S: The Ultimate Classroom Management Textbook
FC: Teacher EQ By Alex and Abby
1: Respect | Respect is of the utmost importance. Other things fall into place and students are more likely to pay attention and work hard if classrooms are built on respect. Shelly Vernon points out the importance of getting to know your students because the more engaged you become with who they are the better you can meet their needs and not cross over lines that will cause them to feel disrespected. We have all been students and we know what a difference it can make to have a teacher that respects you and how that can change your whole attitude in regards to the class. Also, the main way that one can receive respect is by showing it to everyone. Vernon points out that this means that you need to "never embarrass your students or talk down to them" (Respect in the Classroom). Would you respond positively to someone who made you feel inferior? We think that it is unrealistic to expect students to respect us when we do not show respect to them. Make sure that you are consistent in the way you treat students (within reason). If students feel that you are showing favoritism or that you do not like them they are not going to show you respect. We will all have students who we get along better with than others, but this does not change our responsibility as teachers to show everyone equal respect and give them just as much opportunity to achieve as we possibly can.
2: Communication | "Communication is the driving force in any relationship or situation" ~M. B. Johnson Administration: Communication is something that is a crucial part of a school system. One of the crucial parts of communication is the ability to communicate with the administration of the school, whether it is your superiors in your department, the vice principal, principal, or even school board, being able to establish a good form of communication allows you to grow in confidence in the school system. It also allows you to have a firm link between the standards you need to teach as well as the guidelines and requirements you are supposed to teach in. Parents: Communication with parents is an important aspect of learning. See Jenn, Dan, and Jasmine's chapter for more information. Other Teachers: Being able to effectively communicate with your fellow teachers is something that is a crucial tool in education and should be used to one's advantage. You can ask fellow teachers for ideas on how to do a project, or just their opinion on a topic in your class. We advise that you look at fellow teachers as untapped resources for the advancement of your own classroom. For example, there is a teacher that you work with in the same school who you really agree with and have similar philosophies and strategies: aybe you could combine and teach a joint class or maybe you can just mold your classrooms with each other's help. Collaborative teaching can be implemented based on at least three different arrangements--team teaching, complimentary instruction, and supportive learning activities" (Kauffman 115). Teachers can either co-teach, create lessons that connect between content area, or work with special education teachers to fit that extra instruction right into the classroom. Being able to communicate with a fellow teacher is just another resource that should be used to its full potential. Also, don't forget to encourage one another. This goes a long way.
3: Students: Communication with you students allows for the classroom to grow and become more diverse in the topics that can be taught and what can be learned. We think that most crucial type of communication would have to be that of effectively communicating with your students, and not just for the sake of talking either. Your students are the most important part of the teaching experience so therefore you have to be able to relate to them. If you can establish a good communication level with all of your students then from there you can build effective and engaging lessons to help them to learn and get into the presentation. The students are the key to any school system therefore why force them to do things that they hate; if you truly enjoy school then you should be able to take this into the real world. The best way to understand what your students want and need is to ask them.
4: Organization, Preparedness, and Time Management: Time management is something that every teacher needs to master to the point where they are an expert. Whether it is for lesson planning or classroom management, teachers need to be experts at time management. Teachers need to be able to plan out everything to the last detail, yet at the same time, they need to be able to change and adapt to the situations around them. Therefore, to be a teacher you need to not only master the skill of time management but you need to master the skill of changing your time and being malleable as well. Organization can come in many forms whether it be detailed lists timed down to the very second or just sticky notes on the wall to remind you of important events. Whatever strategy you use, we implore you to make sure that you have a plan to keep you on the ball at all times. If you cannot keep yourself organized, how can you expect to keep a classroom full of students organized?
5: Professional Yet Approachable As a teacher you need to be able to be there for your students. As a teacher you need to be able to step into the shoes of the child’s parent or guardian and be that support for them while they are at school. This means that we are not only seen as educators but as the people who are responsible for a large group of students, and with your fellow educators you need to make sure that your students are safe and comfortable. Students come to school every day and learn, so why do we not make school a place where they feel comfortable and welcomed no matter what happens with their peers? You as a teacher need to be the support and the boost that the students need to succeed.
6: Attitude Attitude is the essence of a teacher. A wise teacher once told me “Do not quit on any student!’ Dr. Grace J. Ward. A teacher needs to have a positive attitude. Needless to say, everyone has bad days, but it is the good teachers that can rise above a bad day and know that they are doing their job for the student; this all stems from the attitude of the teacher. You need to have the desire, passion and attitude of a teacher to be successful and to do this hallowed job of being teacher. Having a positive attitude can turn any frown upside down and we as teachers need to be able to be engaging all the time and effective far above our pay rate. Some suggestions are that teachers: * Identify appropriate instructional goals and discuss them with so that they are clear about what is expected. * Insist that students compete work satisfactory * Refuse to accept excuses for poor work. * Communicate acceptance of imperfect initial performance when students struggle to achieve new learning. * Convey confidence in the students’ abilities to so well. * Display an encouraging, “can do” attitude that generates student excitement and self-confidence. * Avoid comparative evaluations, especially of lower ability students, that might cause them to conclude that they cannot accomplish the objectives. (Emmer, 137)
7: Personality: (Tone of voice, energy level, confidence, and genuineness) How do we find the balance between wanting to be the "cool teacher" and getting the respect we deserve? As Breirley points out that: To a perhaps disconcerting extent, students mirror our own personality traits. A noisy teacher has a noisy class. The bored teacher meets with apathy, disinterest, even sullen withdrawal. A teacher who has never learned to control himself has his share of uncontrollable students in class. The teacher who has a disorganized casual approach to his work finds carelessness and procrastination among his students. (56) Breirley has a point, as we mentioned earlier teachers must show respect to receive respect and this goes with any attitude that a teacher has. If a teacher is confident and excited about a topic the students are far more likely to believe the teacher is a credible source as well as become interested in the subject as well, as was mentioned by the student Vance in Fires in the Bathroom (Cushman): The mark of a good teacher is that no matter how weird or boring you might think their subject is, their love for it is what pushes you to learn something. It could be rat feces or some nasty topic, and the fact that their eyes are glowing when they talk about it makes you want to know something about it. (104) You will be a cool teacher if you are consistent in the way you handle discipline, if you show respect to everyone, if you get excited about your subject, and if you are confident and genuine.
8: Flexibility | There will come that day where your best laid plans crumble and you are left with a decision. You could stubbornly push onward with the full knowledge that you will fail, but we do not suggest this. You should be willing to adapt and change your lessons whenever the need arises. As Kauffman points out, "Managing classroom behavior is a complex task requiring self-questioning and careful reflection that even the best teachers must work to acquire and maintain" (3). That means that this happens to even the best teachers. The distinguishing characteristic of a great teacher, however, is how you choose to deal with this. You could have the best lesson on the planet planned, but if the students are not cooperating that day it is up to you to make sure that they learn. You need to find a different way of reaching them. You need to be able to push your pride aside and pull out a new plan from your bag of tricks.
9: Open-minded (Malleable) | As a teacher you cannot, absolutely cannot, close your mind to the environment that you are in. Teachers have an open mind to the nth degree. Teachers are always changing and adapting to the world, students, curriculum, emotions, other teachers, classroom environment, feelings, people, and just about everything. Therefore an essential part of Teacher EQ is the idea to constantly be able to look at something, find the weak points, and fix them. Education is constantly adapting and so should the teachers within the system. "We now want to emphasize the importance of keeping a positive perspective and avoiding dwelling on student misbehavior and inadequacies." (Emmer 136) Class is a positive place ,so in order to achieve this great goal, we as educators need to address our mind set and reach into ourselves for success before we can ask it from our students.
10: Not A Superhero | All this being said, teachers are not perfect. We are not saying this to give you an out or encourage you to give up if something does not work right away. We just want you to know that you can only do your best. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much time and effort you put into helping the students, there will be situations that you cannot fix. You cannot let this failure consume you, but rather move on so that you can help others. With this taken into consideration, you should try your best to be superheros. Students deserve your best effort.
11: Resources | (29), In Scopus. "ScienceDirect - Journal of School Psychology : Effects of Variation in Teacher Organization on Classroom Functioning." ScienceDirect - Home. Web. 21 Oct. 2011.