Finding My Style of Management

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by namie7, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. namie7

    namie7 Rookie

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    Dec 5, 2017

    Hello, I was wondering how I can find a style of classroom management that works for me. I am a second year teacher in middle school. I ha always been introverted, and sometimes people call me "too nice" so management doesn't come naturally to me. I have tried keeping track of warnings on a class list and giving warnings using sticky notes, but this requires proximity to a student which interrupts my train of thought (also, I can't always remember to do this). I have used the system 2 warnings then a lunch duty, however I feel uncomfortable giving infractions (lunch duty) and would prefer to contact parents, but I have found that this is not effective for a few students whose parents have some sort of communication barrier (language). This year after talking with my most difficult class, I have been writing names on the board and not saying anything. If students get 2 marks after their name, they get to call home or get a lunch duty (their choice). However, I don't like the public nature of this method, it doesn't feel like me. however, it is very easy to keep track of.

    Part of my problem may be because I am feeling stressed because I don't feel like I have improved from last year in my classroom management and because I my classroom management has negatively affected my class cultures. It is a bit of a vicious cycle-- I know I get stiffer, less flexible, self critical, and defensive when stressed so I am not as good at managing my classes. I don't want to be like this. I want to like myself when I am implementing a management system and I want my class to be a safe place to learn.

    How I can find a classroom management system and style that works for me and my personality. When will I get the hang of classroom management? How do I get better?

    Any comments would be appreciated.
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Dec 6, 2017

    One thing that would help is to not feel uncomfortable implementing consequences. It’s not mean or wrong for students to be held accountable for their misbehavior. Follow through with what you’ve said even if you don’t like doing it - that alone minimizes a lot of behavior problems when students see that you mean what you say.

    What is your school’s policy? Is there a standard consequence for certain infractions? Nothing will feel “comfortable” right away, but you have to follow through anyway.
     
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  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 6, 2017

    Classroom management is about relationships, expectations and consistency. You do sound “too nice” if you are uncomfortable and reluctant to give consequences. Calling home is rarely a stand alone consequence - I do it to inform parents of the consequence I’m enforcing at school. Like the previous poster said, find out what the expectations are in your building and then enforce as consistently as possible.

    I’m an introvert (many teachers are) but that doesn’t affect my classroom management skills. I would say I’m probably gentler than other teachers in my building, but I am firm and consistent. It took me some time to find my groove and I learned I can’t keep up with a fancy plan. I teach my students the rules/expectations, give them time to practice what that looks like and then I follow up as needed. We are also busy all day- there is no time to misbehave because everyone is engaged and working hard.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 6, 2017

    You've got to take your feelings out of classroom management.

    When your students display inappropriate behaviors, it's like a sink full of dirty dishes. Students sometimes make bad choices, and dishes sometimes get dirty. That's their nature. You can look at that sink full of dirty dishes and cry about having to wash them, or get angry that they're even dirty in the first place, or feel jealous that your next-door neighbor doesn't have as many dirty dishes as you do, but none of those feelings solves the problem. Besides that, most of those feelings end up making you feel bad. Instead, you really just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The dishes aren't being naughty by getting dirty, and they're not getting dirty to make you feel bad about yourself or uncomfortable with the idea of having to wash them. They just are what they are. The sooner you can really accept the fact that your students' behavior is what it is, the better and more effectively you can address it.
     
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  6. Kyle Spearin

    Kyle Spearin Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2017

    You have to be true to your personality. I find myself introverted and soft-spoken, however I have few class management issues because of relationship building and an ability to redirect student behaviors. To build better relationships with your trouble makers, find things that they like and try to mention them every day and even if you don't know much about that topic, learn more about it. If the student sees that you have an interest in them, they will automatically respect you and reduce behaviors. I would also try to catch them doing anything positive and compliment them for that. Try to take the focus away from negatives.

    In terms of redirecting student behavior, I find that asking questions is typically a great way to neutralize disruption. Ask the students getting in trouble logical questions such as, "where did you leave off in the reading" or "what do you think about _______?" In other works, try to change the topic altogether first, then react more sternly with lunch duty if this doesn't work.
     
  7. MsCatherine

    MsCatherine Rookie

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    Dec 8, 2017

    When I first saw your post I had to double check the username because I thought I must have written this post and forgotten about it! I have definitely been called "too nice". I don't feel true to myself, I start questioning myself and sometimes feel that this lack of confidence contributes to the bad behaviours. It is hard to find your style and be consistent at the same time. Then it makes it hard for me to enforce consequences because I feel like it is my fault...
    I try to be indirect with behaviour correction... (distracting them by saying something random, asking a question) but with some students that doesn't work.
    Sorry I do not have the answers, but you aren't alone! There are definitely gentle introverted teachers out there who have figured it out, we will too.
     
  8. namie7

    namie7 Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Thank you for this suggestion. I did this more during student teaching and I will try to get back to this. I also appreciate the specific scripts--this is so helpful.
     
  9. namie7

    namie7 Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Thank you all for your posts.
     
  10. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Dec 15, 2017

    Interesting. I tried the sticky notes system earlier this year, but with 31 students, it was way too much running around for me, so I also write names on the board. One name is a warning and every point after that is time off recess.

    What helps me make it feel less punitive is that my students can earn the time back by correcting the behavior and if they leave (for recess, lunch, end of day) with no name on the board, they earn a sticker.

    This system has done wonders for my management because it allows students to keep track, visually, of how they are doing. I come from a Responsive Classroom background, and this definitely doesn't fit in that scope, but this group of kids needs more structure and they appreciate it (don't forget that).

    Additionally, calling parents is a powerful tool, but I would save it for repeated behaviors.
     

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