Teachers Lead the Classroom

Having a classroom, which is managed well speaks highly of a teachers ability to communicate with students, families, and their administrators. Classroom management requires teachers to use rules, procedures, and routines to engage their students and harness their ability to be actively involved in learning not only material but concepts. Teachers who can successfully harness the power of students actively learning can do so, not through control, but inspiration. Effective teachers are those who inspire students to move past what they know, into desiring to learn what they do not know.

Engaging students takes work, but so does the classroom environment. They way a classroom is set up, or not set up directly impacts the learning engagements of students. However, these teachers do not merely decorate their classrooms, nor have critical classroom organization skills, but go beyond into making sure each student within the classroom feels safe. When students feel safe, they can learn. Students who do not feel safe, or who have not had their needs met, cannot learn, because they are too worried about their safety, or their need.

Effective teachers know their students need parameters for learning. This is why teachers engage their students with behavior expectations for their classroom environment. A teacher can go beyond rules and disciple; they can use reward systems to encourage positive behaviors. Students should see the learning environment as a positive place, rather than a negative one. We want students to enjoy learning, but too often the school has historically been a place of discipline for negative behaviors, rather than encouragement for positive behaviors.

When I was in school, I remember being disciplined for behaviors. As I recall, often the discipline was not for negative behavior, but for wanting clarification. I struggled in school and did not always understand what was being said. I would glaze over during lectures and try to find my way back on topic. Teachers seemingly did not understand what I needed. All of the blame cannot be placed on the teacher, because I did get distracted easily.

As I study in this class, and others, I am finding ways to become a better facilitator of learning. I will not be the teacher who ignores students who need additional help but will strive to ensure they are adequately engaged. I will seek to help those with learning disabilities conquer new ways of learning through provisioning of better learning strategies. I will not assume students do not want to learn but will strive to see through their eyes to determine what is not connecting, rather than assuming.

Having a classroom, which is well managed will not only promote a better learning environment, but it will create a sense of equity and inclusion for all students. Students, parents, and other faculty will understand the norms, which are “the classroom environment.” These norms will help each to know how they can succeed in that specific environment. Students will all be treated fairly, yet recognize other students in the classroom may need specific needs met to learn in their distinct way. Classroom environments cannot be a cut-and-paste for each student but must be modified to create a genuinely diverse environment.

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Dr. Justin Hardcastle

Dr. Justin Hardcastle (1982) was born in Sacramento, California, grew up in multiple cities and states, and returned to The Greater Sacramento Area in 1996. For 20 years, he established influence as a leader and continues to build influence today. He teaches as a professor, special education teacher, and continues to provide leadership in multiple realms. He has won several awards. Justin is an American author, recording artist, and founder of The Leadership Bulletin, Hardcastle Solutions, and Northview Church, Inc. His life-long mission is to empower, encourage, and equip others to reach their fullest potential.

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