Want more meaningful classroom management? Here are 8 questions teachers can ask

Shalaby encourages teachers to use new models of power that are fair and democratic. For example, teachers can choose Don’t let the kids out When they misbehave in class.

“Practice those issues with kids when you’re really trying to take care of every single person without taking people out of your space,” says Shalaby. Kids who break the rules will also develop the skills needed to take responsibility. “We’re all in this project together and in this space together, and we have to figure out how to do it for 180 days.”

2. Am I serving the children with a comprehensive set of rules that eliminate all potential conflict, harm, and drama?

Sometimes rules are used to preempt any potential problems that may come up in the classroom. But disagreements and conflicts can arise for children and in the future when they become adults.

“All the problem solving robs kids of the opportunity to practice how to solve problems,” Shalaby says When teachers eliminate the possibility of conflict, children don’t learn the fundamentals they need, she said. For example, students may have a hard time working well in small groups without adults because they lack the skills to find solutions on their own.

“Kids understand that a person in power can do this,” Shalaby said.

While solving problems cooperatively may seem like more work than deciding and enforcing rules, Shalaby said it takes more time in the long run to constantly redirect kids when they fail to comply.

3. If a student asks ‘Why?’ Asks, so will your policy stand up to the 30+ youth collectively seeking independence from individually smart and relentless scrutiny?

Saying “because I said so” can lead to “the nightmare of an unwinnable power struggle” against students, Shalaby said. And it’s not worth it.

“The main way to waste time in the classroom is through power struggles,” he said. “It’s exhausting. It’s driving teachers out of our profession. It’s driving kids out of school.”

4. Do these classroom rules only exist because my personal pet pees?

Teachers can tell students that a rule is based on an individual pet’s urine, but they should be prepared to accommodate each pet’s urine because teachers are another member of the classroom community, Shalaby said.

Making room for each person’s unique characteristics is difficult for students and teachers alike when everyone is used to deferring to one teacher. Students discover how to deal with the tensions and questions that arise as they try to make everyone feel like they belong.

“It’s a place and time to build skills around loss, how we treat each other, how and we care for each other and what the real challenges are in balancing what I need with what a group needs,” Shalaby said. “These are really hard democratic issues that kids need years of practice with.”

5. Are my actions based on safety or control cultivation?

A common misconception, according to Shalaby, is that more rules make the classroom safer.

“They exert more control over people, more restricting their rights so they can be trusted, an effort to try to avoid bad things,” he said.

Shalaby acknowledged that security and regulation are complex issues these days in light of recent school shootings. Schools in response Monitoring the movement of students Around the campus, seema What they are allowed to bring to school and even limited What they are allowed to wear.

As an alternative, count on increased security to keep students safe, Shalaby points out Research It has been reported that youth are less likely to engage in community violence when they participate in social activities such as mentorships, arts programs and after-school sports. Providing students with access to practices and activities that foster belonging without relying on rules to regulate their bodies and behavior increases safety.

6. Am I defining security in a way that requires control or freedom?

When schools use restrictive regulations, Security and surveillance To make schools safer, they operate on the assumption that taking away student autonomy will lead to safety. According to Shalby, freedom is an essential part of security.

“Security is the exercise of freedom with responsibility,” he said. “To learn how to do this, students need to practice being accountable to others.”

If the rules are too restrictive, students don’t have the opportunity to make decisions to keep each other safe. Instead of relying on restrictions as a means of protection, Shalaby recommends a “we keep us safe” mentality. “We consider our actions in terms of how they influence and affect other people. We learn to take responsibility for the harm we cause and learn to make things right. They increase our security.”

7. Do I have to act like a police officer or an educator to enforce this rule?

If a student is on their phone during class, a teacher can ask the student to put the phone away or even confiscate the phone. And they probably have to do it several times a week. “It’s a policy that no matter how strictly they enforce it, kids break the rules,” says Shalby

Recent studies show that viewing is tempting Cell phone screens are powerful for young peoplewho can get Hundreds of notifications during a school day. Instead of getting into a power struggle with his students over policing their phone use, he turns it into a conversation.

“No one tells me when or how I can use my phone,” Shalaby said of the complex decisions about using her phone as an adult outside of school. “What is the real and genuine and authentic opportunity to teach and learn something about freedom?'”

She moves away from trying to get rid of phones entirely to helping students make safe and healthy decisions about screen time and responsible phone use. They can discuss how to change settings to get fewer notifications, understand the addictive nature of phones, and how their phone use can affect other students.

8. Why should I teach?

Teachers make decisions that are consistent with why they teach.

“If the reason I teach is to provide instruction in a content area, then nothing else matters,” says Shalaby “If the reason I teach is that I want a safer, freer, and more beautiful world than the one we have now, and I believe in young people as the stewards of that possible future, then I’m going to take different steps in each of my fields. Give as a teacher.”

Historically, academics have played an important role in the freedom movement and at the forefront of the struggle. They registered people to vote, promoted literacy campaigns, and organized students to advocate for civil rights. Shalby said today’s teachers can continue the work of teachers who came before and give students opportunities and skills to practice and build a better world.

At the same time, it is difficult to be a teacher now.

“Teachers are abused, mistreated, disrespected and invested in, so it’s a difficult and painful question to ask people why they’re teaching now,” says Shalaby.

Envisioning a new world with students keeps him from feeling depressed because he is actively working toward a future where everyone, including teachers, is valued.

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