Sample of CEP 883 Coursework

An Analysis of My Classroom
Management Style
Danielle McLean
CEP 883
 I currently teach 9th grade biology, so I have a very active and
talkative group of students.
 The following aspects of my current management style will
be outlined:
 School rule and classroom rule enforcement
 Classroom arrangement
 Student –student relationships
 Teacher-student relationships
 Curriculum and behavior
My Management Style
 I used the quiz below to help identify my management style.
My management style is authoritative
 Characteristics:
 Places limits, yet encourages independence
 Teacher is polite, but firm
 Teacher is open to classroom debates and other discussions
 Offers positive encouragement and provides feedback
 Has high achievement expectations
Management is Important!
 Classroom management is one of the biggest concerns among
teachers. According to Teaching Makes a Difference, studies have
shown that 70% of beginning teachers are most concerned
about managing behavior in their class (Teaching Makes a
Difference, 2002, p. 163).
 Times have changed! Teachers are not viewed at the ultimate
authority anymore; however it is still the teacher’s responsibility
to maintain an environment conducive to learning.
My Approach to Enforcing School Rules
 School rules are necessary in order to have a quality learning
environment, however, students tend to question why
particular school rules are in place.
I strongly enforce school rules, especially rules such as cell
phone use.
The school rules are discussed at the beginning of the year and
are also posted in my room.
Consequences are outlined in the school’s student handbook.
Students receive constant reminders about rules and
consequences throughout the school year.
My Current Management of Classroom
 I have very few classroom rules in addition to the school rules.
 Each year, I post my rules that I require, and then I ask my
classes to come up with a few more that they would like to see
enforced in my class.
 I try to give a warning before giving punishment since I teach
freshman. This age group needs constant reminders!
 I strive to make punishment consistent and appropriate.
Motivation behind Misbehavior
 Students choose their behavior
 The ultimate goal of student behavior is to fulfill the
psychological and emotional need to belong.
 Student misbehave to achieve one of four immediate goals
(Cooperative Discipline, 2003, p.7)
 Attention
 Power
 Revenge
 Avoidance of failure
(Cooperative Discipline, 2003, p.11)
Motivation Behind Misbehavior
 When students psychological needs are not being met, they
will act out in order to receive immediate gratification
(Cooperative Discipline, 2003, p. 19).
How Can Teachers Manage Misbehavior?
 Classroom and school rules must be made very clear to students
from day one. According to Comprehensive Classroom Management,
“Effective teachers do more than post rules or present
procedures. Teachers work with students to ensure that they
understand and can demonstrate the rules of
procedures”(Comprehensive Classroom Management, 2009, p.175).
 Students must be taught proper behavior. “Just like learnings in
content areas, it isn’t enough to just tell students what you want
them to know. Teach behavior!” (Teaching Makes a Difference,
2002, p.165)
How Can Teachers Manage Misbehavior?
 Teachers must also reinforce the positive behaviors that students
demonstrate with both verbal and non verbal praise such as
smiles and nods (Teaching Makes a Difference, 2002, p.168).
 It is natural to get upset when a student misbehaves because it
distracts the teacher and the class. Teachers who respond in a
relaxed, business-like manor with a firm tone are more likely to
be in control of themselves and of the situation (Cooperative
Discipline, 2003, p. 11).
How Can Teachers Manage
 Teachers must also strive to meet the needs of students so
that they do not feel the need to act out.
 The three C’s
 Capable-kids need to feel capable of completing tasks
 Connect- they must be able to connect with the teacher and
other students
 Contribute-kids must feel like they can contribute to the group
(Cooperative Discipline, 2003, p. 13)
What I Would Like to Improve
 I need to be better about teaching behavior I would like to
see. Freshman are naturally squirrely and need constant
reminders and re-teaching.
 It is very easy to become frustrated with hyper freshman, so
I need to continue to work on staying calm and keeping my
voice relaxed.
Classroom Arrangement
 Although my room is small and barely holds my 38 desks, I
like to arrange my classroom so that students can have a class
 I keep the desks facing towards the center of the room. That
way there is no “back of the room.”
 Students have assigned seats at the beginning of the year, then
are allowed to give me suggestions as to when they would
like to sit as the year goes on.
The Importance of Seating Arrangements
 Many teachers do not view class arrangement to be as important as
curriculum; however, “physical environment can influence the way
teachers and students feel, think, and behave” (Secondary Classroom
Management, 2003, p. 31).
 Teachers also overlook the link between classroom arrangement and
student behavior. Clusters of desks will often encourage social
interactions, while rows often discourage interaction (Secondary
Classroom Management, 2003, p. 34).
 Desks are not the only factor in how a physical environment can affect
students. The overall condition of the classroom such as cleanliness
should be considered as well (Secondary Classroom Management, 2003, p.
 Here is an interesting link to help arrange a classroom:
The Importance of Seating Arrangements
 According to James McCorskey, there are certain seats that are
conducive to high interaction and those that are not.
 The traditions row arrangement leaves all but the students in
the very front with low interaction with the teacher
(Communication Education, 1979, p. 100).
 A great alternative to rows is a horseshoe shape or arranging
desks in groups. This allows for interaction between students
and with the teacher (Communication Education, 1979, p. 103).
What I Would Like to Improve
 Although I do not have room for a horse shoe arrangement, I
can change my desk arrangement so that allows for higher
interaction with myself and other students in most areas of
the room.
 I would like to improve the overall feel of the room by
adding more color. I have no windows, so it feels a bit
gloomy. I have not realized that the atmosphere had such a
large impact on learning!
Student-Student Relationships
 It is important for students to feel comfortable in class. I try
to have my students work in groups or with partners as much
as possible.
 I also try to open class up for discussion. This gives students
to get to know each other, but also allows then to feel like
their ideas are heard and important.
 “The creation of a safe, caring community that feels like a
healthy family can help students decrease racism, harassment,
and stereotyping, thereby creating a more just environment
in which students learn patience and compassion and develop
an appreciation for the value of all individuals” (Comprehensive
Classroom Management, 2009, p. 100).
How to Build Student-Student
 Cooperative learning
 Students are grouped together based on varying academic abilities
 Students work together and help each other improve in subject matter
 Some Specific ideas:
 Group Investigations -emphasize higher-order thinking skills like
analysis of data and evaluation. Students may also work to complete a
project or report on their findings (Education Consumer Guide,1992, p.1).
 Jigsaw II- used with narrative material. “Each member is responsible
for learning a specific part of a topic. After meeting with members of
other groups, who are "expert" in the same part, the "experts" return
to their own groups and present their findings. Team members then
are quizzed on all topics” (Education Consumer Guide,1992, p.1).
How to Build Student-Student
 Peer tutoring Students can learn from one another in a non-judgmental and
non-threatening atmosphere.
 Students may read aloud to each other, work on vocabulary, or
work to complete an assignment.
(Tutoring Program Manual, 2010, P. 1)
What I Would Like to Improve
 I would like to continue to add activities that allow for
interaction between students such as group activities.
 I would also like to use more peer editing and peer tutoring
in my classes.
Teacher-Student Relationships
 It is extremely important for teachers to have a professional, yet
caring relationship with students. I try to get to know what
activities my students are involved in and try to talk with them
individually as much as possible.
 According to Kleinfeild, “teachers who were effective with
(these) children were able to combine showing a personal
interest in the students with demands for solid academic
achievement” (Comprehensive Classroom Management, 2009, p. 59).
Teacher-Student Relationships
 I have found that students are usually compliant with me if
they feel like I care about them and respect them.
 Research has shown that academic achievement and student
behavior is strongly influenced by the strength of the studentteacher relationship (Comprehensive Classroom Management, 2009,
p. 58).
 Many of my students do not have a stable support system at
home, however; I can help provide a caring environment at
What I Would Like to Improve
 Each year, there are a few very quiet students that I never
really get to know. They are not a behavior problem, and
they usually have good grades, but I feel like I should make
more of an effort to make them feel more at home in my
 I would like to keep working on developing a relationship
with students who act out, not matter how frustrated they
make me. It will probably cut down on their bad behavior
and make it easier for me to discipline them properly.
Curriculum and Behavior
 I firmly believe that a challenging, yet attainable curriculum can
reduce unwanted behaviors in class.
 When students are not engaged, there is more opportunity for
inappropriate behavior.
 It is important to vary instruction and to provide various
opportunities for students to show what they know. Otherwise,
students may become bored or frustrated and act out.
How Curriculum and Behavior are
 It is important to vary instruction. In one class, there are
several different types of learners. If the teacher only teaches
to one style, students will either be bored or lost. (Doing
WhatWorks, 2010).
 Some ideas:
 Hands on activities and labs
 Opportunities for students to get up and move
 Use of visual aids
 Allowing students to use manipulatives
How Curriculum and Behavior are
 If the pace of instruction is too fast or too slow, disruptions
could be a result.
 Some ideas:
 Embed group work or other student centered learning so that
they can work at their own pace.
 Peer tutoring allows students to teach each other at an
appropriate pace (DoingWhatWorks, 2010).
What I Would Like to Improve
 I have some students who are advanced and are bored, and
then I have students who are behind and act out due to
frustration or avoidance. I would like to incorporate more
activities that differentiate more for the different learners in
my classes.
 I already use quite a bit of group work, but I would like to
incorporate more peer tutoring.
Albert, L. (2003). Cooperative Discipline:Teacher's Handbook. Circle Pines, MN: Ags Pub.
Balkcom, S. (1992). Cooperative Learning. Education Consumer Guide, 1(June), Unknown.
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