For the third portfolio project, I am going to reflect on the classroom management skills, or lack thereof, that I’ve witnessed at the Playschool. From the Classroom Management module, Evertson and Weinstein define classroom management as “the actions teachers take to create an environment that supports and facilitates both academic and social-emotional learning.” One part of that has to do with management, discipline, and control of the students. Problems with this can lead to teacher burnout and job dissatisfaction, which I have experienced a little bit at the Playschool. Overall, I have noticed that the Spanish students do not listen to the English teachers very much, if at all. They barely acknowledge what a teacher has said, and are always chatting in Spanish rather than paying attention in class. I’m not sure if that’s due to language barrier, or bad classroom management skills, or even how the parents bring up their children. In our specific class, there were no rules or guidelines established for the kids to behave by. This is something very important to establish that I’ve learned in all my education classes, and because of that, the classroom management hasn’t been as high as it could have been.
Another part of classroom management is the physical set up of the classroom. I thought that our classroom was set up very well. The chairs were in a U shape against the wall. This allows for maximum visibility and proximity to the teacher. Although this set up may allow talking between peers, it is very useful for group work. The use of proximity of the teacher is also at maximum because she can get around very easily to help each student.
I think the planning and improvisation of my class has been great. During the craft time, there is room for improvisation at the end, but during class, there are activities already set up. Toward the end of the class there is also some leeway for cool down and review activities. The class culture is also very balanced. Even though both my teacher and myself are from other countries, we understand the culture differences and deal with any conflicts that may arise. We try to get the parents involved with the class as well, who seem content with the Playschool.
In total, the only thing that the Playschool lacks in classroom management is management, discipline, and control of the students. If we could find ways to have more control with the students, the Playschool would be close to perfect!