Procedural Help!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by pwhatley, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 29, 2008


    HELP!

    Okay, here's the deal. I am currently working very hard to find a position for the coming school year. My certification is for grades 1 through 5. I know what my preference is (3-5), but I will accept just about any grade to get my foot in the door. And who knows? Maybe I'll love whatever grade for which I'm hired! Anyway....

    I have pretty much decided on my classroom rules. There are only six (#1 is "Keep your dear teacher happy!"), and they are specific yet general enough to cover most situations in most grades I think, so I'm okay there. What's got me stumped is PROCEDURES. How can I develop procedures for anything if I don't know what grade students or subject I will teach?

    Just about the only procedure I will have for certain is that there is no talking in the hall, and I know how to practice that one with the students. Everything else is so dependent upon the age of the students! For instance, I probably won't do attendance or lunch money the same way for 1st graders as I would for 5th graders. Shouldn't procedures for older students give a little more autonomy (some would say rope with which to hang themselves :D) and responsibility? I plan on having classroom jobs (although not a classroom economy yet), but again, they would differ between age groups. Procedures like tornado or fire drills would be the same regardless of age.

    Maybe I'm over-thinking this! I can't figure out how LONG some tasks should take. Should I give 1st graders 60 seconds to clear their desks? How long will a student need to be in the bathroom (if there is one in the classroom) before I get concerned or irritated? How long should it take to pack up to go home? To unpack in the morning?


    I know that one of the things that most of my new teacher friends have said is that their principals were looking for strong classroom management skills. Help!

    Aaaaarrrrggghhh!

     
  2.  
  3. MsX

    MsX Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2008

    It's probably best to wait until you know what grade youre teaching before worrying TOO much about specific procedures. It's great that you're putting thought into what you'd like to do, so then when you are given a grade to teach you'll have some ideas.

    In my experience, I found that even when I plan out procedures beforehand - I make tweaks and changes to my plans! You never really know how something is going to work until you've actually done it! So my advice would be to definitely continue to consider some procedures, but to not stress too much about them until you actually have a classroom. Once you know a grade, you will be able to cement them a bit more (and I bet you will still end up making some changes here and there once you've started in the classroom too!)

    And to answer some of the questions you have, I think you will find a lot of answers will come to you in time. I teach first grade, and I don't have a set time that kids can spend in the bathroom, for example. But obviously if a student was spending a bit too long in there (or repeatedly did so) it would be something to investigate. And as for determining how long something could take, it depends! In the beginning of the year some tasks could take longer than others. I would just be sure to schedule in ample time for transitions when you first start the year. :)
     
  4. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 30, 2008

    I admire your enthusiasm but agree with MsX. Wait until you have a job. Different age levels require different approaches. Rules for grade 1 will be much more basic than rules for grade 5.

    In the meanwhile, keep looking for a job. Grind out those applications. Be proactive and send thank you letters after you've had an interview. Follow up after interviews to see whether you got the position.

    Best wishes!

    Chef Dave
     
  5. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2008

    If you're worried about the interview process, and not sounding competent in your classroom management, just make it very clear to the administrator that you understand the components that will need to be put into place for a productive learning environment.

    Example: "In my classroom, I will spend the first several days to explain, model, and practice procedures with my students. It is very important that students know what my expectations are so that the classroom can run smoothly. blahblahblah"

    As long as the hiring team knows that you understand that this is needed, you should be fine.

    I'm know that this has been mentioned before around here, but Wong's First Days of School is a good resource for more on procedures. (Or maybe you've read it arleady, which is why you're getting ready!)
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 30, 2008


    Just a few comments/clarifications....

    • I am no "spring chicken." This is my 3rd career (after motherhood & business/computers)
    • I hate to be caught unprepared (former Girl Scout), and many teachers are hired in October, when the numbers settle out.
    • I have read Harry Wong's book (and viewed the CD) - in fact I'm on my third time through it.
    • As a mid-life career changer, I feel that I was blessed to have been able (financially) to student teach, after which I subbed the rest of the school year. Unfortunately, my cooperating teacher's classroom management skills were umm, shall we say.... not very effective?

    Don't get me wrong. I love my cooperating teacher, and she and I have become friends. I absolutely HATE running late, behind schedule, or even feeling as if I am, and that's exactly what's going to happen if I am not hired until October. I can't even take a serious look at the (state-wide brand new) comprehensive curriculum yet, because I have no idea which grade to study! I think it's a control issue to an extent. However, I do know that I want my first year as a teacher to be as effective as possible, and part of that entails me working "smarter not harder," so to speak.

    The "members" of the AtoZ family never fail to astonish me with their generosity of information and support, and I am incredibly thankful for it!

     
  7. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 30, 2008

    There are many procedures that you can adapt for different grade levels. I've taught 3,5 and 1st. I have used these procedures or a variation of them in each.


    One thing that I've done is to have class and table managers. It is the managers' job to fetch and pass things out. I have a class manager who dismisses the children to recess. The class puts their head down and the manager taps them to excuse them to line up.
    For checking in, I have their names on tongue depressors in a pocket chart by the door. when they come in, they have to put their stick into a cup on my front table. I take attendance that way.

    When turning in papers, I will sometimes have a copy of the class list in the turn in basket. When each child turns their work in, they have to hilight their name. That way, I can see at a glance who has turned in the work and who hasn't.

    I would generate some basic procedures and figure out how you can vary them for different grade levels.
     
  8. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2008

    I think making a list of what you will need to have for procedures, no matter what the grade, will make a big difference. That way, once you know what grade you have, you will be ready to go with clarifying the procedures. And believe me, they will change over time. I had procedures last year, and this year I'm redoing them. I mentioned this in another thread, but this year I'm adding a procedure for getting a tissue. It never occurred to me that I would need it, but I do.
     
  9. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2008

    I had to do a classroom management plan in college, and it's actually one of the few things I still use from my undergraduate program! We had to develop a list of procedures that we would use in our classroom. Like you, I didn't know what grade I would be in, but a general idea of what procedures I wanted.
    1. Coming in procedures-lunch count/attendence
    2. Morning Work
    3. Lining up for specials
    4. Lining up for lunch
    5. Fire Drill Procedues
    6. What students should do with parent communication for me

    I agree with some posters that it's hard if you don't already have a job, but if you your behavior expectations for your kiddos, that should really help you in your interviews! Good luck!
     
  10. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2008

    Goodness, terptoteacher, you fit a LOT of info into one post -- thanks!
     
  11. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 30, 2008

    I agree that there some procedures that aren't grade specific. For example, myplan for taking attendance and lunch count is to use a magnetic whiteboard. I'll divide the board into sections (hot lunch, cold lunch, bag lunch). If a students' magnet has not moved I know that student is absent (of course it will take a few weeks to get this system perfect!) While students are working on their morning work, I will call up tables to bring me lunch money if they have it....my school uses pre-paid "debit cards".

    Anyway, my point is that this type of procedure could work for 1st grade and 5th grade. It will just take more practice for the younger kids. You could also figure out how you will collect homework, parent notes, classwork, etc. Nothing is set in stone! :)

    I'm curious about your class rules. I loooove the first rule! Can I steal it? :) I plan to have my class develop their own rules, but really I plan to guide them to come up with the rules I've already established LOL.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 30, 2008

    I didn't read through the other posts so I'm sorry if this is repeated. You might not know what grade you have, but you can make a list of the procedures you want in your room. Wong lists some on page 193 in his book. I don't know what grade I have either, but I have listed the ones that I want in my room, and have gone ahead and written them out how I'd like to do them. If I get a younger/older grade, I can always modify them.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 30, 2008

    I really appreciate the input! Keep it coming, please!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. Pikachu,
  3. Xtention
Total: 219 (members: 4, guests: 199, robots: 16)
test