Creating a Caring Community
In creating a caring community, students should get to know one another so that they can feel comfortable working together. After all, when graduating from high school they will have to form bonds with individuals that they have never met before. Therefore, it is important for students to work in groups to be able to feel a part of a community. As a teacher, I will make an effort in knowing all of my students and caring for their needs so that they can feel welcomed in my classroom. In my strategies, I will present what I will be addressing to the students or implementing in my classrooms.
- "Ice-Breaker" Students will say their names, something interesting about themselves, grade level, and what do they like about Physical Education.
- Students will have a group project in which they will build their own gym. "For example, collaborating in instruction by having students work in cooperative group learning structures or as co-teachers are obvious ways that students take responsibility for their own learning and the learning of classmates." (Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2010, pg 174)
- Every other week, students will seat in a different table or seat to build relationships with other classmates.
- As a teacher, I will give the students a brief story about myself. Therefore, they will get to know me and hopefully have something that they can relate to.
- Students will grade their classmate's homework and quizzes. "Equity among students and adults in educational decision making is more likely to promote active student participation and a climate of mutual respect than a situation in which adults make the decisions alone." ( Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2010, pg. 174)
- Lead by example and don't do things that I would not approve of in my classroom. For example, chewing gum in class or disrespecting a student in front of the classroom.
- Make sure students live a healthy lifestyle and present the students with videos such as "Super Size Me" to see the consequences of eating unhealthy food does to the body. "Health and safety or Act in a Safe and Healthy Way: This is one of the principle roles of government responsibility and must be taken seriously. Clear and published guidelines about the physical health and safety at school are essential to ensure a safe and secure learning environment." (Gathercoal)
- As a teacher, I want to be an active listener to my students and if I don't have time when presented I will make sure to make sometime during the week or the semester.
My plan is for students to become responsible individuals. It is important for them to know that when being a professional they will be held accountable in many ways. As a teacher, I will make sure to lead by example and held my students to high standards. In doing so, my classroom will be a great learning environment. My students will be able to have a greater understanding of what to expect when they are out of high school. They will be critical thinkers and have a greater understanding of what it takes to be a responsible individual. It is important that I demonstrate that myself because you have to lead by example or else you lose credibility. Therefore, in my strategies I will include responsibilities, how to be critical thinkers, and respectful individuals.
- The classroom rules will be in the wall for students to see.
- I will observe every student by walking around the room.
- Have students speak to me after class or after school. " Scheduling a follow-up conversation, either as an individual conversation or a consciousness-raising problem-solving agenda item for a class meeting, promotes future accountability and flexibility by having students reflect upon a behavior and find a more responsible alternative". (Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2010, pg. 178)
- Have a parent conference
- Every Friday, a student will be given an award for "Student of the Week".
- Give students responsibilities like being a "Greeter".
- Testing the students on the classroom rules in the beginning of the semester.
- Have the students find a solution for their misbehaving in class or else they can go have a discussion with the vice-principal or principal. "Peer mediation, is an additional recovery method whereby students collaboratively engage with classmates as supports to defuse anger and redirect students to productive solution finding." (Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2010, pg. 178)
- Address the student that is misbehaving privately in a respectful manner and ask the student why was he doing such actions.
- Avoid having the students being suspended and have the student come to a conclusion on why he is behaving the way he is instead of suspending the student. "In fact, these kinds of consequences to inappropriate behavior come with their own unintended consequences, because referrals, suspensions, and expulsions fail to teach students appropriate ways to behave." (Sprague, pg 11)
Long Term Supports- Life Skills
Students need to develop problem solving skills and have social skills to be able to be successful in the work force or in college. I will reinforce these skills on a daily basis because I feel that when they graduate from high school they will be equipped with skills that will make them a better person. It is important for my students to have an idea of what it is for adult to have to go to work or college so that they can be prepared in advanced in the outside world. Therefore, in my strategies I will present activities that will make my students critical thinkers and problem solvers.
- I will have the students write what their goals are.
- Students will form circles and have a discussion about real life issues. "Research tells us that, as they grow older, children who are social isolates are more at risk for a wide variety of problems, from academic underachievement to substance abuse." (Shapiro, pg 45)
- Kagan and Kagan (2008) describes a simple cool down procedure for intervening when students' emotions begin to "warm up". It can be used with an entire class or individual students." (Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2010, pg. 182)
- Have the students create the classroom rules with the teacher. "Enforce rules similarly for all students and let students have a say in setting classroom rules. Students will feel cared for, respected, and empowered when they can make decisions about their learning environment". (Brackett, pg 7)
- Have students discuss the activity or assignment that is being presented to them. "We would argue that teachers cannot afford not to teach social skills. These skills enable students to abide by the classroom and social contract and live by the values underlying this contract. They are skills that contribute to students' current and future quality of life." (Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2010, pg 179)
- Self-Control Scripts- "What are you doing?" helping script is specifically designed for adults to collaborate with students to help them take ownership of their behavior when it does not conform to the classroom or school social contract and expectations." (Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2010, pg 180)
Somewhere Else to Plan
Giving a student a Plan B on where to let out steam is a great strategy to have because it forces the student to evaluate the circumstance he/she is in. At times, students just need alone time because of the problems they are having at home or in other places. Some students are having to be the man of the house or the woman of the house in which they have to take care of their siblings. That forces them to grow up quicker and it takes away from their school work. Therefore, my strategies that I will use for when students are struggling at school and need to manage their emotions are:
- Have the student take a walk or step out of class so that they can analyze the situation in a safe and peaceful manner. "When a student refuses or is emotionally too out of control to use the in-class cooldown procedure or engage in planning using a problem-solving script, the solution is not to expel the student from the class and school but to create an opportunity for calming, thinking, planning, and committing to a plan to move forward." (Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2010, pg 183)
- Have students write about anything they want so that I can have a better understanding of how to assess them in my classroom or what they are going through in life. Sometimes students will write about what's going in their life just so that they can vent. "
- Give students the benefit of the doubt that they will improve on their behavior in class.
- Having a peacemaker circle. "Restorative practices work to address the needs of those harmed (e.g., other students, teachers, community members), and they work to ameliorate the harm through a balance of appropriate sanctions, restitution, and restorative processes, such as peacemaking circles and mediation". (Sprague, pg 12)
When students are provided with extra support from teachers it makes them more involved in the classroom. It makes the students feel that they can achieve anything that is put in front of them. Students at times, fail in the classroom or in life when they don't have an adult to go to for when they are having a difficult time with school work or life in general. The community is where the student is most likely to be influenced, therefore, as a teacher it is important to get to know the environment the student is in. In my strategies I will present the things that are important for me so that my students can feel that they have support from every adult in their life's or even their classmates.
- Create a positive environment in which students can express themselves with no fear of other students making fun of them.
- "Quality services and supports start and end with the IEP. And central to the IEP is a team-- comprised of a child's teachers, parents or family members, and any relevant service providers-- that meets at least annually to review the student's progress on goals and to establish goals for the next year". (The California Advisory Commission on Special Education)
- As a teacher, I will make sure to be involved in the community that I will be teaching at and raise awareness for those students that need additional help. "To make these connections, we must significantly change other behaviors-- that of the adults in our school and communities. What we as educators must first do is embrace our collective responsibility for all of our students. We can be leaders in this effort by convening our local community organizations and leaders to create a "system of care" for students who are at risk or in need of intensive behavioral supports". (The California Advisory Commission on Special Education)
- Disabled students will be treated as equal and will have a great impact in my classroom. "Research is clear: including students with disabilities in general education classrooms produces educational and social benefits for all students." (The California Advisory Commission on Special Education)
- Brackett, M. (2011). Creating emotionally literate classrooms: An introduction to the the RULER approach to social and emotional learning. Port Chester, N.Y.: Dude Pub.
- Gathercoal, Forrest. Judicious Discipline. Retrieved September 28, 2014. http://www.dock.net/gathercoal/judicious_discipline.html
- Shapiro, L. (2004). 101 ways to teach children social skills: A ready-to-use, reproducible activity book. S.l.: Bureau for Youth at Risk.
- Sprague, J. (2014). Integrating PBIS and Restorative Discipline. 11-15.
- "The California Advisory Commission on Special Education." Secondary Classroom Management Plan. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
- Villa, R.A. Thousand, J.S. & Nevin, A.I. (2010). Chapter 9: Students as Collaborators in Responsibility, Collaborating with Students in Instruction and Decision Making, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, p. 171-188.