One of the classes we have to take in our fall semester of our second year is Classroom Management. I, personally, have been looking forward to this class because it gets down to the nitty gritty–the brass tacks–the big kahuna on everyone’s mind…and that is about how to manage the attitudes, work ethic and learning environment you are trying to create for your 20-plus students you have with only one of you in the room. In layman’s terms, how to make sure your class isn’t actin’ a fool while you’re trying to enrich their brains with knowledge. I find this wildly fascinating to hear about how different viewpoints and styles of teaching can address the issue of an unruly classroom from totally different angles.
[flickr id=”10526864336″ thumbnail=”medium_800″ overlay=”true” size=”medium_800″ group=”” align=”none”]Within this class, we are reading from many great resources as to how to get a full understanding of how and when classroom management happens. There were many useful quotes and notes that I have been taking as my cohort and I have been in search of this holy grail of teacher secrets, when I found this one that is still resonating with me weeks after. From Student Behavior in Art Classrooms, Susi suggests, “Through a reflection and self study, teachers must determine if everything possible has been done to make a lesson so challenging, interesting and relevant that inappropriate behavior would be unattractive.”
This passage can seem so obvious, but so challenging simultaneously. This repeatedly brings me back to asking myself these questions: Why am I choosing to teach what I do? Is it necessary and does it serve a means? Am I choosing the best assignment that will be interesting, contemporary and the best instrument for demonstrating learned concepts?
But Susi is right, if I’m not doing what is possible to make things as interesting as they can be, there is no intrinsic value that my students will connect to learning. As a lover of art, and much older than a teen who has grown up with the internet and cell phones, I can easily forget what is not interesting to an adolescent, vs. what is intriguing to me, a much older artistic adult. This quote makes me pause a little longer and dig a little deeper to make sure I’m offering the best with my lessons.