Classroom Management Plan
Before the First Day of School
As a beginning teacher, it is vital that I have a well planned and organized classroom management plan established before the first day of school. A seating arrangement and seating assignments must be prepared as well as consistent designated area where homework and returned papers will be placed. Also, procedures and rules must be posted in a highly visible place, the list must be concise and complete with rewards and consequences. As a teacher I must know my classroom management plan thoroughly and be ready to describe, practice and implement it on the first day of school. It is very important to my success that my administrators, fellow teachers and parents are aware of my entire classroom management plan. Therefore, it will be my responsibility to discuss the plan with all of the people I have just mentioned. First, I must make certain that I have the approval of all the administrators in the building. Then I will discuss this with fellow teachers, especially those teachers who are on my team or in my grade level. Finally, I will mail a detailed letter, describing the plan, to the parents of the students in my classroom as soon as possible, hopefully before the first day of school.
The First Day of School
“What you do on the first day of school will determine your success of failure for the rest of the school year.” - Harry Wong
I plan to succeed with and I will begin doing that by being effective and efficient of the very first day of school. With Wong’s advice in mind, I will welcome my students to their new classroom. I will be standing just outside my doorway to greet each student, with a handshake, exchange of names and reassurance they have located the correct classroom. I will then give them directions as to where they can place their belongings and how they will be able to locate their seating assignment. Placed on each student’s desk will be an activity for them to complete while I continue to assist other students as they enter the classroom. As soon as all students have arrived, we will begin welcoming each other to our new classroom. The students and teacher will have a period of time to get to know one another through a self-introduction. It is very important for the students to feel welcome and respected in their new classroom. Throughout the remainder of the day and during the many days to follow, the students and I will describe, practice and implement the following classroom management plan. I agree with Wong that it is very important for the teacher to serve as a model and the students to practice the procedures until they are able to meet the teacher’s high expectations, because this will allow for fewer distractions and behavior problems that would take up time later in the year. Students will enter their classroom on the first day of school and find a comfortable environment that is full of high expectations for each person.
The Ideal Classroom
I desire to achieve my ideal classroom environment. I will be an effective teacher, and according to Harry Wong that suggests I must also be an effective manager. I believe that I need to set high expectations in the classroom, so I will always expect this to be the case in my ideal classroom. However, I am aware of the challenges and problems occur and modifications must be made to the plan.
The seating arrangement will be in the shape of a square horseshoe. The size and physical set-up of the room will determine the number of students in each of the three rows. The open end of the horseshoe will face the front of the classroom, where the teacher’s desk, projector screen, and main chalkboard will all be positioned. This seating arrangement allows for the teacher to easily use proximity as a tool, meanwhile maintaining the ability to have eye contact with each and every student. This setup also allows for demonstrations to be made in front or in the middle of the entire class, without the students having to leave their desks.
Student’s seating assignments will be randomly chosen before the first day of school. I do not wish to talk to previous teachers about the children in my classroom so that I do not have any premature judgments of them. After the first couple of weeks of school, I will be able to determine who works well together and which students I can allow to sit beside each other without problems occurring. In addition to this plan for a seating chart I understand that I might have students who have exceptionalities. For example, a student might need to move to a seat that is closer to the chalkboard or another student might have the need of being nearer a facility in the case of an emergency. Those situations will have to be addressed when they occur and adjusts will be made, because I realize the importance of being flexible with plans.
I expect to provide a classroom environment that encourages students to be respectful and responsible for their actions. This will include procedures, as well as rules with rewards and consequences. I will expect students to practice the procedures and apply the rules. I believe that this expectation will in turn, fulfill the social and emotional needs of the students in my classroom. I expect the students to always be on task; therefore, I will have various learning centers in the classroom, such as interactive bulletin boards and special reading stations. Providing the opportunities for students to be on task at all times will help prevent behavior problems. The classroom environment that I expect the students and myself to create will pave the way for successful, hands-on and cooperative learning experiences to take place.
Starting the Day Off Right
I feel that the establishment of consistency is important in a child’s life; therefore, the beginning of each day will be a routine for the students. I agree with Harry Wong’s suggestion that one of the most encouraging steps a teacher can take to begin the morning is to “be there”, prepared physically, emotionally and mentally, to welcome students as they enter the classroom. The bright smile and positive remarks from me may serve as a comfort to the students who may have had a rushed or discouraging morning. The morning routine will allow for the students to begin their day with motivational tasks to get their minds prepared for the school day while I complete the required daily tasks such as lunch count, attendance and checking in homework and signed forms from parents. The morning procedures will be clearly defined at the beginning of the school year. The students will be expected to quietly enter the classroom, empty their book bags, hang coats and bags in the designated area and place completed homework assignments in the correct trays in the classroom. The students will report their lunch status by placing a clothespin which bears their name on the on the appropriate side of the lunch chart. One side of the chart will be labeled school lunch and the other will be labeled home lunch. This will enable me to glance at the chart and make a silent and efficient evaluations of lunches and attendance for the day. Keeping the students on task will prevent “down time” in the classroom, which will in turn prevent disruptions and behavior issues. Following the completion of the morning procedures the student will take their seat and review the front chalkboard for morning tasks. These tasks may include journal entries, an activity, a DOL or other motivational activities that will help prepare the students for the rest of the day.
Procedures and Rules
First and foremost, the classroom rules and procedures will be clearly defined and prominently posted. This is respectful toward the students, because after the first few days of school I will not allow them to rely upon a response to a rule or procedure not followed with the comment, “I did not know that.” This action of establishing and posting the procedures will be taken before the arrive in their new classroom on the first day of school. It is important to me that I strive to respect the social and emotional needs of my students. To achieve this, the students will be involved in establishing their five classroom rules. This will take place on the first day. According to Lee Canter’s Assertive Discipline, rules should be kept to a small number to ensure better understanding. Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler’s Discipline with Dignity states that the students should be involved in establishing the classroom rules and The American Guidance Services Cooperative Discipline agrees. As a class, the students will compose a list of rules that they feel are fair and should be included in the plan. These students will then vote to determine the five rules that will be implemented. As the supreme authority I will regulate these rules to ensure that they are appropriate. I will have the authority to veto any rules that I fell are not necessary or fitting. Having the students involved in preparing the rules will provide them with a sense of ownership, and they will be more likely to enforce and obey the rules themselves. The classroom is theirs; therefore, those rules will be posted and labeled as Our Classroom Rules. These rules will be posted on a large poster and in a permanent, easily visible place. Included on this poster will be the signatures of each student. This will serve as proof that they each agree and are aware of the rules. In the case that a child joins the class in the middle of the school year they will be allowed to review the rules and add their signature in agreement.
Like the procedures and rules of the classroom, the consequences will also be clearly defined and established. Students will also provide input establishing the consequences in the same manner that we established the classroom rules. At times additional consequences may be needed according to the situation. This will be at the discretion of the teacher. For example, the punishment of losing recess time does not fit the rule breaking of talking out of turn, so when the punishment does not fit the crime adjustments will be made. I will keep a record in a designated binder of each student’s behavior. If a student chooses to break one of Our Classroom Rules or fails to appropriately follow a procedure, I will say to the student, “That’s one,” or “That’s two,” and so on. That student will then be able to refer to the consequences chart that will be posted in the classroom to determine which consequence they have chosen to accept as a result of their choosing to break a rule. Keeping the pinpointed of the problem to a simple format will keep distraction level of the other students low, and the task at hand will continue without interruption. However, I will confront the student at an appropriate time when the other students are involved with a task that does not require their full attention to me. This confrontation will ensure that the student understands what rule he of she ahs broken and the consequence that follows it. When addressing a misbehaving student, it is my goal that the remainder of the class or the lesson at hand is not greatly disrupted.
One of the great joys in teachings is when I observe the students obeying the rules, and being respectful to others and of their surroundings. These appropriate behaviors deserve to be rewarded; therefore, a consistent reward program will be established in our classroom. There will be various reward programs implemented in the classroom.
A reward that may very easily be overlooked and taken for granted by teachers is verbal praise. This does not include the ordinary, “Good job” Instead, it is a praise that points out details of what the students are accomplishing and how it is being accomplished. It is a teacher’s way of motivating the student to continue their success and also build their confidence in their work. Written praise will also be used. This will be short notes that will be signed and dated by me that explain the behavior of which the student is being praised. This is a reward that the student will be able to take home and proudly share with family members. Students who do not have marks in my record book for misbehavior during a week will be awarded Classroom Cash that they will be responsible for keeping. At the end of each grading period the students will be allowed to purchase prizes from the prize box. Prizes will include pencils, paper, books and other small supplies. I will acquire these prizes by spending wisely at book sales and clearance sale at discount stores, as well as donations from the community and parents.
Another reward incentive will be the Student of the Week. After reviewing the behavior of the students in the classroom for the week and individual progress and personal effort for improvement, I will choose and declare the Student of the Week. This student will receive a certificate that will be presented in front of the class on Friday afternoon. I will take the students picture and it along with their name will be displayed in the hallway.
Since the seating arrangement will consist to rows or groups, these groups will be teams. The team names will focus around a topic of study during the grading period. Teams will change for each grading period. Teams will earn points for working well together, having all homework completed.
Students must judge for themselves whether what they have to say is truly a hallway emergency. The bathrooms will be silent as well. THE monitor will take care of any issues in the restroom and inform the teacher of these issues.
Ending the Day Right
Dismissal time is always an important time for both the students and the teachers; therefore, this classroom management plan must continue throughout this portion of the day so that the class remains organized. It is critical that each student arrives to the proper destination following school. Walkers, car riders, bus riders and students who stay after school for extra curricular activities need to arrive at their destination safely. First, a list will be composed and posted by the door that categorizes the students into means of transportation. This will also serve as an effective tool for a substitute teacher who is unfamiliar with the needs of the class. Students will have a stop and a go folder. The stop folder will be red and never goes home. The go folder will be green and the students will take home any materials that need to be signed, homework and graded papers in this folder. As a procedure, it will be expected to return to school each day. Students will be given a few minutes to prepare their go folder. Our classroom will follow a procedure to prepare for dismissal, depending on what the dismissal procedures are for the entire school. When students are leaving the school, I will walk out to the buses with them. I will make it a point to give smiles and positive comments to as many children as possible while they are exiting. I feel that is it just as important for me to positively dismiss the students from school as it is to greet them initially in the morning.
Every year, not just the first, I expect challenges. Many of these challenges will come from students. I have had personal experience and observed teachers with these challenging students. It is my responsibility to determine what my be making these students behave or perform the way they are in my class. I am committed to working with the students, their parents and school support staff in order to help this child have a s successful educational experience in my classroom. Individual behavior plans will be implemented for each student that the parents, teacher and school support agree upon. Desiring parental support, I would like to set up a modified behavior plan for a challenge student who may benefit from a different approach. Each modified plan would vary from child to child and from situation to situation, but the plan would be my best effort to help the student grow and achieve success.
Composing my personal classroom management plan required me to research, evaluate and observe several resources in order to determine which theories and ideas I believe will best create a positive learning environment. My classroom management plan is composed of bits and pieces of these different theories and ideas, as well as my own ideas and beliefs. I incorporated theories from Lee Canter and his Assertive Discipline theory, and Richard Curwin an Allen Mendler’s Discipline with Dignity. Harry Wong has proven to be very influential while composing my plan. His words have encouraged and challenged my in many ways, but I know understand the importance of setting high expectations and succeeding on the first day of school. When evaluation my plan, I found myself landing into many of Will Weber’s classroom management categories. The three categories that I classify myself in the most are the authoritarian, instructional, and behavior modification categories. I must thank and acknowledge many of my cooperating teachers for allowing me to beg, borrow, and steal their ideas. Thank you, Mrs. Linda Long, Mrs. Trina Lake, Mr. Mike Morgan, Mrs. Dawn Eldridge and Mrs. Laura Scott. I know that what I have observed from these master teachers will aid in making the classroom that my students and I make together a successful place to learn and grow.