classroom, at home, or out with a group of friends.   I consider myself to be a very optimistic person... probably furthest away from a pessimist that I can be.  I try to find the good in everything... now obviously I am not always successful in this, but I try!  Personally, to be a teacher, I think that you have to be... otherwise everything, every day could/would be a disaster.  Not that I don't have catastrophes and moments of panic in my classroom with my lessons or my kids, but I try to look at them more as a learning experience rather than  a moment of complete failure! 

I also feel that another  MAJOR component of classroom management is the relationship you have with your kids.  If you have no relationship at all with your kids, your classroom management is likely to be a hot mess!  If you don't know your kids, if you haven't taken the time to get to know your kids, then it seems as though you care nothing about them (in my opinion at least).  If you don't care about your kids, then why should they care about anything you say or do.  By knowing things about your kids, their lives, the things they like, the things they dislike, you are ultimately able to use this to your advantage, plus they just love sharing things about their life! This is my little addition, but for me a big piece of the overall structure to my classroom management.

All of this is just a teeny tiny bit of the information I have stored away from the conference, be on the lookout for more soon!  Also, I think I have taken a long enough hiatus from the TPT world, I am officially beginning my new unit of literacy and math centers tonight!  If all goes well and there are no computer problems or an unexpected emergency this week, I will hopefully have it done by next weekend!

Oh, one more thing!  Be sure to swing by Learning with Mrs. Leeby, she is having her 200 follower giveaway going on right now!

I hope you all are as lucky as we are and have tomorrow off in observance of MLK day!  Have a wonderful week! :)

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