Throughout the summer, we will be sharing tips and ideas developed by the Chicago Education Consultants who have developed the programs for students, teachers and parents for Teaching Safari . Visit TeachingSafari.com to learn more or to look for field trips, classes and professional training opportunities for parents and teachers.
Managing a classroom is similar to managing a business. Everyone has a role and every one must play their role to the fullest in order for the business to be successful. Everyone is the member of the team and without all the members participating the business will not be a success.
Any good business must have a good manager. A classroom should simulate a “Learning Organization”- where people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about. The question then must be posed to what does an effective classroom look like. According to Harry & Rosemary Wong, an effective classroom is characterized by the following:
- There is a high level of student involvement with work;
- There are clear student expectations;
- There is relatively little time wasted, confusion, or disruption;
- The classroom is work-oriented (there are procedures and routines in place and students are encouraged).
As quoted by Wong and Wong, “Power comes when you make life predictable for people”. Teachers and students alike need to know the routines and procedures of the classroom. The teacher must be well prepared and have all lessons ready.
Wong and Wong state, “You should be able to close your eyes and not only envision learning taking place but also know why it is taking place because of how you have chosen to manage the classroom environment”. Power is defined as the ability to act; potential capacity; strength or force; the right, ability, or capacity to exercise control. Ideas are defined as a thought, concept, or image present in the mind. With the ability to act out a concept is impeccable. Jesse Jackson once said, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.”
Any idea a person puts power behind can become a change agent. Students should be encouraged to believe, dream and achieve what others may consider the impossible. When students have this encouragement behind them they can visualize their power.
Students should be allowed to be explorers of information and teachers can no longer the experts, the right or wrong, but a learner themselves; growing and learning with their students is where real learning begins.
Until we allow education to go beyond the school but at home and our communities that is when we see our education and the power our students have.