I’ve Tried Everything, EP 02: Classroom Management

In this episode of “I’ve Tried Everything” specialists Angela Isenberg and Melinda Marquez discuss classroom management and how teachers and administrators can work together to improve the classroom experience for all.

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Angela Isenberg:          

Welcome to, I’ve Tried Everything. A podcast series focusing on behavior support in schools. I’m your host, Angela Isenberg. Our special guests for the series is Melinda Marquez.

Melinda Marquez:        

Hi, I am the coordinator for school improvement and accountability here at Region 13.

Angela Isenberg:          

Today we’re going to talk about classroom management and navigating, what are we expecting from every classroom on campus in the world of classroom management? If pulling in from what we did last time in the series we talked about discipline matrix of what is a classroom manage behavior versus office. If we’re going to ask teachers to manage behaviors in the classroom, we need to give them the tools that they need. I’m thinking about a situation that I had in the classroom and I definitely needed some tools in my tool belt in this arena.

Angela Isenberg:          

I had just asked the students to get into groups and they were supposed to grab the materials and go to their group. I’m doing my thing. I turned back and all the sudden this one girl, she’s probably 5’10, was just beating the crud out of this poor, scrawny little ninth grade kid. I’m like, how did this fight happen in like two seconds in my classroom? There was no way I was going to step in the middle because she would have flattened me out like a pancake if I would have intervened.

Angela Isenberg:          

So, I am hitting the black button, that infamous black button on the wall, I’m screaming for my colleague that was across the hall and I’m going, “Miss [inaudible 00:01:30], Miss [inaudible 00:01:32].” I’m yelling for Miss [inaudible 00:01:33] to come over. She said that she was teaching and she is like, “Boys and girls do you all hear that [inaudible 00:01:39]?” Because I’m yelling, “Miss [inaudible 00:01:41] come over.” By that point, by the time she got there, the office had not responded to my 50 taps on the black button and a boy had stepped in and separated that situation up.

Angela Isenberg:          

So thinking about it, a new teacher, there were things that I should have done that probably would have prevented that fight from the world of classroom management. If I would have taught students the expectations before going to pick up the materials, we probably wouldn’t have had that issue of students grabbing what somebody else was going to grab or whatever that that might’ve been. Melinda, what did you expect every teacher, when you walked through your campus, what did you expect every teacher to have in their classroom?

Melinda Marquez:        

Well, one of the biggest pieces whenever you’re walking in as an administrator, what you can see if you want to have an immediate see, would be some kind of reference, or an anchor chart to the campus wide expectations. Because if you have the strong system on campus, it’s not just for hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, it also needs to be in the classroom. What’s expected in the classroom. So you would want to see those anchor charts, referenced charts on the wall.

Melinda Marquez:        

But not only are they on the wall, but are teachers using them whenever they’re redirecting students, are they just decorations hung up at the very top corner in order to comply with a checklist or are they being used by the teacher to really redirect that behavior?

Angela Isenberg:          

It’s always fun as an observer to go in and the teacher do something that they’ve never done before or reference something that they’ve never referenced and the students are looking at them like, “I have no idea what she’s talking about.” That ever happened to you in a walkthrough?

Angela Isenberg

Angela Isenberg

Angela has 22 years of experience in education. She has been in her current position for 12 years. Angela has trained and provided coaching support to over 200 campuses for PBIS. She is also a certified Restorative Discipline coordinator. She is a trainer for Interventions, Coaching Classroom Management, CHAMPS, and Why Try.

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