Classroom Management

© Copyright Mark Krokos 2010 -2016

I believe the environment a student is placed in is directly related to a student’s ability to learn. Both physically and emotionally safe, the environment I provide for my students is created through respect. Respect needs to be a two way street, equally shown by students to me and by me to my students.

 

I show respect to my students by always finding positive substance in their responses, or by actively listening to their view on a subject. If an environment of mutual respect is created then the classroom becomes less teacher-directed and more student-centered. When a classroom is student-centered it enables the students to gain a sense of belonging and develop higher self esteem. Both of which allow children to reach the level of self actualization that is needed to be truly free to learn.

 

To further understand classroom management in my room take a moment to read the following example.

 

THE #1 REASON I DON’T DO BEHAVIOUR CHARTS  Taken from Miss Night’s Marbles behavior management.

“Before I say anything else, I want you to do a little imagining with me. As you read each paragraph, I want you to REALLY work to imagine yourself in this situation, really FEEL what it would be like. I’m sure you will catch on to my metaphor pretty quickly, but stay with me. I really couldn’t think of a better way to illustrate my point:

Imagine that you have a new job. You’re VERY excited about this new job, and a little bit nervous. You know there are parts of it that you will be very good at, but there are some things that you are still working on, or that you might need support from your boss to master. It’s okay, though, because you’re pretty sure that your boss is really nice, and will help you work on those things.

You arrive at work and start meeting your new co-workers, who are just as excited and nervous as you. You notice that some of them seem to be VERY good at nearly everything, and others seem to struggle with even more things than you, but altogether they are a nice enough group and you feel like you will be a good team. You start to make some work friends. It feels good.

Then, at some point – maybe right away, maybe after a few days or weeks or months, your boss sits you ALL down together and explains a new performance management system. On the wall of your communal work area, Boss has posted a list of all the employees, by name. Next to each name is a rainbow of color-coded cards. Boss explains that every employee will start each day on the same color, but depending on your performance, your name can be moved up the rainbow, or down the rainbow. People who move up the rainbow will get special extras: a small bonus, or an extra long lunch, or a half-day off. People who move down the rainbow will face consequences: a shorter break, a docked paycheck, a note in their file.

The next day starts out badly before you even get to work. Your alarm doesn’t go off, there’s no hot water left for your shower, you’re out of coffee, your cat has peed on your favorite shoes AND it’s raining. You get to work, and within an hour, your name has been moved down to yellow. You get a warning from your boss. Then, your favorite work friend doesn’t want to work next to you because you just got in trouble and she doesn’t want to get in trouble by association. Your hurt feelings make you distracted, and you make a few careless errors in your tasks. Your name gets moved to orange and now you only get 20 minutes for lunch, which is really upsetting because the sun is finally shining and you had been confident that a nice walk in the fresh air with your buddies would help turn your day around.

On your abbreviated lunch break, you try to get online to order some new shoes. Impatient and frustrated, you curse out loud when the site won’t load properly. In front of everyone, your boss moves your name to red. There goes 50 bucks off your pay. Apparently you won’t be buying new shoes, after all. You approach your boss privately, trying to explain and apologize. Boss tells you, kindly-but-firmly, that “No cussing” is an ironclad rule, and that because everyone heard you cuss, she has to give you the same consequence she would give anyone else. Later, you are short-tempered with a customer, and your name gets moved off the rainbow altogether. A note is placed in your file, documenting a reprimand for inappropriate language in the workplace.

The end of the day approaches. A few of your colleagues get to leave 30 minutes early because their names got moved “up” to blue. This leaves you with extra work that has to be done before you can leave. Among these colleagues, one of them had his name moved up to purple, so he is buying a round of drinks for everyone… Everyone who can leave early, that is. It’s always the same people who can leave early, and really, they’ve become quite clique-y. You convince yourself you wouldn’t really WANT to have drinks with them, anyway. You really fit in better with the red and orange card crowd.”

 

Along with not having a behavior chat this year I will also be entering my first Reward Free year. This means that there will not be a “Treasure Chest” of prizes that students will pick from each week. In the past I would give out tickets that allowed students a chance to pick a prize at the week’s end. While a successful means of control, I began to feel it was false motivation and wished the students had more intrinsic motivation. The links below outline why I have chosen to go Reward Free and Behavior Chart Free. Please know that this information is nothing for you to worry or think about. The information is just here to show you what goes on in my classroom.

 

Matt Gomez: Reward Free Year

 

Matt Gomez: Be Brave, the only rule in my Kindergarten Class

 

Miss Night: “Behaviour management”: not systems, but relationships

 

Miss Night: Too High A Price, Why I Don’t Do Behavior Charts

 

 

Below you will find a simple list of classroom expectations, not rules. Why not rules? Good question….

 

Rules become lists of things that you are not supposed to do. When a teacher finds they have to discuss discipline with a child in the context of rules, they are bringing attention to the inappropriate behavior. Expectations, on the other hand, describe positive behaviors. In this context, she is focusing on the behavior she wants.” ~ honorlevel.com See also: Marvin Marshal, Discipline Without Stress 

If your child gets a letter sent home for behavior be sure to sign and send it back. You may also contact me by email (mark.krokos@csdcomets.org) or phone (Between 1:30 and 2:00).

 

Thank you!

Mountain Top

Learn more about me and my teaching philosophy in my Electronic Portfolio.

 

Who is Mr. Krokos?

To Contact me:

Fairview Elementary School

117 Spruce Street

Mountain Top, Pa 18707

 

Phone: 570-474-5942

E-mail: mark.krokos@csdcomets.org

Be sure to check out Fairview Elementary’s  OnTRACK program by clicking the picture above!