An Early Bird Catches The Worm
A number of my teachers taught me how to ‘not teach’ a class, how ‘not to control’ a class and how to ‘not talk’ to pupils in a class. I was sleep talking the old phrase “don’t smile until Christmas” which was mentioned on many occasions when I commenced my teaching journey. Christmas has come and gone and I ask myself have I smiled? Yes. Have I laughed? Of course. Is this advice a little harsh for an idealistic trainee teacher? Yes. When I was about to stand at the other side of the classroom from where I usually sat I envisaged myself as a stern and strict teacher, one that would instil fear in the pupils. However as I walked into my classroom of first year students I could barely see them lost in their oversized uniform and bent over by the weight of their schoolbag I could not help but smile and feel empathy for them. Instantly I totally changed my attitude and quickly discarded the authoritarian front that I had that I originally fashioned that morning. And so that’s why I decided to choose preventive strategies for classroom management as an entry to show that there are other means behind the ‘theory’ - Don’t smile until Christmas.
Before I began my teaching experience I decided to evaluate my proposed classroom management style using an online quiz ( www.quibblo.com). I derived from the quiz that I planned to adapt an ‘authoritarian’ style. I was somewhat taken aback at this result. According to the site “This teacher prefers vigorous discipline and expects swift obedience. Failure to obey the teacher usually results in detention or a trip to the principal's office. In this classroom, students need to follow directions and not ask why.” I decided there and then that it was time for an urgent reassessment and I quickly decided to adopt a totally different approach on this issue.
It is my opinion that a vital element in classroom management is to develop a pleasant learning environment. This is especially a key objective...