Throughout this course we'll be exploring various aspects of creating high functioning classrooms. This course however, is far from a complete set of every theory and idea on managing students. I've created a set of management strategies that are foundational to a wide variety of classrooms, and for a variety of grade levels. There might be some things to try and other things that won't be best for your students. That being said, there are four main things that will permeate all that we do in this course. They are using a strong teacher voice, being consistently proactive, being grounded in what we can control, and having a well-prepared lesson plan.
One of those foundational ideas that is at the root of everything that we'll discuss here is learning to become a confident classroom leader. This starts with how you present yourself to your students, as well as how you speak to your students. Great educators have mastered their teacher voice. The teacher voice is a confident, strong, and projective voice that is used to address the classroom. Now, it's not yelling but it is assertive, confident and steady. Let's take a look at giving students some instructions using our teacher voice. Okay, first direction, I am looking for the team that can take the sticks out, pass them out, take the paper clips out, pass them out.
Please do that now. Okay guys, I would like you to not touch Fred until we're working as an entire class, okay? >> Okay. >> Okay guys I'd like you to not touch Fred until we're working as an entire class. Notice how my voice changed between a small group interaction and then addressing the classroom? This change is also noticed by the students, and students will eventually learn that when they hear your teacher voice it's because important information or directions are about to be given. It's important to practice your teacher voice.
And, make sure you're supporting your voice from the diaphragm. The same way that a singer supports their voice while singing. Probably the hardest part of a good teacher voice is consistency in tone. And, not allowing our emotions to come through. Especially, when we're frustrated with our students. Let's take a look at a couple of examples. This first one my teacher voice falters and my emotions come through. Class the directions were to silently write your lists out. You will not get points if your team is talking. Now let's approach the same problem with a confident teacher voice.
Please remember this is a silent activity. The instructions included not talking, but independent work. Notice how in my second example my voice was steady and even though I was frustrated with my students, I didn't falter. Our voice is our first stage in our leadership of the classroom, but far from our only tool. As we move throughout this course, you will see me transition from teacher voice to a regular conversational voice as I'm working with my students.
- Developing your voice and confidence
- Being consistently proactive
- Setting up procedures and routines
- Timing everything
- Intervening and redirecting
- Making student learning the center of it all