Teachers are always looking for ways to improve their classrooms, and classroom management is often at the top of the list. When your management system in place, your class can run like a finely tuned machine. However, some classes can be a challenge. The strategies you’ve used in the past just aren’t working and you search and search for help. You talk to colleagues, read books, scour the internet, and maybe attend a workshop - but you worry that change midstream might not work. The kids have formed their habits, gotten into routines, and formed their opinions. Anything you do now could be “too little, too late.” So, you wait for the next semester, or maybe even next year, accepting the situation as “the way it is.” Don’t fall into this trap! New strategies can be implemented tomorrow and improve your classroom for you and your students.
The best example of this I have is in the following video, “Mrs. Garcia’s Freedom Writers.” Theresa Garcia had a class that was running her ragged. She received Tools for Teaching training early in the second semester. Tired, desperate, and frustrated she started to implement the skills she had learned and soon that class became her favorite, and she became theirs. Watch the video and see for yourself.
It is never too late to make changes to your classroom, and sometimes a small thing can make a huge difference. Changing your room arrangement to increase your mobility is the easiest thing you can do. Becoming more mobile allows you to use your proximity to the students to prevent undesirable behavior. We call it “Working the Crowd” and it was the topic of one of our first blogs. When I see teachers after they have had time to implement Tools for Teaching Working the Crowd is the first thing they want to talk about. I get comments like, “I rearranged the desks and made a point to be more mobile, it’s amazing how well this works.” Read the blog or chapters 3 and 4 of Tools for Teaching. Start there, but start tomorrow. Just because it’s the end of the school year, doesn’t mean you can’t right the ship.