All students need some sort of structure and consistency within the classroom. How much of each depends on the classroom of students you have at the time. I believe it is best to outline from the beginning your expectations of the students in the classroom. Also in turn students can give expectations of the teacher. This approach shows respect and acknowledges everyone’s role in the classroom. I feel like just having respect as your only rule is too vague for middle school years especially. I feel like respect is set up with the expectations of students. To have respect as your only rule does not have any structure to it. By having clear and consistent guidelines this helps teach the students how to respect. Giving respect is not inherent knowledge. It is something that needs to be experienced and taught. I feel like respect is the outcome from setting guidelines and boundaries.
Knowing your students and building relationships is key in classroom management. Some classes need a procedure or ‘rule’ for everything. This is where the dojo system may work. It would give students motivation and visual representation of how they are behaving. With the dojo system students could easily lose motivation once they have made it to their objective or feel like they are never going to make it there.
My coop is running a managed classroom. She knows her group of students and knows that if she gives them an inch they will take a mile. She has clearly laid out her rules and expectations in her classroom. She even gave Darrien and me a sheet on how she manages her classroom. I feel like she is fair and gives good warning prompts to her students. She has the dojo system in place and it is partly due to a few students who do need this system in place. She felt instead of those select students doing it on their own she would make it a classroom project. I feel like she is quite clear, fair and consistent with her classroom management and hope to be able to take away some of that for when I am in my own classroom.
For me I am all about laying it out in front for the students. I hope I am clear of what I expect from them and what they expect of me. I would like to discuss what they think would be appropriate to do if things were not followed and have that discussion. I also do not want to micromanage the students at all. I want to give them the expectations then if they need to be heightened or lessened is up to them.