Linking to learning

Expand your classroom management repertoire

Whether it is your first year teaching or you have been at it for a while, there is always room to expand your classroom management repertoire. One way you can do that is by taking advantage of the educational resources that are on the Internet. These resources go beyond the printed word and include videos on YouTube, discussions on Facebook and Twitter, and online classes from professional development organizations and NYSUT.

Education World provides a very rich resource on classroom management and covers a wide spectrum of issues. There are teacher-tested tips from the field and discussions of topics like homework, bullying and teasing, setting goals and a lot more. An archive of tools for teaching from Fred Jones covers everything from dealing with student back talk to a discussion about managing the lesson delivery.

While Education World would be a good place to start your personal professional development, other sites offer similar but less extensive resources. Try “You Can Handle Them All” which arranges discipline problems into categories for the causes of misbehaviors like attention, power, revenge and self-confidence. There are short descriptions of the misbehaviors in each category, as well as the effects on the class and the recommended responses by teachers. The site also points out the common errors teachers make when confronted by these challenging student behaviors.

Teachers Network has numerous resources for new and senior teachers who want to improve their classroom management skills. Once on the site, search for the term “classroom discipline.” This resource also offers a helpline where you can ask questions about managing your classroom. On the Web site, scroll down the left-hand navigation pane and click on NYC Helpline.

Video demonstrations that can help you internalize new classroom management strategies are also online. Go to YouTube and search for the term “classroom management.” One result is a 1947 training film from McGraw-Hill’s Teacher Education series. This video highlights the good, the bad and the ugly when dealing with inappropriate classroom behavior.

Even though this is a 62-year-old film, the classroom management advice that it depicts still rings true. There is an extensive series of videos on “positive discipline,” as espoused by Jane Nelson, and another series demonstrating some of the techniques in “Whole Brain Teaching.”

If you go to eHow, formerly known as “Expert Village,” and do a search for videos using the term “classroom discipline,” you will find a list with titles like “How to Teach and Understand Student Behavior,” or a 17-video series from early education teacher Stephanie Johnson called “Early Education Teaching Tips.”

The TeacherTube video library is not as extensive, but if you try a search with the term “discipline,” you get back more than 60 videos. Some are education-consulting firms’ training videos that invite you to buy their services, but these contain good demonstrations and make points that can help teachers develop better classroom management skills.

If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can join classroom management discussions with others.

Your personal professional development may include some online courses. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development offers multi media online courses. Click on the link to PD Online Courses. You can try a demonstration lesson and then browse the catalog. The classes cost $99 and are generally self-paced. However, you should be comfortable using the computer before you register.

NYSUT also offers online courses. Even though the registration deadline has expired for online classes this fall, the UFT’s state affiliate offers online classroom management courses that should be available in the spring. Once on the site, go to the course catalog and look for online classes.

In addition, the UFT divisional vice presidents offer onsite classroom management workshops in October. You can view the current UFT course catalog on the UFT Web site; just click here.

Just as there are learning styles, there are different approaches to maintaining classroom discipline. There is no quicker way to find out what might work for you than reviewing the different methodologies online.

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