Ask that question and you will without doubt get detailed and involved answers mostly I would guess based around politically correct statements!
In fact it could even be an exam question or a study question at University – the answers can be so involved and convoluted !
So let me direct your thoughts…..
WHO IS RUNNING THE SHOW ??
The brief answer is YOU ARE !…..and it’s YOUR class – so step up and act like its yours.
So why this straight answer and no political stuff from me?
Lets look at things a little deeper
- Your classroom is the room that’s been given to you – it has been set out by you and decorated by you with an aim to create the classroom area and environment that you want for learning to take place.
- You have decided on the displays, the positions of the furniture and where everything is laid out and it is you who decides who sits where and with whom.
- In addition you SHOULD be setting out the rules and routines that apply in the classroom and learning – making sure they are observed and leading by example from the front.
- Its YOUR job to create the learning environment and atmosphere in that classroom (atmosphere is very important) – so that all members of the class have maximum learning opportunities and lets be honest, fun days doing it!
- Its lastly your job to make sure your class makes maximum progress throughout their time with you. Note difference between learning opportunities and progress.
Ok so looking at the list above there is no mention of the children in organising the room or in fact anything else – and that’s the way it should be…….unless YOU decide otherwise.
As the school year progresses your classroom full of children evolves, changes and cements itself as a group rather than a set of individuals.
We do things together, we enjoy success, failure, happiness and sadness together – as a group we start to support each other. The whole dynamic changes and you can sense it happening.
In other words we become a team and the classroom becomes OURS rather than just the room where we are based.
You will notice the slow imperceptible change over the weeks and months – but it will be happening and Class 2 or Class 5 or whatever become “Your Class / My Class” and always
THE BEST CLASS IN THE SCHOOL
However getting rid of the soft focus romanticism we are now feeling and back to reality – these changes are fostered and supported by YOU – it doesn’t just happen. You as a class teacher must engineer it to happen, every lesson, every day and every week.
Now for some reading this you are going to say – “Charles you make it sound easy, as if it happens naturally – but I have some awful children in my class and it is always a struggle. So I am finding it impossible to get to that more relaxed enjoyable atmosphere that I want in my class!”
(Now that’s an excellent point – teaching is not an easy profession. Its not as shown on the TV adverts where all the pupils sit silently as the teacher demonstrates something or its all light and joy! There are classes with pupils that are difficult to handle – these sort of pupils will make it extremely difficult for you to promote and achieve the class atmosphere that you aim for and wish for all the pupils.
Don’t despair and certainly don’t give up….there are solutions for every problem.
Take a look at my examples and advice on behaviour management in the classroom for suggestions which will give you starting points on which to base your actions. Its never very pleasant having to deal with this sort of disruptive behaviour – but unless it is dealt with it will not go away and you will have the same struggles all year.
However what I am saying in this article is that its Your Classroom, your class of pupils and you create the environment that exists for those children to learn.
So step up – own your own classroom and lead by example. Put all the elements in place to create a well ordered fun, happy and caring environment and both you and the children will be able to call it