Mrs. Masten - Science


Classroom Management Philosophy

  • The purpose of education is to build a foundation of knowledge and skills that pupils can use to be successful in their desires of life. The arena of education has many variables that can facilitate or inhibit its real purpose. Most of these variables fall outside of the scope of this post. However, there are four immense concepts I value in the facilitation of education's purpose: a good teacher, good teaching, classroom management, and the degree of instructor control exhibited in the classroom.
    First, Jenkins (2015) describes good teachers with four qualities. He emphasizes them as those “who most move us, who have made the most difference in our lives, and whom we most wish to emulate” (pp. A31). I resonate with the quality of passion; I want to use my abilities to make an impact on the lives of our youth. Burden’s (2013) caring student-teacher relationships can be utilized as a strength and close the diversity gaps by incorporating different diverse backgrounds, adding substance to a secondary class. For myself, passion is the strongest quality that a teacher can project, because it brings emotional value to education. I believe that student-teacher relationships can make the largest impact on what students are willing to accomplish and the skills that they build in education.
    However, while passion is important; I disagree that positive relationships alone make an excellent instructor. Burden (2013) and Marzano (2007) claim that calm exterior assertiveness will deter classroom misbehavior. There is a balance when asserting management routines and developing respectful group cohesiveness, but I disagree this balance means the teacher should collaboratively establish rules all the time. I concur with B. F. Skinner (1968) that you take away a learning opportunity for the student. There should not be an abundance of rules, but a well-structured learning environment can deter misconduct (Marshall, 2016). I believe that that students work best in structured environments where they know what is expected of them and a warm demander is present.
    Secondly, good teaching seems to be thought as separate from a good teacher. Good teaching to me is improving practices to develop “withitness” (Kounin,1970). While B. F. Skinner (1968) states, “there is a fallacy in the belief that what a good teacher can do, any teacher can do. Some people are socially skillful…. They make good teachers” (pp. 704). Some people are naturally good teachers, but this does not mean others can not develop into good teachers. Teaching is a practice; the more you work at it, the better you become. Another crucial aspect of good teaching is preparation. Good teaching means preparing to eliminate unwanted behavior before it happens. Good teaching is also being able to motivate diverse students. I feel that engaging my students in real world problems and phenomena makes them more likely to behave. Students are more likely to complete tasks that utilize their current technology skill and when they are actively trying to answer questions that are valued.
    Continually, I believe the goal of good classroom management should allow for the optimal positive learning environment, where students feel comfortable and safe.  Students need, as Burden (2013) describes, seven areas that responsibly foster the optimal classroom environment. To create a respectful learning environment while managing student behaviors requires preparation. Planning lessons at the middle school and secondary level should value all diverse learner’s educational environment. The goal of my classroom management is to facilitate the purpose of student education.
    Consequently, the goal of classroom management can not be fulfilled if I do not exhibit a degree of control in my classroom. I am what students define as the “strict” teacher because pupils learn responsibility for decisions (Rose, 2013). Flexibility to meet student needs is easier with a strict and positive student-teacher relationship established. Behavior modification also can shape behavior, and the implementation should be organized, systematic, and consistent (B.F. Skinner, pp. 705). Positive responses happen if the teacher makes well-developed procedures and routines.
    The purpose of education is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills. There are four concepts that I feel have a critical influence on education. A good teacher has essential qualities that impact lives and does not always have a gifted ability; sometimes good teaching needs the practice to accomplish the crucial goal of education. The goal of classroom management should create the optimal positive learning environment, where successful implementation of the seven areas of responsibility, accomplish education's purpose. However, teachers need to exhibit a degree of control to facilitate education. I believe that my medium to high control theory that takes pieces from three different theorists I resonate with will allow me to accomplish this task.


Teaching with Technology Philosophy

  • Teaching with technology is a useful approach to maximizing student learning. I believe that the use of technology should empower students to take control of their learning and become critical thinkers about the world around them, rather than just consumers. Learning should be student-centered and give our youth the skills to collaborate, create, and critic the information they are consuming around them. Washoe County School District (2017) also believe that these 21st Century skills are necessary to thrive in a globally interconnected world.
    Continually, I feel that students are more engaged in their learning using these technological tools, and can become creators and critics rather than just consumers. I feel that more teachers need to use technology as a part of student education because we are living in a digitized world. To me, there is a larger need to teach students how to get quality information, rather than just the content itself. Most students have the ability to "Google it" or search for content, but they are not always the best consumers of reliable information. I believe that by integrating technology with content and pedagogical knowledge, educators can create optimal learning opportunities to teach the next generations how to be critical thinkers of the vast digital world.
    Further, integration of technology in the classroom can have many approaches, such as the TPACK model, the SAMR model, the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy technique, or the 21st Century learning as used by Washoe County School District. I feel that a blended approach that uses the strongest points of all these models is beneficial for me to integrate technology into my instruction. For example, the primary focus of the TPACK model is the intersections between content, pedagogy, and technology where learning can be optimized by an educator's recognition of the overlap in knowledge and skilled method of exemplifying the unique contexts created by their multifaceted teaching (Koehler, 2012). Another example would be Bloom's Digital Taxonomy that places emphasis on the communication spectrum. Churches (2009) states that 
    “…you don't have to collaborate to learn, but often your learning is enhanced by doing so. Collaboration is a 21st Century skill of increasing importance and one that is used throughout the learning process. In some forms, it is an element of Bloom's, and in others, its is just a mechanism which can be used to facilitate higher order thinking and learning. “
    This understanding is a critical piece to teaching technology in my opinion because communication skills are an essential part of education's purpose to prepare our youth for whatever journey lies next for them. This preparation is necessary regardless of the path they choose because students need to be able to analyze information and create their foundational understandings critically, but this becomes pointless unless they can successfully communicate their ideas.
    These essential teachings are a snapshot of the importance I believe in blending the best qualities of all the models. The digital world is rapidly evolving and shaping how our students view the world around them. I feel strongly the importance of making sure that our future generations have the skills to communicate and expand their understanding of this world through successful integration of technology.

  • References
    Churches, A. (2009). Bloom’s digital taxonomy. Educational Origami. Retrieved from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/
    Koelher, M. (2012). TPACK explained. TPACK Org. Retrieved from http://tpack.org/
    Washoe County School District. (2017). 21st-century learning: digital resources. Washoe Country School District. Retrieved from https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/5927