learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Classroom Management as a Subject

on February 14, 2014

During the month of January I spent my time in a third grade classroom in Dubuque, Iowa. One of the aspects of teaching I struggled with the most during my time there was classroom management. My students often exhibited less than acceptable behavior and I had difficulty finding a way to reestablish a sense of order in the classroom. I know that there was not much I could do to use my own classroom management style in the classroom, as there was not much management even when I wasn’t teaching. This definitely was a learning experience for me. In a way, I was happy to have had this experience because I don’t feel I would have learned as much from a perfectly behaved classroom. Since arriving back at Luther, we have been focusing on classroom management in my Social Studies Methods class. Thus, bringing me into the topic of this blog: Can classroom management be a “subject”?

I don’t think classroom management can be a subject in the school day, but I do believe it can be incorporated as a “subject” within a subject. It is certainly a topic that needs to be addressed right away at the beginning of the school year as well as being reinforced throughout the school year. Classroom management provides structure and a predictable environment. From my January experience, I can conclude that this “security” aspect of classroom management is vital for students – especially those who do not have the necessary structure in their home life. I would definitely incorporate the subject of classroom management into a social studies unit at the beginning of the year. First and foremost, many of the aspects of classroom management (goals, rules, etc.) are vital to understanding much of the social studies content. The Iowa CORE states that students will “Understand the rights and responsibilities of an individual to his/her social group” (www.educateiowa.gov). This directly correlates with classroom management, as students are using their responsibilities with regard to classroom management to benefit the social group (peers and teacher). There are also parts of the Iowa CORE social studies standards, such as Political Science/Civic Literacy, that connect to classroom management aspects.

Overall, I feel connecting work with classroom management to social studies content can be beneficial to students. The topic of classroom management can be taught through this lens because it can help students to see why social studies is relevant to them and how it will impact their future in different classrooms and in society. I also feel it can be taught through incorporating the ideas of voting and democracy into the classroom. Students should come up with the rules and vote on which rules they feel are the most important. In elementary grades, this can truly help students relate to what we do in the United Sates, thus connecting what is being done in the classroom to the “real world.” Going back to this throughout the year can help students to see the impact it has had on the classroom and can help them to see the importance of community that is emphasized in social studies.

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