“Teaching is the profession that makes all the others possible”
How to control a classroom when kids are talking, laughing, throwing papers and clips at each other, and generally causing a chaotic environment? That is the main fear of novel teachers, fresh out of college, who desperately seek help in classroom management. A good resource is offered by NEA through the American Psychological Association at:
Classroom (Photo credit: James F Clay)
Being an inclusion teacher, as mentioned in previous articles, requires a good rapport with the classroom teacher. Both must work as a team in high school (not to be confused with the academic teams at elementary and middle school levels) and both must have a very specific role to play. If either one lacks the necessary training and information, the class situation may turn chaotic very quickly. Students detect immediately the lack of preparation and/or cooperation and take advantage of it by behaving erratically, checking their smart phones, listening to their iPods, or talking loudly while the main teacher tries to start the instruction process.
A teacher in my school with 18 years of experience has an interesting technique to “enforce” discipline management in her class. Every incoming student has hand-outs on their desk which they must address immediately. No down time, no idle chitchatting before the lesson actually starts and transgressors of this rule are called to order without delay. I have seen other instructors do things differently and suffer the consequences: They sit down at their desk while students are still incoming or they write instructions on the white board with their back turned to the class. Granted, these are high school youngsters who should know how to behave; but a teacher who is not ready to keep them busy from the get go will see their class fall into chaos with frightening speed, especially if the group exceeds 25 teens. It is always much more difficult to recover discipline than to start right away in an orderly fashion.