As I prepare for the school year, I am thinking about the culture of my classroom. I love this quote by Todd Whitaker. It makes me think of the end of the year last spring. That's usually when behavior is at its worst, and when some teachers choose to ignore small problems. Hey, I get it. By May, we are in survival mode: exhausted, out of ideas, and ready for vacation. At least I am. If you're not, well, we just can't be friends. (Just kidding!)
Every year, I make the decision to be better at classroom management than ever before. My students will be excited to come to my class! They will listen with rapt attention to my clever and entertaining lessons and participate wholeheartedly in every activity. Misbehavior will not even cross their minds, because music is the best class ever! We will make music like never before, and their skills will transfer to other academics, raising test scores to boot. We're talking Teacher of the Year material here! Hey, a girl can dream, right?
But how do I get there? I can start by making sure I have planned, clear procedures for everything. Spend the first two weeks (or more) teaching and practicing those procedures religiously, and hold the kids (and myself) to those high expectations. Because what I tolerate now on the fringes of behavior is what will become the norm in my classroom by Christmas. Thank you, Mr. Whitaker.
I challenge you to take the time now, before school starts, to envision how your class will function and write down clear procedures for every type of activity. You will be glad you did!
P.S.- I'm thinking about a future post about specific procedures in music, and how I run my classroom. Let me know in the comments if that is something you would be interested in reading!