What Is Classroom Management?

What do you think of when you hear the words, “classroom management?” Do visions of misbehaving students come to mind? Or do you picture a well-stocked, well-organized classroom? Or something all together different? I’d been grappling with the term, and then I came across The Glossary of Education Reform which has a definition that makes sense to me. No wonder I was uncertain what was meant by classroom management. It refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers use to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and academically productive during a class. When classroom-management strategies are executed effectively, teachers minimize the behaviors that impede learning for both individual students and groups of students, while maximizing the behaviors that facilitate or enhance learning. Student behaviour is part of classroom management but if all elements of classroom management are addressed, behaviour should not be an issue, generally. An important part of classroom management is student engagement. What types of things can we do to engage our students? Faculty Focus (July 2012) outlines 10 Ways to Promote Student Engagement. These are not typically what you might think of as student engagement techniques. The article sites autonomy as a way to promote student engagement, and interestingly, autonomy is also what employees want from their workplace. The ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) works on the premise that employees can do whatever they want as long as the work gets done. Findings show that the ROWE work environment increases productivity and employee satisfaction. I know that I would like that kind of autonomy. More and more I am considering pursuing teaching online because I want the flexibility of working from home, and deciding my schedule for myself. I can see how teaching students to be self-directed prepares them for the ROWE business model. I think one of the biggest challenges of the model is getting people to shift their mindset about work, and for some people the autonomy might be too much to handle.

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