Even though school has been out for over two months now, I know that many educators continue their learning throughout the summer. This is the first summer really since I have been teaching that I haven't had taken any classes. It has been a much needed break, and I have appreciated this mental vacation. I have read selections from academic books, so I have continued my learning journey, but it has been set at my own pace.
Although, it's not really accurate to say that I'm not taking any classes, as I did sign up for a workshop that was publicized toward the end of the school year. It is titled the "Well Managed Classroom." The first class was today and there is one more session tomorrow. It can be taken for credit with some additional classwork and time, but I can't apply the credits to anything right now, so I'm just taking it solely for self-improvement. Judging by the number of educators in the class, it is apparent that classroom management is a concern or at least something to brush up on for many. The majority of teachers are from the elementary level, with a few from middle school and high school. While the class is slightly tilted toward elementary situations, I think there have been an adequate number of examples for the secondary level. I also think that teachers trained at a secondary level can benefit from some of the types of structure that is implemented at the elementary level.
What I have found helpful so far is that we have been given some information that assesses our current practice with expectations, rules, procedures, and decreasing minor problem behaviors. This has been helpful to examine what areas I should focus on the most. The overall tone of the class, which one would expect, is very optimistic. The mindset is that with targeted teaching, reinforcement, and feedback behaviors that you want to see will increase. This is something I want to keep in mind when I get discouraged at times-keep plugging away! I need to keep being patient and consistently practicing things with students until it is to level I am looking for.
I am so glad that I signed up for this workshop. It is great timing with the start of the year just around the corner, and it is the kick start I need to truly get back into the routine of school. I am excited to go to class tomorrow and have more great ideas to reflect over.