Getting Around

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yelling as a Classroom Management Technique

As I sub around local school districts I'm looking at school and classroom management techniques that I might want to use when I have my own classroom someday. Here's one I know I don't want to use: yelling.

At one school yelling is the way it is. Kids get yelled at all day, right from when they walk in the door. There's a school-wide discipline policy that follows a step system, starting with a warning and ending up somewhere terrible. It's really easy for a kid to get his recess taken away, and given the kids who are in the building that seems like a bad idea. There seems to be this cultural assumption that a kid who isn't behaving the way they're expected to is doing something bad. I'm sure there are reasons for this, but it makes it difficult to be the sub. I've subbed at several grade levels and I heard yelling at all of the kids, even the Kindergarteners. Yelling is clearly not effective, or there wouldn't be so much of it. If yelling made the kids do what the adults wanted them to do, the adults could stop yelling, right?

I have no solution to this problem. If I were working in the school, how could I do classroom management differently in my own room and then let my students get exposed to harsh words from adults as soon as they walk out the door? How could I make my own classroom safe for them and yet productive? These things worry me. When I'm looking for a job I won't be able to be picky. I will have to take what I can get and make the most of it. Hopefully I won't lose my voice in the process from all the yelling.