[nobe-l] Suggestions for Classroom Management?

Kathy Nimmer goldendolphin17 at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 19 00:48:36 UTC 2010

No magic answers, Kristin, but a few strategies I use are these:

1.  Arrange the seats so you are never very far from the furthest student.  Mine are in facing rows that are three deep, so never are they further than three desks from my teaching area.

2.  Learn the voices as quickly and accurately as possible, as well as their laughs, their friends, their noise-making habits like tapping pencils, etc.  These things can help you cue in to who is where doing what.

3.  Establish that rapport with them as well and as quickly as possible, so they feel you are a good teacher and are on top of things and are worth being obedient for.  This sounds cliche, but it is honestly my biggest weapon.  If they like you and think you like them, they will want to behave more often than not, definitely more often than they would behave for someone they didn't like or didn't respect.

4.  Move around as much as possible.  Use proximity to keep them on their toes.

5.  Vary your lessons, activities, volume, pitch, rate of speech, gestures, participation methods, and routines as much as possible to keep them on their toes again.  The more interesting you keep things, the more they will be distracted from misbehaving.

6.  Keep up regular communication with parents, for good and bad things alike.  If they know you have no problem calling their parents, they will be less likely to goof around, especially if they know you might call for good things too.

7.  Choose your battles.  If a time one day has a low impact lesson that doesn't matter much if they talk or are less focused, let loose a little, as long as they know this is an exception.  Do not let them think this is you letting them walk all over you, but if you get uptight about small things, you will squash the positive atmosphere you are hopefully building, and they might misbehave more, even on those big battles that matter most to you.

8.  Remember that in every classroom, kids misbehave.  Do not take their behavior personally, unless it is good!  Smile!  You simply do the best with what you have.  Don't let anyone convince you that your classroom will always be the least controled because you are blind.

9.  They need ownership in the behavior process too, like knowing consequences of choices.  It is a joint effort.  Make those rules and consequences very clear, negative and positive.

10.  I believe in seating charts.  They help me with voices and general management.

11.  Just as you shouldn't believe you can't manage behavior because you are blind, you also shouldn't believe any of us that we have it all figured out, that our kids never goof off, that our kids never exploit our blindness.  That is all totally false, and if you as a young teacher think that we old fogies get it right every time, you will quickly become discouraged.  We have rotton days too, but we've been picking ourselves up and continuing onward for a period of several years, whereas you are just starting.  So, our lesson to you?  It is worth fighting onward, if the profession is your passion, even though the problems never ever go away completely.

Kathy Nimmer: Teacher, Author, Motivational Speaker
Even if the shadows of the valley hide your view,
You still must believe in the mountains.

> Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 16:43:31 -0400
> From: daughteroftheday at gmail.com
> To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [nobe-l] Suggestions for Classroom Management?
> Hello all,
> I am a fairly new teacher. I have tutored individual students for
> years and served as a guest speaker and reader in full classrooms
> numerous times, but I am not as familiar with techniques for c keeping
> track of over fifteen students in my own classroom. How do you as
> blind teachers manage large classes of students?
> ~Kristen Diaz
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