Classroom management - the most important thing a teacher should master, or at least that’s what I’m told. I believe it too. A teacher’s main goal is to teach, but that’s impossible if you’re in an environment that inhibits learning. This is where good ole classroom management comes in to save the day and the teacher. I’ve only been teaching about two weeks, and I can safely say classroom management is crucial. I should say crucial one more time. Crucial. Did I say it’s a crucial? I can also safely say it’s not something I’ve mastered yet. With time, practice, and a little pixie dust, maybe one day i’ll have it mastered (keeping my fingers crossed). On the bus ride home yesterday, I was thinking about what it would be like if students could physically not talk while sitting in class, almost as if it were a law of nature. What if they couldn’t talk and HAD to listen. *pause for astonishment* I guess being a teacher changes the way you daydream.
Anyway, we keep hearing about consequences, rewards, and consistency and that some magical combination of them will foster a good teaching and learning environment. Everyone’s equation is a little different, but we each have one. I’m a fan of all three, but my weakness lies in consistency. I have the hardest time being consistent with my consequences. Somewhere in my mind I think I’m still at camp, and I want to be their friend. I’m getting over that though, because I realize that can’t happen, at least not in the beginning. Being their teacher should be my focus, their friend can come later, after I’ve established myself as an enforcer who WILL be respected and obeyed. (As I write this, I wonder how I’ll feel in two years when reading these words. I hope I’ll come back and read these at some point.) I understand that giving out consequences will be better for the student, the classroom, and my sanity. When planning out my lesson, I think about how big and bad I’m going to be when they go crazy at the seventeen minute marker. When I’m actually up there in front of the class, though, it’s a different story. I guess I need to stand in front of a mirror and practice. Or maybe I can just randomly give fake consequences while socializing with friends. I’ll definitely look crazy then. I have faith that one day I’ll be a master, but I just have to be patient and practice. And be the LAW.