This particular lesson module presented a series of problem-solving methods for interventions in student behavior that can be used to create a positive classroom experience. Teachers should attempt at all times to facilitate a “calm, supportive learning environment.” This is reinforced by the positive behavior approach.
Academic and cultural diversity in the classroom is not a hindrance, but instead provides a great opportunity to adjust teaching methods for the greatest possible learning experience. This adaptation will result in an all-around better learning environment for both teacher and student. It has been shown that students learn best when they are held accountable for proper classroom behavior (Evertson & Harris, 1999). This is why it is important to establish classroom rules and guidelines in a comprehensive manner, so that students can have a full understanding of not only the rules themselves, but the reasons behind why they have been put in place (Jones & Jones, n.d.). Ideally, rule-making should come from a understanding between teacher and student that having such rules in place will be of mutual benefit, and will facilitate a learning environment that students can look forward to being immersed in.
Classroom interventions are important in maintaining classroom standards and building respect between teacher and student. It is most effective when rules can be re-taught in a positive manner, rather than as a disciplinary method (Landau). There are inevitably problems that arise, however these situations can be dealt with in a calm and decisive manner that will help make even disruptive behavior into a learning experience. The key qualities to embody when re-teaching rules to guide behavior are those of patience and understanding that the situation will not be resolved through strict disciplinary measures as easily as it will through positive behavior reinforcement.
Case study two discussed the preferences that students have in the classroom, as well as different ways to team-build in the classroom. It has been shown that students prefer teachers who are warm, take time to get to know their pupils, and make learning both interesting and enjoyable (Good & Brophy, 2000). When these factors are absent from the school environment, the end result becomes negative attitudes towards school and a decreased respect for teachers as authority figures.
Another aspect of teaching that this lesson discussed was the importance of establishing interconnected student-teacher relationships. This can be achieved through a teacher taking part in classroom acquaintance activities. Generally, teachers should attempt to build a strong bond with students that can go past professional obligation (Purley & Novak, 1996). This entails their engaging in the same activities that students are involved in. As a teacher, you are an integral part of the classroom community, and actively participating in such activities demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe and positive learning environment for every student.
Taking the time to know students as well as their parents/guardians signifies that you are interested in the well being of the students in your care outside of school as well as in the classroom. This is important to establish a solid relationship. Accepting that a student may wish to remain distant is limiting to both parties, and in such an instance it is best advised to consult with another teacher or administrator who may have associated with the student previously. Research shows that teacher expectations can have a 5 to 10 percent impact on increasing student achievement (Jones & Jones, n.d.) In other words, if a teacher believes that a student behaves attentively and with respect in the classroom, they will provide that student with more positive feedback as well as opportunity to speak. In order for a teacher to effectively generate a positive response from the classroom majority, they should ensure fair treatment of students.
This learning module dealt with the issue of bullying in school systems. It presented detailed statistics on the prevalence of bullying, and solutions to ensure that such instances occur less frequently. Information provided from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development indicates that 28% of school-age children report having been bullied in the past six months while at school. For obvious reasons, bullying has a negative affect on the way student perceive school as well as their attitude towards learning. When a student fears entering an environment, it no longer becomes a constructive learning facility.
It is important for educators to collaborate in sharing information about when the issue in question is occurring, and what the causations of bullying are. This means talking to a counselor, principal, or other teachers. Because bullying is a behavior that violates school policy, it should be dealt with as a collaborative matter between administration, teacher, parent, and student (Hoover & Oliver, 1996). There is no tolerance for incidents of this kind, bullying behavior is considered a serious offense and it is important to indicate to students the consequences of such negative actions. Additionally as an educator, you must consider the importance of making administrators aware of behavior problems as they occur with students. School administration has the tools to deal with bullying situations effectively and in a prompt manner, which is of the essence.
There are generally accepted disciplinary principles that have been established as good practice for educators. This information is available easily online, as is valuable to educators in helping them make comparisons between potential disciplinary actions that they have determined as beneficial to a learning environment (Wood & Gross, 2002). The principles can be used to develop comprehensive solutions to behavior management problems and ensure that any party involved incurs no lasting damage.
School-age children spend a great deal of their time interacting in the classroom environment. The lessons that they learn in school are hugely influential over the rest of their lives, and affect future educational achievements. As such, teachers have a responsibility to keep the students under their charge physically and psychologically safe. They are bound by moral reasons as well as legalities that have been designed to protect students from any unsafe situations that may arise. “They can be held legally liable if they fail to adequately protect students from harm” (Landau, 2004, 49). A safe learning environment must be maintained in the absence of bullying behavior and other negative influences to a stable atmosphere in which students feel respected.
In addition to respect, communication is vital to facilitating a positive classroom environment in which students can learn and grow. It is in the classroom that students realize their ability to socialize and interact in a constructive manner for the increased benefit of the entire school.
An important consideration for any educator is the mental health of students in their charge. Teachers should be aware of different stress factors that contribute to poor performance and might cause a student to act out in a way that would affect their classroom peers.
In order to protect students and maintain a supportive, positive learning environment it is necessary for educators to work together and develop comprehensive solutions to problems as they arise. The best method of this is through positive behavior reinforcement, and further disciplinary action if necessary.
Good, T., & Brophy, J. (2000). Looking in classrooms (8th ed.). New York: Longman.
Hoover, J., & Oliver, R. (1996). The bullying prevention handbook: A guide for principals, teachers, and counselors. Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service.
Horner, R., & Sugai, G. (2005). School-wide positive behavior support: An alternative approach to discipline in schools. In L. Bambara & L. Kern (Eds.), Positive Behavior Support. New York: Guilford Press.
Jones, V., & Jones, L. Comprehensive classroom management: Creating communities of support and solving problems (9th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Landau, B. (Ed.). (1999). Practicing judicious discipline: An educatorâ€™s guide to a democratic classroom. San Francisco: Gaddo Gap Press.
Landau, B. M. (2004). The art of classroom management: Building equitable learning communities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publications.
Pearson Classroom Management. (n.d.).Pearson Classroom Management. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from http://minisim.pearsoncmg.com/classroom_deploy_20100128/CM_case06.html?&subType=Co
Purkey, W., & Novak, J. (1996). Inviting school success: A self-concept approach to teaching, learning, and democratic practice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wood, C., & Gross, A. (2002). Proactive and reactive aggression. In R. E. Tremblay, W. Hartup, and J. Archer (Eds.), Developmental origins of aggression. New York: Guilford.