[NOBE-L] Classroom management

nmpbrat at aol.com nmpbrat at aol.com
Thu Sep 16 06:31:02 UTC 2021

Noah,I don't know how much help I can be but I am also a low vision teacher.  Classroom management is based upon clear expectations that are taught to students and consequences for failing to follow those expectations.  One suggestion I have is using proximity control...meaning moving around the room as much as possible, spending more time standing near students who may be the more likely culprits.  This can be a deterrent.  Secondly, I don't know what your school's policy is but if you catch a student with say a cell phone out, confiscate it.  Teens hate not having access to their phone.  In my school, we can take it from the student since it is in the school student handbook that they cannot be out and visible.  We take it to our principal who calls the parent and the parent must come and pick it up to get it back.  This is an inconvenience to the parent who hopefully will make it clear to their child that the behavior is not tolerated.  Additionally, further infractions are punishable by school discipline procedures.  I guarantee you that if you confiscate one or two phones...the word will get out amongst the students and they will be far less likely to have them out in your class.  As for computer use, again, if they are caught using inappropriate websites, in my school that is against the student handbook and is punishable with typical school discipline procedures.  Seeing that students are on inappropriate websites can be challenging though and has been a difficulty for me especially since students can quickly move off the website if they think you are looking.  This can be a challenge for even sighted teachers.  I would do random checks though.  Tell students that you have the ability to check their computer at a moments notice.....meaning if you are walking around the room, you can randomly select a student's computer and check it. You would do this without warning them that you were going to do so, so as to not give them time to get off the site.   I don't know if you have enough vision to do so but I would do random checks and if found to be on something they aren't supposed to, remove the privilege of using a computer in your room (at least temporarily).  This may cause you to have to use a little creativity if you have given them an assignment on the computer....but many things could be adapted to a pencil and paper task.  After having to do a couple paper and pencil tasks, have a conference with the student to discuss reinstating their ability to use a computer in your room.  Let them know that if they are caught again, the consequence will be greater.  Lastly, I would say developing rapport with students helps.  Although some of the most likely culprits of these things are kids who are hard to develop rapport with, doing so helps.  It also helps to have good relationships with your "good students", as they will willingly offer up info to you on the side.  For example, they might come up to you after class and say "Mr. Scherf, I don't know if you saw or not but Timmy was on his cell phone while you were teaching at the board."  Although it doesn't give you information at the moment it is happening, it gives you usable intel for the future and you can pay extra attention to Timmy in the coming days.  Hopefully you will get lots more suggestions that can help you.  Best of luck,Nicole

-----Original Message-----
From: Scherf, Noah J via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Scherf, Noah J <NoahScherf at creighton.edu>
Sent: Wed, Sep 15, 2021 12:57 am
Subject: [NOBE-L] Classroom management

Hello everyone,
My name is Noah and I'm a first year low vision teacher. I'm the first visually impaired teacher to ever go through my program, so I'm reaching for help from people with more experience. For context, I teach middle school.

One vision related aspect that I'm really struggling with is classroom management. I'm not able to see much further than a student or two away, and many students have quickly learned that they can take advantage of this (having their phones out, using school technology for the wrong purpose, etc.) I'm hoping I can find any tips/resources for a first year low vision teacher struggling to manage students I can't see.
Noah Scherf

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