H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning. To me, H3 means that the classroom and the wider school community is a place for learning, for teachers as well as students.
Classroom management is a vital component of our job as teachers. I was able to observe a teacher in our school community and see the principles I have been learning in class come to life in a classroom. Of particular interest to me was how she dealt with disruptions. When one student was disrupting the class, she moved close to the student while she kept instructing. This is known as proximity and the disruption stopped. Next, a student was giving an answer and the room was not quiet so we could not hear her. The teacher replied in an empathetic voice, “I am so sad that the other students have forgotten how important you are.” Fay and Funk confirm the use of empathy and using it to draw attention to the classes’ behavior (2009, p. 163). In this case, the teacher was implying that the class was not being kind to their fellow student by not being quiet and listening to her.
I have used proximity in my classroom and find it effective in minimizing the disruption, while allowing the continuation of instruction or an activity. While observing, I was able to see the use of empathy as it relates to classroom behavior. With each of these strategies, student learning was not disrupted, but in fact enhanced as empathy shows students the feelings others may have when we don’t listen well to them. The next time in my classroom when others are not listening to a fellow student while giving an answer, I hope to use this strategy.
In conclusion, the school community for my internship is a rich resource for learning. By observing other teachers, I can see principles of class management in action that helps me understand them better and inspire me to implement them in my classroom.
Fay, J. & Funk, D. (1995). Teaching with Love and Logic. Golden, CO: The Love and Logic Press.