This week I had the opportunity to work with the teachers at Lawson Academy. The teachers at Lawson Academy are young and eager to learn. The first day I introduced the teachers to classroom management strategies. My approach to classroom management includes making connections with your students.
These connections are relationships that are connections that are made outside of the academic arena. For example, throughout the school year I make an effort to listen and allow my students to talk to me about things that have absolutely nothing to school. This gives me the opportunity to show the students that I’m interested in their academic success and the things that are important to them.
I can remember when I was in my second year of teaching and my principal brought in Dr. Rita Pierson from the aha! Process to talk to us about students of poverty. After listening to her my perception of my students changed. Thirteen years has passed and Dr. Pierson’s message of seeking to understand my students and building meaningful relationships is still as powerful as the first time I heard it as a new teacher.
Many teachers see classroom management as just a set of rules, routines, rewards, and consequences but it is more than that. All students must know that you care about them first before they will buy into any classroom management system. In the words of one of my summer school students “You listen to us miss.” because I listened to them they listened to me. As the new school year approaches I urge you make a connection with your students, seek to understand, and listen. It will make a world of difference when it comes to managing your classroom.