Within many colleges and universities that train future teachers, there is continual emphasis on classroom management. To be effective within the classroom means to provide continual learning opportunities for all the students so that annual yearly progress (AYP) will occur. Without proper classroom management or a structure for classroom discipline, this creates an obvious obstacle that prevents the desired results, measurable learning, from happening. Unfortunately, classroom management in many cases relies on the presumption that with every grade achieved the student will develop the necessary self-leadership skills necessary for academic and classroom success.
One of the more popular classroom management strategies is arranging desks into groups of 4 to 5 instead of rows. Group work is considered to be an effective learning strategy. Since classroom management and learning are partners, this is considered to be the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, such a strategy presumes that students have strong interpersonal skills including:
Communication especially non-verbal
Decision making and problem solving
Emotional intelligence specific to self-control and discipline
Mutual respect through demonstration of personal core values
Yet a review of most school curriculums would possibly reveal that these 5 interpersonal skill sets are not formally developed or taught, but are presumed to develop through the "Osmosis Factor." With that being the case, then employing this specific classroom management is potentially setting these young people up to fail and unintentionally creating additional at risk behavior.
Now consider if these sixth to twelfth grade students had been developed through a student leadership process that would infuse interpersonal skills with positive attitudes along with goal planning and goal achievement.
How much more engaged learning would happen within these classrooms?
How much more time would the teacher have to work with students who were struggling with a key concept?
What type of high performance culture could be achieved within the school?
Effective classroom management for middle and high school students must include a student leadership developmental process and curriculum. If these young people cannot lead themselves first, then how can they lead or work with anyone else? Let's stop setting these young people up to fail and begin to develop them through real world tools and processes beginning with student leadership.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, works with large urban to private schools, certified staff, support staff, students and parents to improve performance in 30 to 180 days. Using proven tools, we can quickly and affordably identify the gaps in YOUR organization, provide you with an Action Plan that you can easily implement along with developmental programs from executive leadership to student leadership.