I have found the classroom management style and expectations to be very similar in Bath to the techniques practiced in American schools, but they are helpful nonetheless. From the minute the children walk in the door, it is clear that my CT, Mrs. Williams, has high expectations for what is expected of the children. They are to put their bags in either the “Boys” or “Girls” bin, hang up their coats, and put their lunch in their drawers in the classroom. Then they need to take their seat on the rug, which is lined with tape to indicate which row they sit in and each child has an assigned space. Almost all of the children do this flawlessly, showing that a couple weeks of rehearsing this has worked, while a select few still walk in and start playing or sitting where they aren’t supposed to. In this case, Mrs. Williams starts to call out students who are doing what they are expected to do, saying things like, “I really like how Ella is sitting quietly on the rug.” This usually gets everyone’s attention and they correct their behavior fairly quickly. It is easy to tell that the morning routine was stressed as very important from the first day of school.
During play time and activities throughout the day, the class has the opportunity to freely complete whichever activity they want and there are not too many instructions associated with this, but when it is time to stop, Mrs. Williams rings a bell indicating that it is time to “tidy up” and the students must stop what they are doing and pick up their station before returning to their seats on the rug. This is always a more hectic part of the day for the children because they had just been playing so it takes a moment for them to settle down, though they do tend to start cleaning up right away. Once they are at the rug, the students wait to be told what they will do next. The rug is used as a gathering place for either lessons or transitions into different parts of the day and works well to settle the children down so they are aware that it is time to listen. In general, the students listen pretty well to Mrs. Williams and Miss Cullen. As most kids do, they sometimes get wound up, but it is clear that they regard their teachers’ authority because they never stay too distracted for long. The class routine was incorporated into the students’ day well, so they are already well-rehearsed on what is expected of them early in the school year.