100 word reply
I just started my twentieth year of teaching second grade in a small Christian school. My reputation of being a strict, yet loving teacher represents me well. Students are challenged in my class but also encouraged and supported.
When evaluating classroom management, the first component of effectiveness is knowledge of theory and current research in the area of classroom management (Jones & Jones, 2016). While I have many years of experience with students that lends to a greater understanding of students’ needs, I admit that I have not passionately pursued study of current research on the topic of classroom management. I often find that I try techniques and then adjust as needed. This shows an area for growth in my professional practice as I look for current research on effective classroom management.
The second component communicates a need for strong rapport between students and their teacher (Jones & Jones, 2016). As stated by Jones and Jones (2016), “Individuals learn effectively in environments where they experience a sense of being known, valued, and cared for and where they, therefore, feel safe and supported” (p. 9). This is one area in which God has naturally gifted me. This is evident through the ways that I communicate with my students every day. It is also seen in the ways that I invest in their lives outside of the classroom and beyond the year that they are in my class.
The third component includes established behavior standards to effectively manage the time, space, and environment (Jones & Jones, 2016). In my classroom students know what is expected of them. We take time to learn and practice these expected behaviors at the beginning of the year and as the year progresses. This can be seen in the calm, structured environment in my classroom.
Effective classroom management also includes the use of impactful instructional methods in the classroom that meets the learning needs of each student (Jones & Jones, 2016). Effective teaching methods will lead to students that are engaged in learning. While I would say that my students are usually engaged in learning, truthfully I believe that I need to grow in my use of more effective teaching strategies to diversify and strengthen that learning. Finding new ways to maximize student engagement is one area in which I need to grow.
The last component in effective classroom management is the ability to address students when they are a distraction in the classroom (Jones & Jones, 2016). In reflecting on my classroom management, I feel that I am quick to effectively address students that are impacting the classroom. However, it would be beneficial for me to learn other ways to address these misbehaviors.
In reflecting on effective ways to manage a classroom, it is most important to remember our reliance on God. Ackerman (2007) states that teachers need to “pray for their own ability to teach these students and for patience in finding solutions to reach these students” (p. 7). We cannot manage, teach, or impact in our own strength. Thankfully, we have One who will give us all that we need to be truly impactful in our classrooms. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8, English Standard Version). May we depend on His counsel to make great impact for His glory.
Jones, V. & Jones, L (2016). Comprehensive classroom management: Creating communities of support and solving problems. Boston, MA:
Ackerman, B. (2007). P.R.A.I.S.E.: Effectively guiding behavior. Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications: