Monday, October 11, 2010

Modeling Classroom Management

Today was a professional day at our school. However, as with most meetings at school I am often stunned by the number of colleagues who are engrossed in other things.  Laptop screens were up and cell phones were being used to send text messages.  That said, I can only imagine how those individuals  would react if their students behaved in a similar manner while they were giving a presentation. 

Am I guilty of this behavior? Absolutely. But before I could start tapping away at the keyboard today, our MS Head, Phil Spears, did something that caught not only my attention but the attention of the entire division.  Prior to his presentation, he asked the faculty for some tech free time and he requested that we lower the lids of our laptops.  
That was it!  Phil modeled effective classroom management albeit with his teachers. He had our attention and we were all better for it. 
So is it the technology's fault? Hardly, it is an exercise in self control, restraint, and ultimately respect.
Ok class, lids down!


Wm Chamberlain said...

Are the teachers distracted because the pd is not important to the teachers? A lot of these sessions are mandated by the state I live in and are not very engaging.

Teachers really are the worst audiences though :)

Michelle said...

I would guess that much of it stems from lack of input and empowerment of the staff as well. It's difficult to be engaged in a meeting that is poorly communicated, or for which you had no decision-making or input for the professional development in that meeting, etc.

There are some GREAT leaders in schools who empower their staff members with faculty-run meetings and PD. I feel that engaging meetings and PD sessions are just as important as engaging learning experiences for students. If my kids would be bored by what I'm doing- I'm not doing my job. Should be the same for teachers. If I'm engaged, there should be no need to tell me to close my laptop lid. In fact, maybe what I'm doing on my laptop is directly related to what we're discussing in that meeting. :-)