Q. What has been your greatest triumph in the classroom?
A. Motivating students becomes much, much easier in the presence of two things: First, you must have solid, effective classroom management skills. You must be able to eliminate interruptions, distractions, misbehavior and the like that infringe upon the rights of your students to learn and enjoy school. Second, you must know how to build trusting, influential relationships with your students, even if you only see them once per week. Combined, these two principles create the conditions that allow the teacher to have the leverage to ask for and receive exceptional effort. There is a lot to this topic, which we cover extensively on the blog and in the book, Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers.
A. The amount of time you have to devote to instruction/independent work is a function of how effective you are managing your classroom, which includes, among other things, organization, preparation, room environment, routines, speaking skills, modeling skills, consistency, and ability to curb time-wasting misbehavior.
Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge we teachers face in today's culture?
A. It seems that more and more students are coming into our classrooms less prepared to listen and learn and more inclined to misbehave. At Smart Classroom Management we endeavor to show teachers how using simple, real-world strategies, you can not only overcome this challenge, but thrive while doing it.
*Personal Note: Before reading these books and articles, it had never occurred to me that my discipline plan is like a contract with my students and that every time I overlooked or ignored misbehavior (being inconsistent) it was the same thing as breaking a promise. Also, I learned that it wasn't enough to avoid arguing with students, I need to also avoid any trace of visible annoyance - I have been known to roll my eyes, sigh, and appear quite flustered. I am working hard to discipline myself to be more professional! Finally, one of the biggest mistakes I have made is taking misbehavior personally, getting really discouraged and emotional when kids refused to behave. I have had some tough groups of kids come through my classroom! My own attitude, the joy that I bring to the classroom, is like a secret weapon! Thank you, Michael!
by: Mrs. Anna Nichols, visual art instructor, middle school
This is not a paid endorsement - after studying Mr. Linsin's philosophies I have come to the conclusion that they are truly relevant. He has committed a great deal of his time over a number of years to help teachers all over the world with classroom management. Questions he is asked via his website are answered quickly and compassionately, and I wish him every blessing!