I read another article recently about Classroom Management. The author in this article was actually critical of Classroom Management because they thought that in some cases it was being used not to provide a safe and secure environment for teaching but to control students. This author’s description of Classroom Management portrayed it as a system of coercion and restraint or just a means to control students. This is not Classroom Management as I perceive or practice it.
The title of our book is “The Self-Managed Classroom”. Yes, it is about Classroom Management but the emphasis is on “Self”. Our focus is on teaching students to manage themselves so that they can participate in an environment where the students are free to learn unhampered by noise and chaos and lack of discipline. We start with the little things like teaching students how to control their blurting out in class. We then focus on teaching cause and effect or actions and consequences with an emphasis on who caused the effect or consequence. We teach the meaning of accountability, responsibility and credibility. And we teach work ethic. This is obviously an oversimplification of what we do but its purpose is to teach students that they can control themselves and the benefit of self-control is freedom from other control. In other words, if you can manage yourself, you don’t need a manager.
What we strive to teach is not just a tool for teachers to help them become more effective. We are also teaching students life skills that will help them succeed in and out of the classroom.