Classroom Management Study Conducted by the Utah Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Classroom Management study conducted by the Utah State University shows that the primary concern of new teachers is classroom management, maintaining an atmosphere of learning and containing discipline problems in the classroom environment.

I believe that the first key to successful classroom management is being pro-active, preventing these problems before they occur. Effective teachers should be able to establish harmonious personal interactions with their students. They understand that the behavior of students is a product of the immediate environment. It is therefore the teacher's task to take a leadership role in establishing a learning atmosphere that minimizes behavior problems, one that encourages instead a cohesive and supporting class.

Towards this, teachers should first take the time to teach their expectations to students. These expectations include the classroom rules, learning expectations and procedural expectations. The classroom expectations should be specific and when possible, worded in a positive manner. For example, they should say "be cooperative" and "respect others." These classroom expectations could be tailored to suit the class's grade level.

Instructional and procedural explanations can be given as step-by-step instructions for students. For example, during a math class, the teacher would give an instructional order, such as "Work on problems five-through ten in your math book." The students are then given the procedural expectations for the course of the assignment, such as "While working on the exercises, you can talk quietly with your partner."

It is also important to maintain positive teacher-pupil interactions. Students appreciate receiving verbal praise or other gestures such as a smile or a nod. Such positive interactions should outnumber negative ones, such as scolding. The focus on positive interactions is a subtle way of emphasizing and rewarding appropriate behavior in class.

By teaching expectations, giving specific instructions and emphasizing positive interaction, the effective teacher can successfully prevent problem behaviors before they begin.

Studies have also shown that teachers who maintain a democratic and participatory classroom have far fewer disciplinary problems. One way to initiate a participatory classroom is to begin instruction immediately, as soon as students walk into the door. Even short "starter" activities engage children in learning and minimize opportunities for inappropriate behavior.

Another way to establish a participatory and democratic classroom is to provide students with chances for risk-free active participation. Effective…

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