Monday, January 20, 2014

Good teaching fosters hope!


Sunrises (MLK Day 2014) offer hope for a new day, better day and a second chance.
Discipline, Management, Control, Influence and Engagement

Doug Lemov gathers these five terms together in Chapter Five of his book TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION and elaborates on a teacher's application in the classroom. The pages describing these terms succinctly and clearly.  An examination of these terms is substantially more thorough then the simple question or comment about good classroom management!  We often say about teachers things like, "she has great classroom management," or conversely, "he struggles with control."  However, these terms are not mutually exclusive but inter-reliant as well as dynamic.   Changing over the short term and developing in a teachers career, we see teachers developing a skill set necessary for the classroom. Many teachers began careers applying the phrase "don't smile to Christmas."  Does that still hold true, or have they adapted, developed and matured, maybe even improving along the way?

     This essay will attempt to start from the broad and narrow the focus to the more specific while articulating simple nuances of each. From specific to broad would yield similar thoughts but motivations might vary.  Issues  in the personal interpretation of each of these words and the overlap of applications making the lines between each vague yet still existent.  Regardless, their similarities and differences play an important role in the behavior of a teacher, if not the belief as well.


In a broad sense, teachers are paid to control the physical environment of their rooms.  If some thing happens, we always get a report about the incident of infraction.  Control is no longer present and something needs to happen to regain that status.


The teacher might engage and attempt a re teaching activity or abort and remove the pupil from the situation.  However this reactionary posture is typically NOT the norm.  The expected norm is for the teacher to engage the students actively in lessons, conversations, instruction or many other modes, all designed to help teach or get a student to learn.  (Here is where a brief parenthetical note on extrinsic motivation shifting towards a more desire able intrinsic motivation is our highest outcome.  We expect our students to eventually develop and mature into fine contributing citizens in our society, and not a burden.) 3. MANAGEMENT:  PROCEDURES TO RUN A CLASSROOM Procedures, efficiency and norms fit here on thus continuum.  A popular quote claims "management is doing things right but leadership is doing the right thing!"  We get the idea of an optimal or effective or good way to run a classroom.  Respectful, considerate and responsible members of a classroom, akin to a mini population, produce more effectively, waste less time and learn more about the content as well as each other and ultimately uncover truths about themselves.  A secure environment is the best breeding ground for this growth.  Creating safety for students to take risks of all kinds builds them up and encourages their growth with minimal setback.  Students who feel safe take risks.  Social, physical and educational, including mental risks are all fluent in a truly learning environment.  Teachers play a vital role in modeling these behaviors till they become a belief on the student and the student owns their education! Students without this security fall victim to unhealthy discipline, for we know good discipline does NOT diminish hope.

Good discipline encourages hope.  Discipline is what we use to aid students in their own overdo do control.  When the student can not control or manage, we MUST step alongside and guide and redirect (ZS) to help them.  If we opt out of this discipline and send the student away, the student gets what they were after, an escape from the pressure.  Good discipline seamlessly controls the class through engagement and managing behaviors in order to influence our students.

The ultimate goal, purpose and intent of our society; an educated population.  Through the daily influence of teachers, parents and other substantial forces, students learn!  They learn what they live.  They learn what they see and they learn what they are taught!

Control is established, engagement initiated, management articulated, discipline pressure exerted and the results are our influence on others, maybe!

What are we teaching our wards?  What are they learning?  Are we good with that?
"Good discipline does NOT diminish hope."

@douglemov  Teach Like a Champion 2010 Jossey-Bass

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