Project Based Learning environments can be chaotic environments to a point where we have many kids at different areas of their current project. There are kids that can manage doing their project with little management others need reminders and structure. How can we structure high expectations in the classroom so that all students can meet them?
First step to classroom management is always relationship building. I remember my first year as a STEAM teacher how much relationship building helps but classroom management is multi-dimensional. We have to consider the culture of where the students come from. Some student don’t have structure at home and so how do we support those students to acclimate to the classroom culture. In my first 6 – 7 years as a high school teacher, I received feedback that I was too nice, that I didn’t expect student, that student didn’t fear me, and that I was a push over. Thinking back and thinking where I am at now, I am glad those days are over because finding that firm side took a long while. I eventually found it and it is now at a point where I can be firm and not feel internally angry (sometimes it happens) and balance that with being myself.
Again classroom management is a multidimensional and essential facet to teaching and sometimes it is a mix of relationship building, having unanxious high expectations and making sure our structures support that, and being authenically yourself in the classroom. Students know when you are real or fake and caring or uncaring. I know there is more to this and as a life long learner, I need more tools and structures so that I can manage students, remind students of the expectations in the classroom, and meet the learning needs of the kids. Below is a link to edutopia resources to a list of classroom management strategies that you can try out. We are the engineers of our own classroom, not all strategies will work but the ones that will work are the ones that we will use, practice, and eventually master. Happy teaching!!!!