It is essential for teachers to have a well-constructed plan before the beginning of the school year. First things first, I will define the standards and expectations that I have for my students on the first day of class. However, I think that it would be a great idea to let the students choose and create rules that they also think should be established. This is important because it will let my students know that I care about their input and what they need. Then, the rules and expectations will be posted onto the wall for everyone to see, and to serve as a reminder throughout the year since students seem to love to forget about the classroom rules. In order to prevent this, I would every so often go over and review the rules. A great time to review them is when students come back from breaks, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and etc. If a student decides to not comply with my rules, then I will not disrupt my classroom by putting my lesson on a stand still just to discipline a student. For example, if a student has his or her headphones in their ears, and one of the rules is to not have them in during instruction, then I will subtlety walk over to the student, while continuing my lecture, and place my hand on the student’s shoulder. This would alert the student that they should not have their headphones in because the student already knows the established rules. After that, I would continue on with my lesson. This gives the student a reminder about their behavior, while also not interrupting the classroom; however, if that student continues to defy me, then I would choose to wait until I was done lecturing, walk over to the student, and quietly ask him or her to step out of the classroom and head to the principal’s office, or any other kind of administrator. Giving too many chances can be a disservice to teachers because students can in a way, take advantage of the teacher and over step their boundaries.
Something that I think is very crucial to the classroom environment is, being able to make it a comfortable one. For my classroom, I would try my best to have the funds to buy bean bags and pillows for the students, and create a little pleasant and safe space for the students. Students would only be able to sit in this space if they can show that they will behave and will do their work. It is imperative that students feel serene and happy in their classrooms. In order for myself to also feel comfortable and as if I am creating the best environment, then I would put the student’s desks in groups. It depends on how many students are in the classroom that will determine how many in each group. At least a couple of time throughout the year, I would have the students switch group that they are in, so that they can get to know and interact with different students. Several of these kids go the whole year without talking to, or even knowing many of their classmates. By putting them in groups, it allows the students to communicate with each other and create relationships with one another. This will hopefully create a community within the students and myself. Not only will they be able to connect with each other, they will also have the chance to collaborate all of their ideas together. This also creates an opportunity for students that do not like to ask questions in front of the whole classroom (there is always a few, no matter what.) Instead, they will be able to ask the peers in their group.
When I imagine the ideal classroom, it looks like students interacting, and overall seeming like they are truly enjoying being there. Unfortunately, I know that school is not for everyone and not everyone wants to be there but, I do know that I will do my damn hardest to make each and every one of them feel like they are meant to be there. I imagine my students coming to me not only for academic concerns, but also with personal concerns – things that do not pertain to academics specifically. It would be ideal for me if my students felt like they created a trust and bond with me. I think that this would create a more productive environment for my students and I.