My philosophy of classroom management is largely influenced by my work with preschool age children. Preschoolers’ primary mode of learning is through play. They interact with their classroom environment and each other, and they learn about what is socially appropriate by doing so. For a strong and enriching classroom, teachers must be prepared for both planned activities and spontaneous teaching moments. I strive to be well organized in my personal space and in the classroom space so that students always know what is expected of them, and what acceptable behavior is.
In my work with preschools, I have come to understand behavioral difference between a child who’s engaged, and a child who is not. A child who is engaged in a learning experience typically exhibit safe, acceptable classroom behavior. A child who is disengaged demonstrates that they are not interested in the learning experiences provided (or perhaps few or none are provided in the first place). When I am in the midst of working with classroom “misbehavior” I am also making a mental note about the activities and learning opportunities and am thinking critically about their effectiveness and appropriateness.
I identify with Carol Ann Tomlinson’s descriptions of a warm demander. In The Differentiated Classroom (2014), she remarks that warm demanders, “convey a strong sense of trust and acceptance but simultaneously make clear that they expect only the best from their students” (165). This encapsulates my values and my desire to convey and instill them in my students. Through my words, I communicate trust and respect to my students in hopes to inspire diligence and motivation. Additionally, by expecting only the best, I give students a practical goal to strive for while exhibiting this diligence and motivation.