Kit 🏳️‍🌈 Profile picture
Sep 3, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I used to think classroom management was just about teaching expectations, routines and procedures & then being consistent in your follow-up with consequences. I read TLAC after my first year teaching, & thought I just needed to develop my "strong voice" and other techniques.
Next, @Ramapo4Children taught me that the foundation of classroom management was actually relationship building & role modeling. I also learned to reframe how I viewed student behavior: as a form of communication about unmet needs & lagging skills. Structure alone wasn't enough.
Part of the challenge is that when you acknowledge classroom management is about relationships, it must become more individualized than simply teaching your routines and procedures. You need to get to know EACH student and react to them as individuals. It is a "lot more work."
If you consider it work to build relationships with 90-150 young people. Which, especially at the start, as you're getting to know everyone, can feel overwhelming. It's part of why I've incorporated activities like the name tents from @saravdwerf and Who I am from @ddmeyer.
My next phase of understanding CM extended the idea of relationship building & knowing each S as an individual to recognizing the role student identities & my unconscious biases play. It's a complex thing to acknowledge the impact systems have when you take them for granted.
That leads me to where I currently am, as I'm still working through this stage. I have been doing a lot of reading of the @Tolerance_org resources on classroom management (Thanks, @ValeriaBrownEdu!), & examining data from the website shared by @DingleTeach & reflecting.
I have been thinking A LOT about consequences (beyond just suspensions) & the role they might play (or not) in my discipline plans. I don't know that they TEACH anything explicitly enough. I also have been thinking about the use of exclusion because of the #cleartheair chat.
I'm still ruminating on what classroom management means in a classroom that is safe for all learners; whether it is even possible to make it "safe for all." What if different student needs are in conflict & making it safe for one will make it unsafe for another?
Obviously, sometimes making it safe for one might make it UNCOMFORTABLE for another, but I think we need to learn to lean into that discomfort (though I'm still learning how!). Being trans has helped me understand this better for groups where I have power (i.e. as a white male).
As a white person, I might be "uncomfortable" talking about race, but NOT doing so might make my classroom community unsafe for children of color, just like sharing pronouns might make some cisgender people uncomfortable, but not doing so, might make some trans people invisible.
I also have begun to realize it is important to analyze, understand, & acknowledge the aspects of "our culture" that I took for granted/assumed to be universal.... are actually often part of the invisible WHITE culture (invisible to ME, a white person, not invisible to all).
I also think acknowledging the need to code switch (and naming it) is important with Ss. At a party at my house, if I say it starts at 3 & you show up at 3, I'm gonna be annoyed! Don't arrive before 330! But school or church? Arrive at 3:01 & you're LATE! Those're different norms
One of our roles as educators is to teach our students the NORMS of school, but ALSO to question WHY each norm exists, if it is necessary & if it should exist. I think if you can't explain the WHY behind a procedure/expectation, you need to question IF it should exist.
I also think asking the question, "Who does it harm?" Is important when evaluating whether or not a norm/expectation SHOULD exist. The work of @carloliwitter and @Jess5th taught me to ask that question a lot more - and to teach it to our kids too!

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