I also believe that a well structured, but friendly classroom setting is crucial in behavior management. I have observed the behavior of student that are placed in a in a warm, clean, and well structured classroom where teacher carry themselves in a professional manner as opposed to those that are place in untidy, gloomy classrooms where teachers are a bit more relaxed in their professionalism. Students in the well-structured environment were more respectful and stayed on task much longer than the opposite.
Because of the personality influence that many students are challenged with it is very hard for many students to function or discipline themselves without some form of well-designed structure. As a teacher I must provide that structure and be able to give situational assistance when deemed necessary. Chapter 1 of Building Classroom Discipline: The Problem and the Solution was very engaging and thought provoking.
It covered many areas of concerns that teachers are faced with on a daily bases such as; How should students behave? What are appropriate behavior and misbehavior? And, what role does communication play in discipline? By reviewing the various theories and suggestions of behavior specialists and participating in open discussions proved to be very helpful in finding possible solutions that would fit with my own style and personality.
When presented with questions such as; Does teaching method affect behavior? Does the physical environment affect behavior? And, How can you help students work together productively? I found that a combination of the various behavior specialists should be considered, for example; I found that Glassers suggestions; Non-coercive Discipline (reality), along with Churchward; Honor Level System of Discipline, may work best for me based on my personally and the student body that I am familiar with.
Understanding the 5 principles in building classroom management; Present and conduct yourself in a professional manner, Clarity on how you want your students to behave now and in the future, establish classroom conditions that help students become the kind of people you hope they will be, Do all that you can to help students conduct themselves acceptably, and intervene in a helpful manner when misbehavior occurs, was more of a reminder to me of how important and crucial it is to not just know, but also practice these skills. This class introduced me to Dr.
William Glasser and his theory and suggestions for discipline. From Glasser, I have learned that people are driven by six basic needs. All of our choices and behaviors are based upon the urgency for SURVIVAL, POWER, LOVE, BELONGING, FREEDOM, and FUN. Knowing and understanding this better has really help me to cope with situation better not only in school but also in my personal life. To know and except the fact that the only person whose behavior we can control is our own, and that all that we can give another person is information is a very profound way of managing behavioral problems.
Glasser goes on to address relationships and our habits. He says that there are seven caring habits; Supporting, Encouraging, Listening, Accepting, Trusting, Respecting, and Negotiating differences and there are also seven deadly habits; Criticizing, Blaming, Complaining, Nagging, Threatening, Punishing, and Bribing or rewarding to control. Learning about Glassers behavioral suggestions or theory is an area that I related to the most, and the assigned book Building Classroom Discipline by C. M. Charles was a very excellent choice of our instructor, Ms.Mosher H. Sheridan.
I will continue to use this book as a form of reference throughout my teaching career. The books glossary in itself is an excellent reference. I found many of the behavioral suggestions from the various philosophers highlighted in this book, such as; Richard Curwin & Allen Mendler; Discipline with Dignity, Lee & Marlene Canter; Principles Assertive Discipline and Budd Churchward; Honor Level System of Discipline to be very helpful, but the one that continues to impacts or impress me the most is Glasser.
The information that Ms. Sheridan shared with us through literature, lectures, handouts and classroom discussions will prove to be very valuable to me in the near future as my teaching career continues to unfold. Ms. Sheridan also modeled an excellent example of classroom management when carrying out her job as an instructor.