"Early attention to classroom management at the beginning of the school year is a critical ingredient of a well-run classroom."
Classroom Management That Works, by Robert J. Marzano, Jana S. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering
The "classroom management plan" is written by the teacher before the start of school, and it includes the teacher's rules & consequences for breaking the rules.
There are many resources, both online and in educational literature, that describe how to set up a classroom management plan. If you are looking for the simplest and the best, there is no better resource than educator and author Michael Linsin's www.smartclassroommanagement.com - he has written several concise articles about this subject that I highly recommend: (click on the article link for further reading.)
"A Classroom Management Plan That Works," by Michael Linsin: "A classroom management plan is a contract you make with your students that promises you will protect their right to learn and enjoy school without interference. And once it’s presented to your class, you’re bound by this contract to follow it every minute of every day and without exception. Otherwise, if you don’t, you’re breaking your word—and your students’ trust. A classroom management plan has two, and only two, purposes:
1. To state the rules of the classroom."The Classroom Management Mindset," by Michael Linsin: "Think of all the student behaviors that get in the way of really loving your job. What really bugs you or causes you stress? What interferes with you becoming the best teacher you can be? Is it calling out? Is it disrespect? Do your students ignore your directions?
2. To state exactly what will happen if those rules are broken.
Now take out a sheet of paper and a pen—red is best—and sit down at your desk....."
Here at MANAGING THE ART CLASSROOM we have also written several articles about classroom management plans in the art room:
- Classroom Management Plan; testing Linsin's methods in middle school
Jessica Balsley's www.theartofed.com also has many terrific articles about classroom management that are specifically written for art teachers:
- www.theartofed.com classroom management - this is a collection of articles
- 50 Back To School Ideas For the Art Room, Jessica Balsley, theartofed, also a collection of articles
Other Resources online:
- Behavior Expectations and How To Teach Them, Aaron Hogan, Edutopia.org
"What separates successful teachers from their colleagues is not the curriculum. The difference is classroom management -- discipline, instruction, and motivation -- organized into a unified and efficient whole. Successful teachers must know how to make independent learners out of helpless handraisers. They must know how to teach to mastery with constant monitoring. They must know how to mean business so discipline management is low key and non-adversarial. They must know dozens of complex skills and procedures, and they must do it all while having fun with learning." Fred Jones www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/jones/jones043.shtml#sthash.7kAPtYvu.dpuf
"I think for the most part the whole of education underestimates the importance of classroom management. The focus tends to be on curriculum, teaching methods, and learning—which are important, to be sure—but all are contingent upon a teacher’s ability to manage the classroom. Nothing works as it should, or could, without effective classroom management. If schools and teacher education programs were to focus on training teachers to become experts in this one area first, everything else would get a whole lot easier." Michael Linsin, Quoted from The Teachers Digest
“I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I’ve worked in a lot of environments wherein my first, second, and third attempts at different methods of classroom management have failed. The textbooks (and some expert teachers) may not want to admit it, but classroom management isn’t as simple as process(es) 1-2-3. The reason relates to the complex cultural nature of modern classrooms. Too often, teachers and students are in a cultural conflict when it comes to values, rules, consequences, and what is considered appropriate and “good” behavior.”
Amy Zschaber, www.artfulartsyamy.com
"Managing the art room is one of the things teachers struggle with the most and talk about the least. It can be embarrassing for a teacher to admit they wish they could manage things differently, but it doesn’t have to be. If teachers don’t admit management shortcomings and become willing to dissect and investigate management issues, they’ll never build a classroom environment they can be proud of. Art teachers especially need to talk about this, because we face different management issues then a traditional classroom teacher."
Jessica Balsley, Top 10 Challenges of Managing an Art Room, wwwtheartofed.com
"The disciplinary conundrum is still educational rocket science. Meaning that it's the most complex issue any teacher ever faces....No matter how dedicated and dynamic you are, it does no good whatsoever if your classes won't settle down long enough to listen to you. Yet instruction on how to handle a roomful of young people is still sketchy at best. Education classes often spend far too little time on the thorny topic of classroom management. One possible reason: there are so few absolutes. It's a science with huge amounts of art thrown in - and therefore to a large extent, unteachable."
Coleen Armstrong, 2009, The Truth About Teaching, What I wish the Veterans Had Told Me, Chapter 8; "Classroom Management - Otherwise Known as Discipline"
Editor's note: Managing student behavior involves far more than discipline techniques. In order to create an environment for student success, the teacher needs to provide quality instruction as well as appropriate motivation. Most importantly, the teacher needs to have the right attitude for leadership in the classroom. Finally, having a solid classroom management plan with rules and procedures set up from the beginning of the year is also extremely important - students need to be very clear about what the teacher's expectations are.
disclaimer: These are a set of ideas about being proactive in teaching based on classroom experience as well as various education authors. Many times there are circumstances in the classroom that are beyond any teacher's control, especially when serving at-risk populations or in environments where those in administration fail to provide effective leadership in a school. Sometimes, regardless of the prevailing theories about teacher responsibility, the teacher is not to be blamed for out of control students. Finally, we do NOT recommend that you put any of these strategies into practice if your administration disagrees with them.
article by Mrs. Anna Nichols