You Can Teach Classroom Management
Diana Greenhouse came into education via an Alternative Certification Program in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2004. She was one of a thousand teachers sitting in the audience as Harry was explaining “How to Be an Effective and Successful Teacher.”
Her first teaching job was in the Joshua Independent School District in Texas where she has been since 2005.
After her first month of teaching, we received an email from Diana and she said, “My school year is going so smoothly and it’s all because I have a plan. I started the school year with a PowerPoint presentation of my classroom management plan to organize and structure my classroom and the students all know what to do.” Click here to read about her plan.
What we didn’t expect was an email from Diana at the end of her first year of teaching. She said, “What an incredible school year this has been. When I look back at all I’ve accomplished in one school year, it takes my breath away. My students learned and I loved every minute of teaching and it all started with that very first minute of the very first day. I started out my school year with a PowerPoint presentation of my classroom management plan and I closed it with another."
Now Diana had us hanging because we had never heard of a closing of the school year school PowerPoint presentation. We asked her what this was. She said that during the last week of school she gave each one of her students a blank PowerPoint template and said, "I want you to do three things on that template. Put your name on it. Share your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations. And finally, tell us what this school year has meant to you."
Diana assembled each student's PowerPoint slides and on the last day of school every student stood in front of the classroom with their slides. They shared their names, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, and what the school year meant to them. And Diana sat in the back of the classroom and cried all day long.
She says, "Thank you for giving me a gift that can't be taken away."
And what's that gift? That gift is a classroom management plan for her success and for her students' success.
Her Second Year of Teaching
At the end of her second year of teaching, we get another email from Diana. She says, "I need your advice. The school district has asked me to take over the district's gifted and talented program and I am wondering if I should do it." Our advice was that the research has shown that it takes 4 to 5 years to learn how to be an effective teacher. We assured her that her time would come and there would be a future for her. We encouraged her to continue developing her skills as an effective teacher. She turned down the district's kind offer and returned to the classroom.
Her Fourth Year of Teaching
At the end of Diana's fourth year, the district asked her to conduct a workshop on classroom management for the entering new teachers.
Now recognize that by the fourth or fifth year, 50 percent of the teachers who enter teaching have already left the profession. Yet, the Joshua Independent School District asked Diana, in her fourth year of teaching, to conduct a workshop for the district's new teachers.
We contend that all new teachers need not drop out of teaching, provided you know "How to Teach," not what program, philosophy, or ideology you are trying to implement.
Have you spent your formative years learning how to be proficient
Her Sixth Year of Teaching
At the end of Diana's fifth year, 2010, the district asked her to move from the elementary school to be an Assistant Principal at the middle school.
The message is loud and clear.
Diana continued to teach the district's classroom management workshop using a PowerPoint presentation with a bank of 28 slides.
Most of the slides are germane to district information. However, we have selected the four most important slides to share with you:
1. Classroom Management, its organization
Click here to see these four slides.
If you are an administrator or staff developer, you can use these four slides
When you look at Diana’s presentation and read what she does to prepare her new teachers, you know you are learning from someone with credibility. This is what she has accomplished:
If you know what you are doing, you can be successful
Examples of Classroom Management Implementation
You don't need to be an administrator to benefit from the PowerPoint presentation she uses to train the new teachers in her district. If you are a teacher, everything you need to start and manage a classroom successfully is in the four slides used by Diana Greenhouse.
Michelle St. John is a Title 1 teacher at Buhl Middle School in Idaho. She heard us speak two months ago at a preschool presentation and one week later began her first year of teaching. She said in a recent email, “Everything is going extremely well. I have had no discipline problems and I give credit to the procedures that I have in place. My first week is done and it was fantastic!!
"When the students enter the classroom, they see 'Welcome Work,' the agenda for the day, the bell schedule, and 'I can' statements."
The glow in Michelle's email was a result of her implementing the following procedures:
Michelle implemented these procedures as well:
Michelle says, "I am so excited to be teaching!"
Karen Rogers is a high school biology teacher. She is proud that she has become a specialist with At-Risk/SPED students in her school. She says, "My success is because I provide so much structure and consistency in my classroom."
When the students enter the classroom, there is always an agenda and objective posted.
Once the bellwork time is complete, she always starts by thanking them for something and telling them the "game plan" for the day even though it is clearly posted on the board. They even tease her, "So what's the game plan, Ms. Rogers?" It sets the stage for the class period. The students know what to expect and they get right to work.
Karen finally says, "Another reason I am good with At-Risk/SPED kids (all kids) is my ability to love and forgive. So many people in my life love and support me in spite of all my shortcomings. I must give it back. If a kid lashes out, displays negative, attention-seeking behaviors, or has personal issues which are having a negative influence at school, I can still love and teach them.
That's exactly what Diana Greenhouse and Michelle St. John typify, too. The beauty of having a classroom management plan is that it helps you to know what you are doing and students feel safe and secure with teachers who know what they are doing.
Classroom Management Is Simple
The elegance of a perfect rose does not happened by chance. The grower took great pains to cultivate the soil, apply just the right amount of fertilizer, snip and trim the branches, and provide water as needed. The process was simple, but it took hard work to achieve the beautiful flower.
The same is true in classrooms with a classroom management plan. We know what to do to make it work—just look through the 100+ columns on this website and all of the successful application stories we've written. The process of creating the plan was simple, but it took many hours of hard work and dedication to produce a classroom where learning takes place—even without the teacher present.
Classroom management is simple—we didn't say it was easy. It is hard work to organize young people to prepare them for learning.
As Michelle St. John says, "I am so excited to be teaching! "Classroom management makes that happen for you and your students. Teaching is exciting and rewarding, once you have your classroom organized and the students ready to learn.
Learn from the examples in this article and the 100+ columns in the teachers.net archive. These effective teachers, administrators, and leaders know what to do and how to do it, and are successful at it. You can do it, too!
For a printable version of this article click here.