I was unprepared, unknowing, and curious about what South County middle school would offer me for my observation. South County is established in a well developed neighborhood with most of the houses costing $329,232 or more. The middle school has over 1,100 students with different ethnic backgrounds including: 59% Caucasian, 29% Hispanic, 6% African American, 4% unknown ethnicity, and 2% Asian (publicschoolreview.com, 2013). As I walked into the middle school the Leander ISD vision is posted on the walls stating, “Every student is encouraged, supported, and challenged to achieve the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and character.” South County tries to uphold this vision by ensuring that each student is provided the best opportunities to learn by having a teacher student ratio of sixteen to one (publicschoolreview.com, 2013). The middle school also upheld this vision when performing in the Performance Index Report. The school surpassed the goals set in student achievement, student progress, and closing performance gaps (. As I walked through the school the hallways were empty; however, there was a sense that those hallways would be filled within minutes. The bell rang above me and soon the halls were filled with students scampering to their designated classrooms. I entered the classroom of Bob Faust and saw that the desks were set in 5 distinct rows with whiteboards on opposite sides of the room. There was a math problem on the board followed by Mr. Faust stating, “Please find your chairs and solve the problem on the board.” As the sixth graders filed into the classroom each of them pulled out their notebooks and began to solve the problem on the board.
Borich (2010) defines classroom management as, “How teachers organize the classroom and anticipate and respond to student behavior to provide an environment for efficient learning” (pg. 271). This management includes the dimensions of how the classroom is arranged, the pre-established goals and rules of the classroom, instructional routines, incentives and consequences, and the use of low-profile classroom management techniques. By using the dimensions of classroom management the teacher is able to control the classroom and the learning of the students.
How a classroom is organized is the first dimension of the classroom management. The arrangement of desks, furniture, and decorations, “…is important because it communicates the kinds of behaviors expected of learners” (Borich, pg. 76). Mr. Faust did not have rules, guidelines, or decorations posted around the classroom; however, the classroom still had a feeling of a fun, supportive, and great atmosphere of learning for the students. The classroom was arranged in 5 rows of desks each facing the front of the classroom. The classroom arrangement looked like:
According to Borich (2010) Mr. Faust’s classroom is laid out to, “…Emphasize the Acquisition of Knowledge, Rules, and Concepts” (pg. 76). Even though Mr. Faust did...