Classroom Management Resources      Shindler      School Climate      PLSI       Teaching   -    Workshops by JVS

 

Alma Gomez

EDEL 590

Action Research Project

 

 

            A. Action Research and Diagnosis

Phase I- Problem Identification

In my opinion and through my experience, respect is a foundation for greatness in character and will help the student in the learning process.  After teaching in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for a Catholic school for the past ten years and interacting with elementary and junior high students, I have found that the lack of respect is a mannerism that causes students to delay learning.  I work in an environment where parents and God play an enormous role in the student’s life.  Still, respect is an issue.  The lack of, is the issue.  Being that respect is an integral part of the student’s demeanor, the lack of it hinders their scholastic growth and can affect their ability to focus on the reason why they attend school.  While educating the student on respect, the academia is put on hold.  Thus, the primary focus is discipline and not instructing. 

Question: How can I create a sense of respect in the classroom?

1.    How does “respect” manifest itself in the classroom?  

2.    How do teachers show respect for their students, peers, and themselves?

3.    How do students show respect for their teachers, peers, and themselves?

4.    Do students and teachers define “respect” the same way?

 

 

Phase II- Plan of Action

Before initiating any academia to the classroom, I will identify everybody’s role in the classroom.  I am the teacher, the guide, and they are the student.  Basic concepts of discipline with purpose with emphasize on respect will be addressed.  After defining respect in a manner that will satisfy the school policies and the class autonomy, the students will have the opportunity to participate in the autonomy.  With my help, the students will conduct a meeting to personalize the class autonomy to fit their specific needs.  The process will be adjusted periodically throughout the school year.  A suggestion box would be the source of adjusting the autonomy.  That will help with any changes needed to better their small community within their classroom.   Those changes will take place directly and indirectly in a loving and kind approach.  I respect them as human beings and they will become my reflection.

 

 

Phase III-Data Collection

To ensure the consistency of the Plan of Action, specific steps must be taken.  Fundamental strategies like suggestion boxes, observations, and weekly reports (then newsletters) will be carried out.  Information and suggestions are needed from all parties involved: teacher, students, and parents.  A guide will be posted in the classroom bulletin on how to write out a constructive suggestion. 

1.    Suggestion box for the teacher: The teacher will express the overall weekly experience of the class as a whole and target individual situations.   

2.    Suggestion box for the students: The students will anonymously share their ideas about the class environment and their classmates.

3.    Suggestion box for the parents: Their input is critical to fill in the gaps.      

4.    Weekly News Letters:          The end product of weekly activities, notices and the overall  

5.    Diaries/ Journals: A student daily of school and their feeling about the classroom community

6.    Observations: Record observations of student behavior, reactions and progress during implementation

7.    Questionnaires: Of attitudes, opinions, preferences, information

 

Question

Question

My teacher cares about me

Students at my school are friendly

My teacher is a good teacher

I have freedom at this school

My teacher believes I can learn

Students at my school treat me with respect

My family believes I can do well in school

I have choices in what I learn

My family wants me to do well in school

 

 

 

Phase IV-Analysis of Data

The data accumulated from the Data Collection will assist in establishing a more successful plan of action to achieve the core fundamental idea of respect.  A map is being formed through the data  to make it easier for the teacher  to get from point A to point B in the most valuable and productive manner.  That data is a reliable source of information to facilitate change in an orderly manner and it may guarantee a higher percentage rate of effectiveness.  Perceptual data is valuable and useful to ensure positive change.  The setting is then appropriated by the data analysis outcome.  Journaling is another source of data input but at a personal level.  The student reveals thoughts and feelings about situations otherwise not known.  Student interviews allow me to know how the student feels aside of what they write.  Parent questionnaires form another component to finalize the full scoop of the classroom-student overall view.  That feedback becomes an aid to help with strategies, techniques or rules from a parent-adult perspective.  Finding what works in a specific classroom is an accumulation of different source feedback data analysis.  This helps towards better understanding the demeanor of the students and how to better accommodate their needs.  A concrete foundation leads to a long lasting product.

 

 

Phase V-Plan for Future

I learned that classroom management is essential for an effective learning environment and can be established in different ways.  Respecting the students with benevolence and responsibility generates a chain effect.  Implementation of regulations with value, assist the student in acquiring a sense of regard which in turn enhances their overall learning experience.  With these concepts in play, the student is clear in constructing a desire and passion for learning.  A closed domain within the classroom explores the student for less to work with and higher productivity outcome.  Confinements lead to better understanding the material presented in class.  Daily lesson plans with this concept forms a routine of high expectations that fillers onto outside situations.  This concept becomes second nature to the student.

 

B. Goals and Vision Setting

Goals for Classroom Climate

My goal is to establish a bond with my students therefore establishing trust.  That has proven to form a sense of mutual respect.  In order to generate this, the delivery by me, the teacher, is crucial. Initiating a game plan is in order for the class as a whole.

1.    As the teacher I will motivate the students in open communication forums with structure.

2.    Ask formulated questions to spark up conversations.

3.    The atmosphere must foster and encourage expression without fear.

4.    Allow students to express their views.

5.    Show interest on my behalf with a positive demeanor.

6.    Promote that positive deportment among the students.

7.    Thus generating a classroom climate of respect.

 

To fortify the classroom climate, an individual game plan is in order.

1.    Questions for journal work.

2.    Students individually asses their views without restrain in their journals.

3.    Periodically throughout the week, students will share their views with me.

4.    The findings will then be collected and presented in an orderly manner.

 

They can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.  Goal oriented minds are powerful tools that can yield large returns in all areas of a student's life.  Having the basis of respect towards themselves and others is a higher level of accomplishments becoming action.   

 

Mission Statement

I will advocate for the students in the right to develop their character for the greater good.  Character counts.  Respect is the forefront of this journey.  Teaching with action is the best tool to guide a student to respect.  Daily maintenance, continuity, tenacity, patience, responsibility and kindness is the line taken to succeed in helping a student delight in this greatness.  This is the key to maintain order in the classroom.  The key thus opens the front door to facilitate my job as a scholastic instructor…

I hereby announce, “To teach the knowledge and skills, nurture the confidence and character, and inspire the passion needed for students to achieve their goals, excel and positively impact the community through excellence in thought and action.”

 

 

C. Technical Management Plan

Directions, transitions, procedures

 

The school year is initiated with an icebreaker, introducing each other, and introducing a student friendly scholastic outline.  The outline consists of an overview of the school year, a time line of the curriculum.  Students will have a school year map of what is expected scholastically from them.   School is for learning information but also gaining insight.  The curriculum consists of assignments homework, classroom, projects, group work, and extra credit.  Students are directed in basic classroom direction.   From the time the student enters the classroom, classwork, homework, break, curriculum times, socializing within classmates and project work is directed and conducted clearly.  Explanations are given through examples to avoid confusion.  Although the class structure may seem predictable, changes and adjustments are needed to accommodate specific circumstances.  The classroom routines for transitions, such as entering and exiting the classroom is basic but can make a difference with time productivity.  Group assignments, sitting arrangements and other clustering of students are dealt with directional instruction, transitionally oriented by time and preceded with leader and sub-leader roles.  While attendance is being taken, students arriving to class, or transitioning from subject to subject, student are stimulated intellectually by answering board questions or problem solving board.  The questions are student friendly, enjoyable but brain working. 

 

Signal technique

 

Signal techniques are useful to create a personalized language to guide the student in an effective, productive, and functioning approach.  Directly and indirectly teacher cue features are applied and students are apt to understanding them with respect and responsibility.  Cues are explained and my experience, students are able to catch on quickly.  Cues are needed like the raising of a hand to be acknowledged, counting down for speedy attention from the classroom as a whole, and targeting students for individual disciplinary action.  Individual cues help in disciplinary conversations not taking place across the room.  Although it is important to address individual behavioral problems immediately and directly, it is crucial to not belittle students and not take valuable time from the rest of the class.

 

Homework accountability

 

Students will be given specific guidelines for homework accountability.  In my class, if students do not turn in homework they are required to complete it during their recess time, for no credit.  The student understands that in my class, there are like in the work place.  They have responsibilities and respect their role.  Finish work assignments and be paid with credit or a grade.  No work, no pay.  Just like in the real world.  I am fair.  The homework assignments are enjoyable but challenging. Incomplete work with a viable explanation may be taken into consideration, but every case dealt with on a case to case basis. 

 

 

D. Motivation, Expectations, Emotional Climate

Motivational goals and philosophy

 

The student is a reflection of the person in charge, the teacher.  Maintaining equilibrium with motivational feedback from the teacher supports the student in feeling important.  The student in turn will do well.  In order for the students to commit motivationally they must feel that they have some control over both setting and achieving the goal. Otherwise, it becomes merely an issue of compliance.  It is like forcing them to play a game without knowing or participating in making the rules.   Even though it is the norm for us to have control of many certain aspects of the classroom, involving learners in the facilitation of meeting their own learning goals is a key to learner motivation.  If I, as the teacher can give the students control over some aspects of their learning, that gives more responsibility to the student and less responsibility for me to account for.  These are the following ways a learner is responsible.  Give learners a list of assignments and let them choose the order in which they will complete them.  They will decide the due dates for assignments, materials they will use, and who they will work with.  This allows them to learm scholastic information by socializing and growing as individuals in a small community.  This will empower students by allowing them to take ownership of an optimistic future, with positive attitudes and a real chance for success.

 

Strategies for motivation

 

1.    Allowing my students to help govern the classroom.  At the beginning of the school year I will let the students help write the classroom rules and appropriate consequences. 

Hold daily "Morning Meetings" to discuss the classroom goings-on with the students, this gives the students a voice, and students with a voice feel more powerful, important, and respected.

2.    Lead by example! If you want to be respected, you must first be respectful. I will be respectful myself and demand respect in the classroom.  I will not scream or use impolite sarcasm.  Staying positive and encouraging the students will help students stay respectful themselves.   

3.    I strongly believe in making learning fun because it makes my job fun.  I give students some freedom in their learning and it allows them to incorporate their creativity. Also integrating technology into the lessons always keeps students more tuned-in when they are motivated and excited by what they are doing.

 

Satisfying basic needs/ Emotional climate expectations

 

Emotional balance maximizes the ability for the student to succeed in the academia world.  The classroom is not only a place of learning for students, but also the work place for the teacher. As such, the physical environment must meet both student and teacher needs. If the classroom does not meet the needs of either party, there will be a lack of satisfaction resulting in a negative experience for the teacher and the students.  The classroom itinerary is based on daily structural activities with room for creativity.   Even though there may be physical changes, the routine and procedures will remain the same and my disposition will be consistent.  Realistic there are many ways to get from point A to point B.  If something does not work, I will try something else until I find what works.  There after, be consistent with what works for the students and their emotional development.  The emotional expectation climate is positive, healthy, and nurturing.  Sowing a seed in fertile soil makes for fruitful growth.  Because the students are growing, constent fine tuning is in order.  This, in turn meets the motivational and emotional needs of all learners.

 

 

D. Whole Class Level Goals and Strategies

Creating community and/ or responsibility

 

When you build feelings of belonging and safety in your classroom, you increase your ability to engage students' minds. This atmosphere supports the efficient and effective delivery of curriculum content to students.  An environment of responsibility matures the students levels beyond their comprehension of self responsible can greatly motivate students.  Students that are struggling or about to begin a challenging and perhaps risky learning activity, respectful encouragement and support are especially in order.  One form of encouragement is to provide regular and positive feedback.

            As a teacher it is my primary responsibility to teach my students with a personalized learning plan, making adjustments to match my students’ abilities, levels and pace of learning.  I know that in order to have a successful plan I need to assess students’ educational needs, abilities, interests, motivation and earning styles.  Also teaching children about respecting differences among people and talking about differences among classmates is a good way for children to learn how they are unique and special.  Being respectful of others may also mean respecting differences in the way others look or act.  Children who know how they are unique and special will better prepare them to handle an encounter with someone who is not respectful of individual differences

 

 

 

Consequences

 

Creating an environment of harmony and belonging will help the child feel part of a closed domain therefore freeing and exploring the possibilities of engaging in situations with a higher of self-esteem.  Although some students may not understand the concept now, with time and valuable effort changes will occur.  It is important to involve the students in your classroom rule-making. They are more likely to follow rules that they themselves have created and it will allow for my students to maintain a good classroom environment.  The classroom rules also need to be modeled and enforced throughout the year.  It is sometimes easy to not want to enforce classroom rules but the students need to know that I, the teacher, is following through and there are expectations that are required from every person in the class.  I also need to be a good model for the classroom rules.  "The most important action an effective teacher takes at the beginning of the year is creating a climate for learning." Mary Beth Blegan, former U.S. Department of Education teacher-in-residence

 

Dealing with difficult students and extreme cases

 

When dealing with difficult students it is important to not be subjective.  Not involving in level discussions or arguments.  I am the teacher and they are the student.  There is no power struggles, just solutions.  When students make comments or engage in behavior that can trigger me to get upset I do not allow my anger to take over.  I do not want my reaction to escalate the student’s misbehavior and have it result in a power struggle.  Knowing my place in the situation can I then speak with integrity and truth.  Using affective strategies that will promote peace and respect is the key to dealing with extreme cases.  Although students may appear to accept or even relish lax teachers with low standards, they ultimately come away with more respect for teachers who believe in them enough to demand more, both academically and behaviorally.

 

Social bonds, class coherence

 

When children are part of a community and understand their place, the classroom becomes a warm safe and comfortable environment.  With well guided structural ambience comes with well structural students.  It then becomes automatic that respect is not a compromise but a fundamental building block for success.  If students know the teachers expectations and understand the classroom goals, they are more likely to meet them and perform to their fullest potential.  I will start at the beginning of the school year and implement my plan all year long because respect also provides management in the classroom.  Not only does respect establish an obedient conduct among the students but also a bond between both the students and the teacher.  Without respect students lose interest in listening to their teacher, which can result in a lack of effectiveness of understanding of the material.  Therefore, to attain the most effective results of a manageable classroom, respect needs to be addressed on both sides, by the teacher and by the student.  By providing respect toward the class, the teacher establishes equality and fairness.  Having respect for one another is beneficial for maintaining a classroom that encourages learning.