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Fun but Firm: Four Tips for OST Classroom Management
Apr 28 2016 - 11:37:00 am
Many students enjoy going to afterschool programs because they want a break from the rigors and routines of the regular school day. This period of time, however, can present unique challenges to out-of-school time providers who must ensure that students are safe and engaged – and not just goofing around. Classroom management may not be the first thing to spring to mind when we think about afterschool programs, but its importance should not be ignored.
“Don’t overlook the basics,” said Lisa K. Bailey, adjunct professor for Houston Community College and former area supervisor for Fort Bend ISD’s Extended Day Program, at a recent training held at Harris County Department of Education’s Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the classroom, Bailey shared many tips for effective classroom management, including the following.
2. Build a trustful relationship. “Children open up to those they trust,” said Bailey, “Be fun! Be firm! Be trustworthy!” By establishing and following through on classroom policies, OST providers show that they mean business. This tip is particularly important when considering the ways that afterschool programs contribute to kids’ social and emotional well-being.
3. Plan activities properly. Creating fun, engaging and age-appropriate classroom activities that cultivate students’ talents takes planning. Oftentimes, preparation requires contingency plans should anything go amiss. “Make plans B, C and D,” said Bailey. Activities should also be geared toward assisting students with future endeavors. Practicing important skills – such as writing, presentations and financial literacy – will help them in other areas.
4. Praise good behavior. Too often, teachers view classroom management as a discipline- or punishment-based strategy, but positive reinforcement can be a more effective tool. “There’s something positive you can say about everybody every day,” said Bailey. She recommended making positive lists to reward well-behaved students instead of the traditional “write your name on the board for bad behavior” approach.
Afterschool programs are critical to children and families. All kids need safe, supervised environments throughout the day with opportunities to help prepare them for the future. To learn more about CASE for Kids, call 713-696-1331 or visit www.afterschoolzone.org.
HCDE’s CASE for Kids: Champions of Change
Afterschool as Opportunity: Let None Miss Out