A person who knows and is aware that he knows, is wise, follow him; A person who knows but is not aware that he knows, remind him; A person who doesn't know and is aware that he doesn't know, teach him; A person who doesn't know and pretends to know, is fool, leave him

Bless me in my undertakings Dear God, grant me victory and I shall shout your blessings for all to hear of your power!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Philosophy of Classroom Management

Candace Davies
Hey Ayoub don't forget about the philosophy of classroom management!
As part of your teaching portfolio, a Philosophy of Classroom Management can be a powerful job search tool to showcase your strengths. This document (sometimes known as a Philosophy of Discipline or Philosophy of Behavior Management) details which methods you prefer for addressing common behavioral issues in a
classroom setting. Follow these tips to craft a disciplinary philosophy that will bolster your teaching portfolio.
A Philosophy of Classroom Management should be 1-2 pages long. Be sure to use present tense and active verbs, which will leave the reader with a positive impression of your enthusiasm and confidence as an educator. Avoid employing too much technical jargon. Instead, use simple and clear language. Give concrete
examples whenever possible to demonstrate your experience with specific types of problem behaviors.

Your personalized Philosophy of Classroom Management describes in detail how you typically deal with student behavior problems. Remember that behavioral issues sometimes require the involvement
of school administrators and parents, so a philosophy of behavior management must address when and how you will involve third parties in a discipline situation.

When creating a Philosophy of Classroom Management, keep two things in mind. First, although this document reflects your individual approach to disciplinary issues, you must make sure that the methods you describe are consistent with school and district policies. Use school and district guidelines as a
foundation for your personalized discipline philosophy. Your document will then demonstrate to a potential employer that your approach to teaching makes you a good fit for their work environment.

Second, your document should refer to specific disciplinary issues that are most common in classrooms, such as talking during lessons, fighting, and refusing to do schoolwork. Gear your philosophy toward a specific level of development. For example, if you are applying to teach at an elementary school, make sure
your disciplinary techniques are appropriate for the elementary to primary school range.

The first section of your Philosophy of Classroom Management describes your overall attitude toward discipline in the classroom. Set a positive tone while discussing why keeping discipline is a vital part of a teacher's responsibilities. List specific teaching experiences to demonstrate your points.

Next, list five basic classroom rules that can act as umbrella policies for numerous specific infractions. Using your own words, one rule should state that students must demonstrate kindness and respect for others, including refraining from the use of physical force. A second rule should emphasize that students must comply
with the teacher's instructions on first request.

For each rule, list the consequence that will occur the first time a student breaks the rule. Some examples might include writing sentences, losing recess minutes, or sitting in a time-out area. Remember to make all consequences age-appropriate. Then give the specific consequences for second and third infractions of this rule. Describe what action you will take if a student breaks the rule more than three times in one day.
Examples of these consequences including calling the student's parent or keeping him/her in after-school detention. You should also list the consequences of severe offenses, such as verbally disrespecting authority figures or getting in a physical fight. These offenses require the involvement of school administration.

Finally, explain what methods you will use to track student behavior and how you will provide rewards for positive behavior. Rewards can be offered weekly. In primary 1-3, rewards can be daily at first and then taper off to weekly as the school year progresses.

Your Philosophy of Classroom Management should end on a positive note. In the last few sentences, describe your goal to instill a passion for lifelong learning by providing an encouraging learning environment.
Remember to include specific examples from your teaching experience to bolster these guidelines. If you don't have formal teaching experience, give examples relevant to other work experiences that are appropriate to this age range. Your examples should demonstrate that you are able to take initiative within the context of institutional policies or structure.

A Philosophy of Classroom Management is an important piece of the job search puzzle for an educator. Take time to create a thoughtful document that highlights your confidence and strengths in addressing behavioral problems in the classroom.

Passionately and enthusiastically committed to your career success!

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