Classroom management is probably one of the most important teaching areas, but it is also the most tricky. In reading the article The Great “Respect” Deception by Dr. Richard Curwin classroom management is quite complex and is difficult to simplify. Most teachers want to create less rules in order to keep their classroom functioning. The thought is less rules, lead to less things to remember, leads to better behaviour. But as noted in the article that is not always the case. We discuss the “hidden” curriculum in our classes, but in terms of classroom management this oversimplification of a rule system leads to many “hidden” rules. These “hidden” rules seem to deter better behaviour because they are generally not known by the students so therefore they are unable to follow them. The message from the article resounds with me as I believe that teachers need to be transparent with their students. This includes classroom management and expectations. If students are aware of what values, rules, and expectations exist in the classroom they can more easily navigate the classroom management spectrum. Being transparent is probably one of the best preventative measures a teacher can put in place to avoid conflict and class issues. In order to accomplish this there are some great tools available, such as Class Dojo.
Class Dojo, as depicted by Matt Giesbrecht, gamifies classroom management by creating a system of points and rewards for behaviours. Teachers are able to provide instant feedback to good and bad behaviours in the classroom allow students to work both individually and as a team towards common goals. Well as soon as I saw this tool I was instantly enthralled with it. I am a champion for gamification in the classroom and this tool fits how I would love to manage my class.
Being transparent and providing a clear rewards and feedback system are two things I took away from these two posts. They are a foundation for my classroom management system and I will carry them forward not only in my Teaching Philosophy, but in my everyday teaching as well.
Image provided by http://satpaulmittalschool.org/blog/?p=61. Thank you for posting such a great picture!