Although I had originally hoped to be in an upper-grades class (since I had never seen one before) I absolutely love my placement classroom. The students are wonderful and we have very few issues when it comes to behavior. The common behavior management strategy in my school is a flip-card system in which students flip their card from green to yellow to pink each time they break the rules or expectations. It is a negative or a punishment system. In our classroom, however, we changed the system around. Ranther than punishing for misbehavior, we reward for good behavior. Students are asked to flip their card when they are caught doing something good. Stickers, certificates, and a trip to the treasure box are all rewards that come from this PBS system. The students were rather confused at first because the system had been negative in their first grade classes. They have gotten used to it though and seem to like the new behavior management system.
One of the only concerns I have about my CT’s classroom management is inconsistency. Students who are always exceeding expectations and being “model students” are often overlooked. Sometimes the expectations apply and are enforced and other times they go completely by the wayside. Not only does this confuse me as a student teacher, but it obviously confuses the students as well. Expectations were not clearly set up at the beginning of the year, so it seems that students are still “testing the waters” even in the second semester.
I have spoken with my supervisor about this, as it makes me nervous for when I take over the classroom. The only advice she could give me was that I needed to establish my own expectations as soon as I am the “teacher in charge” and do everything I can to remain consistent with them.