I recently read a couple of blogs written by educators from Texas and Alberta. They both discussed the ways in which a teacher runs their classroom. In particular, they focused on behavior management systems & the idea of classroom “rules”. As teachers, we have such autonomy and control over our classrooms. This control can have both a positive and negative impact on our students. It all comes with practice and knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
The first blog post I read was written by Matt Gomez (@mattBgomez) and it was titled “Be Brave: The Only Rule In My Kindergarten Class” and it can be found here. I love that Matt used the idea of “being brave” as a key motto for his kindergarten classroom. Students of all ages should be able to step out of their comfort zone and be brave in everything they do. However, although I agree with Mr. Gomez’s thoughts on classroom rules being “restricting” and “demanding”, I feel that some sort of classroom conduct should be visible and known to the students.
An appropriate example of this was brought up in our ECS 210 class lecture. In my future classroom, a list of classroom beliefs can be compiled alongside students. Instead of having complete control over the beliefs for my classroom, I can work together with my students to decide what works for them and for me. Like Julie stated in class, this creative process can be done at the beginning of the school year and it can work much like a treaty (a contract or agreement) among the students. This is a great interactive project that can get students thinking deeper about what it means to not only be a good student but a good human being.
The second blog post I read was linked to the Mr. Gomez’s blog. It was titled “Too High A Price: Why I Don’t Do Behavior Charts” by Miss Night (@happycampergirl) and can be found here. She opened with a relatable example of why she does not agree with behavior charts. I understood her point but I also felt that some type of behavior management was needed in a classroom. I felt that this type of system could help to make sure that students were self-aware of their behaviors. I must have jumped the gun too quickly because as soon as I had this thought, I read about Miss Night’s opinion that behavioural plans, “are private. They are discreet. They are between me and that child and his or her parents.”
I agree with this idea 100%. Although it is important to document a student’s growth, as teachers, we need to realize that this growth is personal and not to be seen as a public display. When a student’s documented growth is much more discreet, this type of system can be tailored to each independent student and promote self-efficacy. It is a way for children to grow on their own and be aware of their strengths/weaknesses, all the while respecting their privacy and dignity.