View the movie below and then proceed to the Initial Thoughts section (time: 2:36).
Narrator [40s-style news announcer]: Have you ever thought about the job of a symphony conductor? (Of course you have.) A conductor works with many different types of musicians and instruments, directing their individual sounds until they merge into a masterpiece of rhythm and accord.
Somebody once said a teacher is a lot like a symphony conductor, skillfully guiding her students’ different backgrounds and abilities into a cohesive and harmonious classroom.
Whoever made this comparison was wrong. For one thing, most teachers don’t deal with professional musicians. They deal with children! Consider Ms. Amry, for example, a new teacher. Her 3rd-grade students rarely, if ever, play instruments outside of music class. When they do (we’re talking about you, Jimmy), Ms. Amry believes she’s prepared to approach effective classroom behavior management in a thoughtful, planful way. Why, she’s even convinced she might even get Jimmy here to stop playing music during math class. Put down the French Horn, Jimmy. There’s a good lad.
[Slightly sinister shift]
But what’s this? Not everything has gone as planned. There have been more bumps along the way than Ms. Amry anticipated: Some students aren’t lining up properly, even after she told them how. Others think they’re following rules but actually aren’t. After a student accused her of “being unfair,” Ms. Amry began to question herself. How fair was she? Far from harmonious, her classroom soon descended into outright discord.
Ms. Amry wonders whether her plan was as effective as she first believed. She wants to get everything back into rhythm, transforming…er, conducting her students and their instruction and achieving a harmonious classroom. After all, like I said at the beginning, teachers and conductors have a lot more in common than you might think.
Here is your Challenge…
What should teachers understand about effective classroom behavior management?
How can teachers develop a classroom behavior management plan?