This weekend was one of serious reflection and introspection. After the fight broke out in my class last week I spent a lot of time questioning my classroom management routines and set-up. I knew something needed to change. Nothing was being taught and nothing was being learned. Students were constantly talking, no matter who was in the room. Today, I hit my breaking point.
My class is split by lunch. We get approximately 25 minutes together before the bell rings and the students disappear. Before lunch was an absolute chaotic display of my ill set routines. Yes, we did get through some of the lesson and worked through most of the vocabulary section of the notes, but it was loud. I must have waited for a quiet class at least 10 times in that short window of time. It was at that point that I broke.
I sat at the table during lunch and immediately turned to one of my favorite resources, The Cult of Pedagogy. I knew that Jennifer Gonzalez would have covered at least something in the realm of classroom management either in her podcast or her blog. Lucky for me, I was correct. I immediately found the post discussing the minimalist way to set class rules and enforce them. I ate fast.
I ran to the classroom to get started right away on new posters to put up. I started by writing down the 3 class rules, pulling each of them from the site. The original author cited 4 rules, but I felt it pertinent to chop it down to three. What were the three?
- Listen and follow instructions
- Raise your hand if you wish to speak
- Respect your fellow students and the teacher
- 2nd Warning
- Call Home