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For any classroom, having a classroom management place can make all the difference, and how to write a classroom management philosophy is a challenge.

But before you start putting your plans down on paper, the first step of the process should be to understand your beliefs about how a classroom should be run. While, in a vacuum, it’s easy to decide certain things in terms of how to deal with your class, implementing those well-laid plans in real life rarely goes smoothly. Knowing your teaching philosophy is invaluable for interviews, but it’s just as important in the classroom.

So, how can you write a classroom management philosophy that’s both effective and functional? Here are a few pointers and ideas to get you started:

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Thinking about your beliefs

The first stage to creating an effective classroom management philosophy is looking at your philosophies. For some teachers, this is obvious from the outset. But for others, our beliefs can change and shift over time, meaning we’re not making the best use of our classroom management plans. Taking some time to sit down and have a good think about your beliefs is an excellent place to start, and it may be valuable to put particular focus on the following areas:

  • Beliefs regarding students
  • Beliefs regarding the roles of teachers
  • Beliefs regarding the classroom in general

By separating your beliefs into these three categories, it’s easier to see a way forward when making a controlled and practical classroom management philosophy that aligns with your beliefs. Once these ideas are solidified, you can move on to specific questions to help you further pinpoint how you’d like your classroom to run and be.

Finding the right balance

While there’s no one correct way to implement classroom management, finding the balance means asking yourself questions surrounding your philosophy and beliefs. This insight can further help you to determine what you’d like your final philosophy to be, as well as define how your classroom will be run in the longer term.

These questions could include the following:

Beliefs on the role of students

  • Do I believe students need to be taught self-control, or should they be disciplined?
  • Do I think of students as my equals or as people I am responsible for?
  • Do I believe students must be ‘molded’ to behave appropriately?
  • Do I think that democracy is vital within the classroom, including allowing students to take over classes?

Beliefs on the role of teachers

  • Do I consider myself assertive as a teacher or more adaptable in teaching?
  • Do I want to manage or discipline the students I teach?
  • Do I believe the teacher’s job includes providing rules and routines to my students?
  • Do I prefer to create consequences and rules alone, or would I encourage my students’ input?

Beliefs on how a classroom should be managed

  • Is my goal for classroom management to teach students to supervise themselves, or do I want to manage it myself?
  • Do I believe in rewarding students for positive behaviors?
  • Would I be happy to use a classroom management program appointed for me, or would I prefer to have the freedom to choose a management practice that suits me?

Once you’ve got a stronger idea of your classroom management philosophy, it can be better applied to a real-life situation. In many classrooms, dividing beliefs into three is also taught to students, offering them the same perspective and insight provided to teachers.

Writing your classroom management philosophy plan

Once you’ve thought about and even written down the core beliefs and ideals of your classroom management philosophy, you can transform that information into a fully-fledged plan. Your program mustn’t be just based on your personal beliefs but is also fully backed up with recent and relevant research, information, and experience to be as successful as possible.

Typically, a classroom management philosophy plan can include any of the following:

  • Techniques for classroom management designed to aid in the development and provide support
  • Information about the climate of the classroom, including procedures, policies, and structure
  • Guidance for the classroom’s design and layout
  • The expectation of the teacher from your students
  • The expectation of the students from the teacher
  • Consequences to actions, both positive and negative, as well as behavior management planning
  • Communication for expectations to other students, teachers, and parents
  • The responsibility placed upon the teacher, the students, and the school
  • The outline of the specific philosophy you have chosen to follow in your classroom, if relevant, as well as information including models, textbooks, a reading list, strategies, and previous studies, is possible.

Once you’re included all the above, all that is left to do is add an introduction and conclusion. Your introduction should include a brief overview and guidance into your philosophy, the core features, and how it can be applied in your classroom. The conclusion should include the opportunity to contact you directly with any queries.

Reflecting upon philosophies

As any teacher knows, specific management plans or strategies may not work out as well in action as they do on paper. Reflecting on your work, whether it is valid or not, is a large part of being an educator. As such, it’s important to regularly read back your classroom management philosophy plan and make changes as needed. Also, revision every three years is recommended to get the most out of your planning.

Whether you prefer to go with the flow for your teaching or stick to a strict philosophy is your style, a classroom management philosophy can be an excellent place to start. Achieving your goals in the classroom, improving behavior, and encouraging autonomy can all be excellent places to focus, though the final plan is entirely up to you.