Reflection of Lesson
Problem of Practice: Classroom Management
For my World Studies class, I have been teaching every day for over a week. And every day, it is always a challenge to get the students’ attention and to begin class. As a quieter person, I hate to try to yell over my students; quite frankly, it doesn’t work and I waste my voice and my energy trying.
Watching the video of my observation on Wednesday, I noticed how many students were just not paying attention at the beginning of class; there were a lot of side conversations, and students were very distracted and talkative. I watched myself try different things: I started out by talking over them, “shhh”-ing them when they were talking, and just standing there and waiting until they stopped. Some of these approaches were more effective than others, but none were effective on their own. So much of class time is wasted every day by trying to get students to settle down. As a former high school student myself, I completely understand why students are so chatty at the beginning of class, but as a teacher, how do I prompt students to switch into “class mode” without constantly butting heads with them?
My favorite teacher in high school, Alaina Bryen, had a very effective way of starting class. Every day, she would have a question written on the board, and when we came to class, she would expect us to sit down and begin writing a response to the question in our journals. The questions weren’t difficult and our responses didn’t need to be perfect; this was just a way to get the students thinking and to give them something to do from the very beginning of class.
I would love to implement something like this in my classroom. I feel like the students at South Lyon East High School have not had experience with any “bell ringer” assignments like this, but I feel like that would change the expectations in the classroom. However, since this is not officially my classroom and since the semester is already a third of the way through, is it really possible for me to implement such a change to the class routine? Or, should I simply wait until next year when I have my own class to start?
This bell ringer assignment is something I would like to try out in my World Studies classroom a couple of days a week. I think this would solve a lot of our problems getting the class started, and will also prompt students to get thinking and focused without me yelling at them.