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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Classroom Management in the UK

            The classrooms in my placement are managed very similarly to those that I have experienced in the U.S.  The building itself is new and the physical classrooms work well with the teaching philosophy of the school.  The average class has around 25 students in it.  Many of the classes in the school are combinations of grade levels and ages.  For example, I spent one day in a combination Primary 6/7 class.  This doesn’t seem to affect the way teachers interact with their students as all of the lessons I observed are taught to the whole group regardless of age. 
            Each Primary 1 classroom has a list of classrooms rules and expectations featured for students to see and read.  These are very similar to the rules in my U.S. placements.   They stress respecting other peoples space and thoughts, being a good listener, and always doing one’s best.  The teachers in primary 1 use a variety of techniques to enforce these rules.  To get students attention and remind them they should be listening each teacher has a rhyme that they call out and the students cheer back to them.  Teachers will single out individual students with both praise and criticism in front of the class.  The praise is for positive behavior not only regarding classroom rule, but participation in lesson.  The criticism is almost always about a student not following class expectations. 
The discipline is usually not very harsh in primary 1, the students are very young at ages 4 and 5.  A student would have to ignore many warnings before they were punished.  Because students have to reach such a high level of disruption before they are really reprimanded, the punishment they receive is more intense than I’ve seen in American classrooms.  A good example of this was during a rehearsal for the grade level nativity play.  One student continuously misbehaved until the teachers were forced to remove him from his peers and have him sit isolated facing away from the other students in the room.  Because this time out style of punishment did not happen often it actually had a greater effect on the children than one might think.  Overall, the style of classroom management seems to be effective in my placement and is comparable to what I have seen in U.S. classrooms.

1 comment:

  1. This style of punishment appears to be comparable to what I have observed in my classroom in Ireland. The students are frequently singled out. There are several students in the class that are continuously disruptive. From what I have observed in American classrooms, it is more common for these types of students to be spoken to outside the classroom one-on-one with a teacher. In Ireland, the student is reprimanded in front of the entire classroom. At first I was surprised and disheartened by my teacher's strategies. However, as time went on I began to realize how effective it was.


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