Classroom Management 101

Here is an interesting take on classroom management from someone who blogs and Teaches English as a Foreign Language: Use lessons from Taekwondo!

Sara Bergerson’s Four Tips:

  1. Be clear with expectations and instructions
  2. Follow through with what you say you will do
  3. Have a plan
  4. Monitor yourself for pace

These are wonderful ideas that also (maybe unbenownst to Bergerson) have research evidence to support them! In research terms, here is what we know about these four tips:

  1. Create, Teach, Practice and Reinforce classroom expectations to have a positive impact on student behavior. These are the principles of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and you can learn more from the national PBIS center.
  2. Consistency in positive behavior reinforcement and accountability (or discipline/consequences) leads to predicable environments and stability for students. Students will be less likely to ‘act out’ if they know that attention (the good and bad kind) is consistent from the adults in the environment. Create your own four-part Reinforcement Matrix from the samples at KOI Education resource page.
  3. Be proacitve – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Research continues to show that early interveniton is the key to positive, well behaved students of any age. Never fall for the old adage that ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘they’ll grow out of it’, there is simply no evidence to support that.
  4. Differentiate instruction to ensure that all students are being successful. That may mean enrichment activities for gifted students and accomodations or modifications for others. Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are not just for students with special education needs, as Khan Academy has shown us, this is fast becoming the new normal and expected pace of education.

There you have it – four tips and miles of research to show that maybe Taekwondo instructors have konw all this for thousands of years and we in the West are just now waking up to good manners!

If you have tips to share – leave a comment and let me know, I’m listening.