Classroom Management

The following are root metaphors for teaching from “Teaching a Composition Class: Combine and Conquer,” chapter 5 in Writing Relationships: What Really Happens in the Composition Classroom by Lad Tobin:

1. The teacher as performer, the class as audience
-emphasizing the use of humor in the classroom
-keeping the class from disengaging through boredom

2. The teacher as dinner party host, the students as guests
-emphasizing the role of the teacher in making the class comfortable for the students
-keeping the class lively and involved

3. The teacher as the parent, the student as the child
-emphasizing the care and concern of the teacher

4. The teacher as a preacher, the class as a congregation
-emphasizing the wisdom and inspirational aspect of teaching

The following notes are taken from the chapter “Nightmares”:

Scenarios that teachers may face when managing the classroom:

1. When no one does the reading
-give quizzes
-make the students accountable for the reading in their homework

2. When students challenge your authority
-establish productive relationships
-learn student names
-get the class involved
-give yourself time to think
-diffuse the situation with humor
-remember to be firm
-consider confronting the student one-on-one
-use e-mail for documentation
-try starring at the student
-go to your supervisor

3. When you end up with too much or too little time
-the students can always do writing activities
-have the students always work on paper-directed work (working toward their assignment)

4. When the class in un-engaged
-write first
-wait – don’t answer your own questions
-go around the room or circle
-use small group work
-cold call on individuals
-allow students to use alternative modes of expression

5. When their papers are bad
-remember that student’s writing will not change right away
-make sure that the prompt is good
-try changing your focus

6. When you are accused by a student
-take notes
-get help
-realize that it can happen to everyone

7. When a student plagiarizes
-try to prevent plagiarism by:
-monitoring student papers
-collecting preliminary work
-discussing plagiarism as a class
-get help
-follow the university guidelines

The following notes are taken from “A Question of Authority: Dealing with Disruptive Students,” by Jennifer Meta Robinson:

1. Make sure the students understand your expectations and policies on the first day.
2. Learn student names, walk around and use body language to maintain “immediacy.”
3. Encourage active learning in the classroom.
4. Listen to students and get feedback from the class.
5. Have clear grading criteria.
6. Make sure that you exhibit self-esteem


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