Having an awareness of accountability plays a paramount part in shaping the impressionable minds of children. Literally, when a teacher walks into the classroom, the undivided attention needs to be on the accountability factor.
Teachers raise up a nation; the ultimate hope is to produce the next generation of thinking, creative, productive, responsible, accountable citizens. Having an awareness of the above factors is the foundation for gaining control of the classroom.
The Care Factor
Children have built in radar that detects genuine love and care and they’re abruptly honest with their feelings; so, getting the message across to students that “I’m here for you” is another factor in getting student’s attention and control of the classroom.
How to bring it all together
Start by letting students know what will be expected of them during the duration of time spent in the classroom. Children test their boundary limits; they want to know who the teacher is and what they’re capable of getting away with; thus, they will push the teacher’s buttons in order to learn the teacher’s strengths and weaknesses.
As soon as students test their environment, they need to immediately learn that there’re consequences for their actions; especially if the action harms or disrupts the rest of the class.
Giving consequences for not adhering to classroom expectations, needs to take place immediately; no second chances.
It’s important for students to realize that the teacher is consistent regarding classroom expectations; any inconsistencies leaves room for students to receive an impression that the teacher goes back and forth; which leaves wiggle room for disruption.
If the teacher is inconsistent with living up to the expectations, the students will perceive the teacher as being weak and not having the experience to provide them with what they need; as a result, children will challenge the teacher’s authority, and bring chaos to the classroom.
So, post and discuss classroom expectations and consequences for not adhering; get confirmation that every student understands. Tough love starts after everyone understands; zero tolerance.
The next challenge is becoming familiar with student’s different learning styles, needs, gifts and talents. So, how do you cater to a classroom of children with all those multiple variables?
Assign personal journal writing. The purpose of the journal is for the teacher to receive a glimpse into the lives of the students; to gain knowledge about their likes, dislikes, gifts and talents, what they do best; it gives the teacher a firsthand account of a student’s writing skills and provides information to use as a conversation piece in getting to know the students. Students can be assigned topics or choose what they would like to write about.
Write comments in the journals and use the information to build rapport with students, the student’s will realize the teacher cares and has an interest in them.
Another method for getting control of the classroom is through the process of inquiry. Rather than spoon feed students, involve students in the learning process. Students learn better when their brains are stimulated; getting the student’s perspectives via classroom discussion creates for an active learning environment.
Children bore easily; keeping their attention is paramount in getting and keeping control of the classroom. It’s unfair to expect children to be on their best behavior if they are bored; they will entertain themselves. The teacher’s challenge is to keep the students desiring to keep coming back!