Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Say WHAT!?!?

Education Week recently ran an article about how ed schools are adding more classroom management training to their teacher prep programs. That’s good, because a teacher who can’t manage their kids isn’t going to be a good teacher. If you’re going to be interviewing for a teaching position, know with 100% certainty that you will be asked your theory of classroom management. If you blow that question, you’re not going to get the job.

This little bit from the article really floored me:

At the University of Cincinnati, a mandatory classroom-management course has been built into each teacher education program since 2000.
Wow, since 2000. The only way that’s OK is if they started the program in 2000. How the hell can you put a program together and not have a classroom management class included? Oy, vey.

Were I a college professor teaching a 4 credit classroom management class, here’s some of the principles that I’d follow:

*Required texts: The First Days of School by Harry Wong, Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones, and Classroom Management that Works by Marzano and Pickering. Each come at the question of what works in the classroom from a different angle; Wong on routines, Jones on relationships and structure, Marzano with actual instructional practices.

*Class activities: Case studies. Lots and lots of case studies. What do you do about the kid who has a chip on their shoulder? How do you manage all the paperwork? What should your lesson plan for a week look like? There’d be an awful lot of discussion, too.

*Tests and Papers: The final would be a term paper asking you to define the most important pieces of a good management plan, and explaining in detail how you would implement those in your classroom.

The more skills we send new teachers into the classroom with, the better off they’ll be. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s a start.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous eieila said...

I agree that classroom management instruction is abysmal. I graduated from a state university with a major in history and in education in 2002. How many classroom management classes did I have? Zilch. It was "mentioned" in two classes that I remember clearly. The first: The professor. . . who had NEVER taught in a K-12 classroom, other than his student teaching. . . said that if we had thorough lesson plans, we would not have classroom management problems (HA!). The second was our Educational Psychology professor assigning Assertive Discipline as an extra credit reading and devoting one day of class to a discussion of the ideas presented therein. Helpful, but not nearly enough. Thankfully, my student teaching cooperating teacher was wonderful at classroom management, and I learned a lot there, but I still had some issues my first couple of years.

5:01 PM  
Blogger loonyhiker said...

I agree! Classroom management should be the foundation for building your classroom environment. With out this, it becomes impossible to help our students become successful.

12:22 PM  
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7:10 AM  

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