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The classroom environment is very important.

Respect, learning
opportunities, organization, and planning help create a place of supported
learning. The following perspectives express some focuses for my future
classroom.

• How will you create an environment of


respect and rapport?
Interaction between the teacher and the students is crucial. Supporting
Danielson’s Domain 2a, [Classroom interactions between the teacher and
students, and among students are highly respectful, reflecting genuine
warmth, caring, and sensitivity to students as individuals (Danielson, 2013,
pg. 35)] is important to me.

I want to build relationships with my students. This starts from the


moment the students enter the classroom until they leave for the day. I
want to greet my students at the door. Knowing they are important builds
confidence and comfort for students. Their being present is important to
me.

In the beginning of the year, student will complete an “All about me”
activity. Completing a poster or timeline activity are some options I would
consider. The community building needs to continue throughout the year.
Collaboration will strengthen that community as well.

I will value my role as an example. My positive attitude will reflect respect


and a love of learning. They will see me read and write, read and write with
them, and encourage them to read and learn.

When creating an environment of respect and rapport, students need to


know how important respect is—how it is given and received. I want to
extend respect in my classroom environment. Using a calm voice, even
during correction, is important to me. Kindness and respect will not be
lacking.

Additionally, I want to encourage discussion. Discussions encourage higher


thinking and allow students to direct learning. In the video, Learning
Science Through Inquiry, 2, Setting the Stage: Creating a Learning
Community, Marian Pasquale stated that a classroom should not be one
teacher and 22 learners. It should be 23 teachers and 23 learners (Learning
Science, n.d., 10:55). Discussion “challenges them to listen to other
students’ opinions and think critically about their contributions and ideas…
It gives them the opportunity to challenge each other intelligently and build
off of each other’s ideas.” (Guerrero, n.d.).

• How will you establish a culture for learning?


Learning in a safe environment is essential. According to Danielson’s
Domain 2e, “The classroom environment is safe, and learning is accessible
to all students, including those with special needs” (Danielson, 2013, page
51). A safe environment assures students they are valued and protected.
The environment includes the physical space, as well as the learning
atmosphere.

As an educator, I want to be sure that students know that it is okay to not


have the correct answer. Making mistakes is often how we learn. Answers
will not be scoffed or laughed at. Beyond correct answers, effort needs to be
encouraged. Offering praise for effort is essential.

Promoting growth mindset is key. Students must be given opportunities to


grow and explore. Differentiation needs to support learning. There must
be extensive opportunities for students beyond the trajectory. Additionally,
there needs to be support for students needing extra help.

Using “I do, we do, you do” helps student see examples and then have
opportunities to try the skill together before completing the tasks
independently. Having a classroom that supports cooperative learning as
well as a gradual release of responsibility is a good balance.

Feedback is also important. Students to need to know that making a


mistake is acceptable. Making it known that I am not an exception to this
fact is important. Admitting when I do not know an answer is crucial. It is
also important to give parents feedback. Building relationships with
parents is necessary. Sending positive letters home and making positive
phone calls can be more effective than negative reports.

Circulation around the room and encouragement of student interaction and


cooperative learning is critical. Humor and smiles will be encouraged.
Praise will be given often and equally.
Around the classroom, I want to have interactive bulletin boards and
positive quotations/information visually present. The classroom will be
brightly decorated and include areas to showcase student work. Showcasing
work helps reinforce student ownership in the classroom. The doorway
will be decorated and may extend into the hall. Supplies will be organized
and the traffic flow in the classroom will promote safety. Technology will
be available and utilized.

Also, in order to create a positive culture for learning, students can enjoy
options. Free time centers, lessons that compliment different learning
styles, and ample resources will support learning. Hands-on activities will
be used often.

• What procedures will you establish for


managing the classroom?
Fulfilling obligations of hard work with little loss of instructional time is
also important. Establishing a safe environment with clear expectations is
the vision I have for my future classroom. Danielson’s Domain 2c will be
my focus — “Instructional time is maximized due to efficient and seamless
classroom routines and procedures. Students take initiative in the
management of instructional groups and transitions, and/or the handling
of materials and supplies. Routines are well understood and may be
initiated by students (Danielson, 2013, page 43).

In the beginning of the school year, approximately five rules will be posted.
These rules are non-negotiable. This limited number is supported by the
experience and advice of Emily Morrison (How to Succeed, n.d. 7:20).
Ownership of rules may be considered. Considered rules include the
following:
1 Follow the directions the first time they are given.
2 Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
3 Change tasks quickly and quietly.
4 Respect the property of others.
5 Practice kindness by respecting yourself and others. (How to Suceed,
n.d. 7:20).
Upholding Domain 2d, upon being given the expectations of behavior,
students will be encouraged to monitor their own behavior. Misbehavior
will be swiftly handled (Danielson, 2013, page 47). Following through with
consequences is very important. Just as rules are non-negotiable,
consequences are consistent. I will make efforts to be objective rather than
accusatory. I will not argue.

Nonverbal cues redirect students without disrupting learning.


Incorporating sign language and reminder clues can be individually tailored
for students who may need redirection more often.

I want to teach my students to listen. Repeating instructions over and over


does not support listening. Instructions will be repeated twice. After this,
students need to use resources to obtain the needed information.

Beyond resolving the consequences of not listening to directions, learning


to use resources helps students to learn to solve some individual problems
on their own. Students need to build skills that help them derive solutions.
For example, if homework is not completed, taking ownership of the poor
choice is important. Blaming parents, or even the family dog is not an
option. It is not Mom’s fault that you did not bring your shoes today.
Teaching students to take responsibility and then find solutions is an
important process.

• What procedures will you establish for


managing student behavior?
An established set of expectations will be provided and students will be
expected to follow the basic rules. Warnings do not support redirection.
Consistency is more beneficial. Behavior needs to be dealt with quickly, in
private if possible.

Using nonverbal cues and hand signals can get students' attention. Using a
twist of the wrist or an orchestra cue to ready a class can be effective.
Additionally using “A hush fell over the crowd,” “3-2-1-0” and clapping are
all methods I use. Also, including students who are not paying attention by
calling on them or using them in the lesson works well.
In addition to the rules, consequences and rewards will be visually
available. The consequences will be clear and the rewards will be enjoyable,
but not monetarily valuable.

Another strategy is “Teachers versus the Students.” As students make


choices, beans are added to jars. Good decisions add beans to the student
cup. Poor choices add beans to the teacher cup. Whoever has the most
beans at the end of the day wins the day. If the students win a
predetermined amount of days they get a class prize. Prizes can include
things like: extra minutes at a recess, free time, or sitting by a friend. This
is a quick and effective strategy.

Strategies should be individualized or collaborative intentionally. I do not


tend support punishing the whole class for the actions of a few. It is
important to address behavior appropriately. Guido noted, “Address
isolated behavior issues instead of punishing an entire class, as the latter
can hurt your relationships with students who are on-task and thereby
jeopardize other classroom management efforts” (Guido, 2018).

• How will you organize the students for


learning?
Seating arrangements are very important in the classroom. I prefer
students to be in pods/small groups during instruction. Classrooms with
enough space can provide students with areas that encourage partner work
and group work, as well as an area for whole classroom instruction.

Eye contact and movement must be considered when organizing students.


Additionally, student preferences and needs are important. Lighting,
sound, and temperature are all factors. Providing different lighting and
sound options can be beneficial.

Zoning the classroom to support collaborative learning is important.


Having areas of exploration and brainstorming encourages higher thinking
and deeper learning. During free time or lesson options, students can
explore technology, STEAM projects, creative writing, math motivators,
reading centers, and more. Some additional ideas include, “a quiet reading
corner, a music area where students can play soft music while completing
work, a discussion/conversation center, a large table for cooperative
projects, spaces for wet or messy projects, multimedia spaces, learning
centers or stations, and individual work areas” (Shalaway, n.d.)

Alternative seating is an option, with limitations. With more years of


experience, I will feel more confident to use more options. One possibility
could be a dedicated reading area with bean bags or carpet squares.
Another possibility is to include a cafe-style study center. According to
Shalaway, “another myth is that children learn best when sitting up straight
in hard chairs. About 75 percent of the total body weight is supported on
only four square inches of bone when humans sit up straight in a hard
chair, so it is easy to understand how the resulting stress on the buttock
tissues causes fatigue, discomfort, and the need for frequent changes in
posture. Research supports the common-sense notion that many students
pay better attention and achieve higher grades in more comfortable
settings” (Shalaway, n.d.). Investigating options is beneficial.

• How will all of this enhance the teaching and


learning process?
Each part of this plan for my classroom compliments the next. Each
student brings different perspectives, experiences, and abilities that benefit
from different options. My classroom will attempt to make learning
positive, progressive, and individualized. Whole classroom instruction
reflects the melding of different needs. Cooperative learning takes that
melding and strengthens it. Together, the approaches build a community
that becomes stronger together — all while learning.

References:
Danielson, C. (2013). The Framework for Teaching: Evaluation Instrument.
Teachscape.

Guerrero, A. (n.d.) 19 Ideas to Promote More Creativity in Your Classroom.


Canva. Retrieved from www.canva.com/learn/19-ideas-to-promote-more-
creativity-in-your-classroom/

Guido, M. (2018, April 10). 20 Classroom Management Strategies and


Techniques. Prodigy. Retrieved from www.prodigygame.com/blog/
classroom-management-strategies/
How to Succeed in Teaching Without Really Crying, Establishing Rules and
Consequences: Step-by-Step Through Week One. (n.d.). Alexander Street.
Retrieved from search-alexanderstreet-com.ezproxy2.library.drexel.edu/
view/work/bibliographic_entity%7Cvideo_work%7C1784227

Learning Science Through Inquiry, 2, Setting the Stage: Creating a


Learning Community. (n.d.). Alexander Street. Retrieved from search-
alexanderstreet-com.ezproxy2.library.drexel.edu/view/work/
bibliographic_entity%7Cvideo_work%7C1839957

Shalaway, L. (n.d.) Classroom Organization: The Physical Environment.


Scholastic. Retrieved from www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/
teaching-content/classroom-organization-physical-environment/