Classroom Management Plan
A. Theoretical Introduction
Philosophy of Classroom Management
What a thing – a classroom. Children begin their training for participation in the classroom environment from age five or sooner. By the time they reach high school they have not only expectations of what their classroom environment should be like but also of the teachers and how they and other students behave. For six to eight hours a day their school and teachers are home. And yet as teachers we often forget that this paradigm has everything to do with student conduct and performance. Who are their teachers? How does the student feel in the classroom? What is the student doing in that classroom to have a vested interest in being there and learning in the first place? What sense of purpose do they derive from their school that engages them and fosters their participation in it?
In this microcosm, the school, we engage the future. How I envision the future and the individuals who populate it forms the base of my philosophy of classroom management. We live in a community. An individual doesn’t exist in a vacuum but rather in a symbiotic relationship with others working in a society. My aim in my classroom is to prepare students for this realization and prepare them through its structure to meet this challenge.
From my perspective teaching and learning are one in the same. The Taoist principle that opposites don’t exist but rather view such ideas as compliments is actualized in the democratic classroom (Capra, F., The Tao of Physics, 1999, p. 102 – 110). Could the teacher exist without the student? If you are the learner, who is the teacher? The two forms a complete whole, the one cannot exist without the other, and what a benefit to education in today’s world if we could remember this concept in the pursuit of either: educating or being educated. The path that teaching should follow, if at all possible, is to guide students towards inquiry and provide a means for them to reveal the answers. This is fostered by the exchange of ideas that takes place between teacher and learner, which is in Rudolf Steiner’s view what builds trust in the student and helps to foster feeling and will (Shepard, A. P, A Scientist of the Invisible.,1954). I like to paraphrase how Robert Henri, the artist and teacher, simply states the objective of learning (and the arts), “It is a result of understanding the fundamentals of nature, the spirit of life, the constructive force, the secret of growth, a real understanding of the relative importance of things, order and balance...after all, the object is not to just learn, but to be in the wonderful state that makes learning inevitable” (Henri, Robert, The Art Spirit, 1923, p.226).
So what are the implications for my plan of classroom management? From the wider perspective it means building a classroom structure that promotes cooperation and community, where each student has a sense of belonging and ownership in his or her...