Classroom Management, and Organization Plan for a Pre-K Trainable Mentally Handicapped (TMH) class with students ages 3-5. The plan reflects one's leadership and management style in order to develop a comprehensive plan for effective classroom management and discipline. The assignment addresses areas like content, conduct, and covenant management, establishment, and teaching of classroom procedures, development and teaching of classroom rules and consequences, prevention of problems, establishment of positive relationships, students with special needs, students with varying ability levels, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, gender, and linguistic needs, stages of cognitive and moral development, interests, and learning styles, Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and home- school connection or communication with parents.
A student who is mentally handicapped means one who has sub-average general cognitive functioning and as a result has a lower level of learning. Along with this deficiency in adaptive behavior, could also be noted during the developmental period. As a result, this negatively affects the educational performance of such a student. What is required for a success in classroom management is to give more importance to prevent the frequent occurrence of problems, along with dealing effectively when problems occur. Classroom discipline problems can be reduced if strong and consistent management and organizational skills are included. For a success in Classroom management one has to deal with three major components namely Content management, Conduct management, and Covenant management. Content management, promotes predominant emphasis on sequencing and integrating additional instructional activities, instructional management skills, and dealing with instruction-related discipline problems. (Froyen & Iverson, 1999) Conduct management on the other hand deals with one's beliefs and understanding about the nature of people. Conduct management provides independence and autonomy to students by way socialization. For achieving an effective conduct management plan the teacher would be the person who would control and deal with the consequences of a situation.
Such a conduct management plan include written behavioral contract, gentle verbal reprimands, setting limits outside the classroom, acknowledging responsible behaviors, correcting irresponsible and inappropriate behavior, preferential seating, ignoring, proximity control, delaying, time owed, time-out, notification of parents or guardians, and reinforcement systems. (Froyen & Iverson, 1999) Covenant management considers the group in the classroom as a social system. The roles and expectations of teacher and student promote an environment, which is conducive to learning in a classroom. The teachers should possess assertive communication style and behavior while planning classroom management. They should know what they want their students to do and for this they should involve the students in the learning activities. The teacher on an individual basis could deal with the disciplinary problems of each student or through means of solving the problem by means of group techniques, such as class meetings. (Froyen & Iverson, 1999)
The teacher should model appropriate behaviors since children need structure for their behavior as they learn by example. So the teacher should clearly make the students understand the logical consequences of not following the rules. The teacher should provide routines in the classroom and at the same time maintain consistency. Children should be provided with opportunities, tools, and strategies so that the students would be in a position to access the full capacity of their minds and their hearts. The role of the teacher should be to make the process of learning an emotional as well as an intellectual experience. The teacher should give the mentally retarded students love and necessary attention. It is the role of the teacher to make sure that the students are guided and supervised. The teacher of a mentally retarded class should provide extra support to the students. For promoting healthy classroom environment a teacher's experience and expression of affection is essential. (Marks; Van Laeys; Bender; Scott, 1996)
Along with these children learn social skills by virtue of well-supervised activities by the teacher. For a student to learn rules it is essential that the teacher be consistent with rules and promotes discipline in the classroom. It is essential that the teacher be knowledgeable enough to provide practical experiences and activities to the students. This is essential to raise and maintain their self-esteem and confidence. Mentally handicapped students would progress if teachers who are capable of understanding the students would pursue behavioral management. A classroom, which has, routines and procedures, and which would give organization and structure to learning would be a successful one. A teacher who is knowledgeable would be a person who would communicate high expectations to students and would then engage in teaching procedures to encourage them. Students should be taught procedures, like how to enter the classroom, how to distribute supplies, how to use an activity center, or anything which would require a mode of operation. Procedures would do the work what rules are expected to do. (Marks; Van Laeys; Bender; Scott, 1996)
According to the special needs of each student, the teacher should provide instruction. The teacher should adapt and develop materials according to the learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses of each student. The teacher should understand as to how each child learns best and accordingly should design or modify instruction. In this manner the child would be able to benefit. The methods and the learning goals should be designed by taking into consideration the age, ability, setting, and other necessary considerations. The curriculum should be designed according to the individual needs of the student. Teachers should spend adequate time to plan, develop, and implement an educational environment for the students in the class. Teacher could initiate the problem-solving dialogue by being open about the disability of the students and should have an understanding to acknowledge that students have their abilities and are capable. With regard to different disabilities teachers would not be experts. So if teachers are knowledgeable problems in the classroom can be reduced if they refer students to the appropriate staff in the necessary field. (Hannah; Pliner1983)
Students would possess different abilities and experiences. So a good teaching requires that each student be treated as an individual. The teacher should plan a variety of activities so that each student will not feel bored and would be interested in the activities of the class. It is also seen that when students are placed in appropriate groups would enable them to understand and to pick up skills.
The teacher should have a proper understanding of the student, by being familiar with the student's names, be in a position to be able to pronounce them correctly, and at the same time should have some positive information about each student. Regarding instructional planning, when individual variations are taken into account, problems can be prevented. Is students are not involved in activities with which they are not interested or they lack the necessary ability to understand them the students would find it boring and would look to other activities. Thus it is essential that students should be given their choices on how to go ahead in a particular work. (Hannah; Pliner1983)
Again it is another challenge for the teachers to deal with students of diverse cultural, socioeconomic, gender and ethnic/racial backgrounds. The teachers should become have knowledge about the students background and should be understanding to the diverse background experiences of the students. The curriculum should be such as to enable students from diverse cultural, socioeconomic and ethnic/racial backgrounds to be able to understand the contents of the curriculum and be able to understand and have liking for the learning activities. The curriculum should be in tune with local and state standards. When students from different socioeconomic, cultural or linguistic backgrounds exist in a classroom teachers should provide curricular and instructional materials with which the students would be in a position to understand and master the core academic competencies. Teachers add considerably to their repertoire of instructional approaches, in order to be help the students with diverse backgrounds be in a position to achieve high levels of success.
Since different students have different varieties of learning styles it becomes crucial for the students to plan creative planning of lessons without having to leave any student out. Educators need to understand of these varying circumstances because of our varied cultural society. Teachers should understand the family system from which the students come from is essential for dealing with cultural diversity. Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences suggests that each individual possesses distinct forms of intelligence in varying degrees. Gardner suggests that there are several primary forms namely linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal and interpersonal. According to Gardner, his theory informs that learning or teaching should focus on the intelligence of each particular person. He suggests that if an individual has strong spatial or musical intelligences, encouragement should be provided to develop these abilities. (Gardner, 1993)
According to Gardner difference in intelligence shows different learning modalities. The theory further proves that while assessing abilities all forms of intelligence, other than linguistic and logical-mathematical should also be measured. Gardner also pointed out the cultural context, which provides multiple intelligences. The theorist suggested that each culture was in a position to deal with particular…