Thursday, July 14, 2011

Classroom Management and a Freebie!

This is one of those topics I think about every year. The first year I taught was the best learning experience I could have ever had. My first year of teaching was without a doubt the worst year of my life!

This is what happened…. On a Monday morning I got a call from the school I was doing my teaching program at to ask if they could give my name to some principals for the new “teacher preparation program” they were launching that year. Without thinking too hard about it, I happily agreed (all I had left to do in my teaching program was the student teaching). Within two hours I had two job interviews. I went to the interviews thinking that I would just go for the “interview experience”. I had no intention of really getting a teaching job and I didn’t think anyone would hire me. After the first interview I was offered the job. It was for a 5th grade science/math teacher. I decided not to take the job because of various reasons. As the week went on I received four other phone calls from principals in the same district. You see, the new teacher orientation was starting that following week. I ended up going to all the interviews but one and I was offered a job at each of them except one.

In the end, it came down to two schools that desperately wanted to hire a teacher on a Friday night. I literally had two days to make up my mind which school I wanted to work at because I had to start the new teacher orientation on that following Monday. Well, six years later I’m still at the school I took the job at!

One of the main things I missed from not doing my student teaching is the whole component of classroom/behavior management. I found all this out on my own with a classroom full of 26 five year olds! It was a very tough year but I learned a lot about myself and what I needed to do to become a better teacher.

I have tried a few different behavior management ideas over the years. All of them have worked well when I implemented them in the classroom.

This school year, my school will be doing a “walk to read” program. What that means to me is I won’t have the same students in my room for the 2 hour reading block. The students will be constantly changing throughout the year. Those of you that have done a “walk to read” program, how do you handle the behavior management? I usually have some type of visual behavior management plan (clip chart) but I’m not sure about doing that this year. I also usually send home weekly behavior forms to parents.Click here for a free behavior management form that I have made.

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