Classroom management is a skill that is best developed through experience. Educators get better at facilitating classroom learning by effectively running a classroom of diverse personalities over time. However, participating in a classroom management workshop can provide educators with a basic set of tools and tactics that are useful in the classroom.
Workshops for educators should begin with energizing and collaborative activities. This helps set the tone for the course by showing that the workshop will be interactive. Ideally, the warm-up should help educators establish a working rapport and inspire them with ideas they can use in the classroom.
For example, a team building activity that gets educators working together -- and can also be used as a classroom activity -- is Build-a-Bridge. The complexity of the activity can be scaled up or down depending on time. In its simplest form, divide the group into teams and provide each with a box of drinking straws, three feet of tape and two chairs. Team members must work together to build the strongest suspension bridge between the chairs.
In role playing, educators play the role of various students during lesson delivery. In this activity, participants choose from a set of student personalities written on paper, such as "disruptive," "uninterested" and "overachiever." While one educator delivers a lesson, her colleagues act out according to the chosen student profiles. Each educator should have an opportunity to deliver a lesson while managing "students," then receive feedback from colleagues and the workshop facilitator.
Share and Discuss
Share and discuss activities recognize that much education innovation takes place in the classroom. These activities present situations relevant to your group and invite everyone to offer personal experiences that are related. For example, you might offer this scenario: "A computer room teacher has difficulty keeping students on task instead of online at inappropriate websites." Then open up the conversation, allowing educators with experience in handling this situation to speak about how to address the challenge.
Allowing educators to design practical lesson plans collaboratively during the workshop is effective classroom preparation. This allows educators an opportunity to practice composing lesson delivery methods that help create a well-managed classroom. Working in groups, educators can leverage the talents of those in the room and create classroom activities that address multiple styles of learning, provide appropriate pacing and achieve strong student outcomes. Depending on the available time, an educator can deliver portions of his lesson or provide the group with an overview. Ideally, participants can provide feedback and personal stories, which reinforce the educator experience and further develop lesson planning.
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