This is a picture of my classroom after my 10th graders hustled out of the room sixth period Friday. It is not photoshopped and I didn’t do a thing to clean the room. I’m officially a Harry Wong fan because his book The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, 4th Edition has made me an even better teacher.
How I’m Leveling Up My Learning This Year: Classroom Management
Remember last Monday how I challenged us each to level up our learning? Well, my personal goal this year has been to improve the workflow and take the most frustrating things about my job and work to get those improved. It is happening as we speak.
Admitting that you want to improve classroom management is NOT admitting you’re a bad teacher. But you can go from great to greater or good to great — there is a difference. Lots of teachers do this. A teacher without a learning goal has only the facade of being a lead learner.
The Power of a PLC
When some of the best teachers in our school said they are Harry Wong fans and suggested we study it, I wasn’t convinced. (Learn more about this PLC on a blog post I wrote for Class Dojo.) ]
As we met last May, these teachers told me and the other teachers that the students should handle everything in my room and that I could keep up with my grading every day. They told me I could quiet my classroom without saying a word. Wong challenges you to have a wordless way for students to have help. Really? Not in my classroom. But OK, I trusted them and I need to improve in those areas, so here we go.
Our PLC studied The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, 4th Edition and met twice over the summer to talk procedures. My colleagues gave me advice and supported me on the frustrations of just how things were in the computer lab. They never criticized but offered support as I worked on the procedures. It is so exciting. I will take time to share some of those at some point but I just wanted to let you know: I’m doing fine, I’m leveling up learning, and making progress towards my goals for this school year.
I followed his Classroom Management section to the T as we started school and I can tell you that while I was unconvinced before — now I am.
How Are You Leveling Up Your Learning?
So, now, how are you doing? Are you putting in place the procedures so your classroom can flow like water? It doesn’t mean I have a quiet classroom. It doesn’t mean that I have some sort of teacher-centric classroom — quite the opposite. Learning moves center stage when the hassle gets off. Most classrooms are like a stage where a toddler has run out on front and started playing with play dough — the messes of daily hassles are show stealers.
Take the time to reread this book and to emphasize procedures. More procedures and less rules. But it takes discipline to start. All I know is I have a lovely classroom to show that we are proud of where we learn. It speaks for itself.