Opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent any other organization or affiliation I may have.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Certainty of Consequences makes them effective

One of the things many Teachers-Teaching-On-Call struggle with is classroom management. There are thousands of books, workshops, websites that deal with approaches and ideas and strategies, however, most focus on full time classroom teacher techniques and how to develop these over time. As a TTOC, you have limited time. Everyday you walk in fresh and need to establish routines and classroom management in an instant. 

I helped develop a workshop on Classroom Management for TTOCs which is put on by the BCTF. I love presenting the workshop, because I learn new ideas everytime.[If you want to book it is free for B.C. locals, contact the BCTF] But, as an educator, I am always seeking new ideas and strategies to implement or experiment with in my teaching. 

I loved this quote:

"It's the certainty of the consequence and not the severity that makes the consequence effective."

This is so true! Like with parenting, or puppy training (strange connection, but we recently got a new puppy and so I see the similarities) consistency, clarity and certainty of a consequence makes it more effective than the severity. If my daughter misbehaves, she knows the consequences. They aren't severe (lose computer time, lose play dates, etc) but she knows they will happen because we are consistent and have shown her with certainty that misbehaviour has consequences.

A teacher/blogger recently took a classroom management workshop and said:
I need to have a wealth of consequence ideas of varying degrees of severity, ranging from the "teacher look" to office referral. Students need to know you will enforce those classroom and school rules at all times.
This is exactly true for Teachers Teaching on Call especially. Have your bag of tricks, your strategies to use, and make them clear from the start if you are there for a day, a week, or a school year...  This idea is addressed in the workshop for TTOCs on Classroom Management.

Another quote I like is:

"Fair isn't everybody getting the same the thing. 
Fair is everybody getting what they need to be successful."

This is another important point. Recognizing that different students have different needs and ways to respond, especially to a new teacher in the room. Although the consequence is certain and laid out clearly from the start, sometimes they are different for different students based on what they need to be successful.

Classroom Management is one of those things that changes a bit each school year for full time teachers and each day for TTOCs. You must consider what works for you, what works for the class you are in and how to make it all come together. Remember the certainty over severity quote when setting up how you run things and always try to be fair.

Good Luck and please share any ideas or comments below...

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