This is the first class of MMSEL in 2012. It is exactly in the day after Christmas holiday. We are in the chapter 9 “Planning for Effective Classroom Management”. In this meeting, I get a chance to be a facilitator of the lesson. However, in this post, I will not talk about our group preparation but more on the lesson and knowledge itself.
The first sub-topic is principles in planning effective classroom. There are five principles in this part. What I like most is the part of classroom organization. It stated there that it is better to create a rule not to exclude classmates than giving emotional support directly to the excluded students.
This point reminds me of what happened in elementary school. There is one student, named A, who was excluded by my friends because she was considered a low achiever and a very silent girl. She is very seldom in speaking even when teacher asked her to. What my teacher did was keep warning us not to exclude her. She often gave emotional support for this girl but she allows her not to speak during the class (which was the reason why the class excludes her). It seemed like my teacher even exclude A in speaking during the class by making this exception. It did not make the class accept A, but even ensure the class to believe that A is exceptional and should be excluded. From this point, I know that classroom organization was very important to promote social acceptance.
The second sub-topic was about the difference in managing elementary and secondary class. At first I thought that there will be no different in managing both levels of classes. But in fact, yes there are differences.
It is easier for elementary teacher to manage the class when the rule has been established. It was because elementary students still see teacher as “respectful” person an d should be obeyed. When a student is breaking the rule, the power of reprimand is more powerful when it is seen by elementary students rather than secondary students.
Secondary students have tendency to break the rule although they know that it is not allowed and even knowing the consequences. It is just their characteristics to have a rebellious behavior towards the rule being established. That is why sometimes, it is a lot more effective if teacher ask students to create rule together. When they are treated as the rule maker itself, there will be fewer tendencies to break in the future.
From this meeting I learn that as teacher, there are five principles that can be a guidance to plan effective classroom. More importantly, derived from that principles, teacher should be aware of students’ characteristics, whether it is cognitive one or emotional characters.