My ability to manage, guide and supervise my learners during the learning process is an indispensible component that demonstrates that I can deliver effective teaching and learning activities; “Classroom management implies that humanistic orientation expands young minds and attitudes to adhere to the behavioural rule of social interaction. Successful teachers are those who knowingly make decisions that are based on sound principles.” (p. 350).
Ground rules in the class strongly influence, and shape the atmosphere in the class for a whole year. This work is looking at my own technique (self-managed group), which I used and has been very efficient in helping younger students become independent, and effective team members.
The way I manage my class, is based around the Maslow theory of need (see Figure 1); The humanist class management technique is offering my students the sense of community; they operate as resourceful self-managing unit, helping them become individually confident in participating group activities/discussion (enhance critical thinking) and expert learners (progressing with lifelong learning skills) in collaborative manner. This level of autonomy is only attainable because I use both Co-operative and collaborative learning in my classes. With those methods of teaching I am able to address issues with educational needs, overall academic achievement, offer an inclusive and multicultural learning environment, and help students foster the habit mutual care.
Class rules are set at the beginning of the year with an open mind offering the students to take control of their own learning averment, by negotiation with me, and adhere to their own rules. When setting ground rules as a group, I act as a facilitator, we explore the followings;
– Mutual respect and understanding: respect each other’s background, abilities, and views when assessing peers criticize view or concepts but not the person, give positive feedback. And also look at learning to work with each other where students are given set exercise to start to know each other (i.e.: when they are putting a point across in group discussions, others don’t interrupt).
– Observing the environment: To encourage students to be aware of safety issues, we set the “Stay safe” practice where for a term, one student will act as a safety officer and check and report issues with equipment or safety in the class. I also ensure that students are aware that they can come and discuss their own personal issues with me during Personal review.
– Climate Setting / Working Together: “it is important that students see themselves as part of a larger supportive group – the class – not just as members of one small team” (J. Luotto, & E. Stoll, 1992, p. 9). The students learn to come to class prepared and willing to participate, but they also develop the sense of caring for each other.
– Speaking out; I usually ask the students to set the time of the day they want use to discuss the whole group issues, views and ideas. This is usually called the “Board Meeting”.
-Representative: students also elect a representative to express and discuss issues or ideas with the course leaders at set meetings where I won’t be attending; giving them the opportunity to have say in the development of college wide policies.
With the above agreed ground rules and codes of conduct and behaviour between me and my learner(s), we are able to show respect other, learn from each other by working in groups. I run my classes efficiently so student can self-manage within a short period of time and able to trust each other. It is also clear that I offer a learning environment that is based on a humanistic curriculum, looking at different ways to lose power but gain mutual understanding and respect; “In order to be an effective classroom manager, the teacher should learn to exercise the least amount of power necessary to accomplish the desired result” (Leriche, 1992, p 77-89). And in my case the desired result is getting the students to be able to take care of their individual needs (basic, belonging, self-esteem and actualization), know when they are safe (within an environment and using equipment), and learn to independent members of this society (gained skills to gain work or go further in their studies).