Saturday, August 31, 2013

Consistency in the Classroom

I've been in school for about 3 weeks now, and I am starting to see where other teachers are going back, too. I thought it'd be a good time to post about consistency!! It is so important, but how easily we forget with the every day hustle and bustle. There should be consistency in every area of your job; personal/classroom organization, classroom management, and student learning.

Personal and Classroom Organization

In my opinion, it is important to be personally organized before you can be organized in the classroom! Paperwork, planning, and grading can be overwhelming. If those areas are running smoothly, it is easier to focus on your classroom. 

My favorite thing that keeps me organized personally is my Teacher/Caseload Binder. The following things are included in my binder; Schedule, Calendar, Student Contact Info, School Contact List, Resources Contact List, Parent Communication Log, Communication Log, IEP's at a Glance (sorted by grade level), Goal Data Tracking, Sped Service Minutes Documentation, Meeting Notes, Emergency Procedures, and TpT & Blog Ideas (since they do hit at random times). I was planning on posting pictures of my binder, but I think I am going to wait. I still may change some things about it. 

Classroom organization and consistency go hand in hand. You need classroom organization to keep things running consistently, and you need to be consistent with routines and procedures to stay organized! The biggest thing I can say about classroom organization is to make a place for EVERYTHING! Everything else will kind of fall into place, but.... be consistent with it! 

Classroom Management

We all have rules and procedures to follow in the classroom. We all have posters and other fun ways to put these rules and procedures in to action. However, it is important that we all evaluate ourselves to make sure we stay consistent with our plan of action! The biggest thing, I think, for classroom management is to have a system that you know you will stick with. For example, if the school has a behavior management system as a whole, but you know it's not working for your classroom, add and change things to make it work for you! 

Student Learning

So many things can break our motivation to stay on top of student learning. By Wednesday, most of us are just exhausted! We may not feel good, but not feel bad enough to call in. We may have things going on at home that interfere with our functioning at school. I could go on and on about struggles that we all face that cause us to not be our best. I can't speak for everyone, but these are things that help me stay on top of student learning. First, I have to include God in my day. I need that morning prayer and Bible study time. Second, I love to walk/jog and do pilates! Everyone has their own activities they like, so if you want to exercise, pick things you know you will stick with! Third, I try to eat healthy. I try to include my fruits and veggies, and exclude a lot of processed stuff. The only thing I would consider unhealthy is my 3 or 4 cups of coffee!! I actually don't think a little caffeine is bad, and we can't deprive ourselves totally. These may seem like small things to some, but these 3 things make an enormous difference in each day of my life. 

What other tips do you have for being consistent in the classroom? I love hearing new ideas! 

Also, check out my Weather Themed Clip Chart Behavior Management System! I made it specifically for special needs children because a lot of times they need a visual to know how they are doing. 

~ Tasha 

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