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Monday, April 20, 2015

How the French Manage

Classroom management in general is something that has always interested me because of how difficult it can be and how many different strategies there are that work differently for different students. Keeping this in mind, I was super excited and intrigued to see how teachers in another country would manage their classrooms and how it would differ from anything I’ve seen in my other pre-practicums.

The situation that I am in right now in France is different from a traditional classroom setting so the management is therefore vastly different. As I explained in my last post, the first session I observe at my placement is a parent-child class. The basis of the class in itself creates a difficulty for management. Before even starting at my placement, my CT explained to me that one of the hardest things for her is finding the right balance of behavioral management in this class. She explained how she feels intrusive if she corrects the children’s behavior since the parents are present and interactive the entire time. Over the months I have been at my placement, she has held true to that statement. At times I can tell that she wishes she could intervene when a child is misbehaving but restrains herself. It would be an extremely difficult position, and I am not sure how I would handle it if I were in her shoes. Management becomes an entirely different ball game in a situation like this.

In the second session I observe the teacher does not use many classroom management techniques. I can tell that she struggles with what exactly to do to develop a standardized strategy especially because there is one child who dominates the class. The student is extremely advanced in English and races to beat the other children with almost any question, which then discourages the other students.

Similar to classrooms in the United States, you’ll find a range of students with different abilities. I do not know from experience, but I have heard that in French elementary schools teachers and rules tend to be rather strict. I have noticed during our arts and crafts time with the older students that they do not dare make something that looks different from the model the teacher provides. Down to the color they try to keep it exactly the same. I wonder if this could be a reflection of the strictness and how the teachers manage their classrooms.

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