Successful Classroom Management: Real-World, Time-Tested Techniques for the Most Important Skill Set Every Teacher Needs

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9781402240126: Successful Classroom Management: Real-World, Time-Tested Techniques for the Most Important Skill Set Every Teacher Needs

Lead, Inspire, and Change Your Students' Lives

Each year, tens of thousands of new teachers head out for their first teaching job, ready to fulfill a lifetime dream. However, most teachers have nothing to prepare them for or support them on one of the most important parts of their job: how to effectively run a classroom and handle the students.

Successful Classroom Management is the first book to give you the skills you need to manage a classroom effectively. Richard H. Eyster and Christine Martin present the lessons that have made them the most sought-after seminar trainers on the topic, addressing:

Handling Classroom Problems
Troubleshooting Issues
Enforcing Discipline
Inspiring Students
Creating an Engaging Classroom Atmosphere

Filled with expert advice, stories and tips from teachers, and spot-on techniques, this is your new essential handbook that will help you not only survive in the classroom, but also live your dream and give your students the full gifts that come from a great education.

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About the Author:

Richard H. Eyster is Head of School at The Summit Montessori School in Framingham, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received his Masters in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Christine Martin is currently Department Chair, Learning Skills Department at Packer, where she directs the New Faculty Mentoring Program.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From the Introduction

There are brief encounters, small moments that forever change one's life. I was in San Francisco ages ago, attending just another conference among many. The keynote speaker had just finished his address, and I rose with the rest of the audience to leave. Halfway up the aisle, in the heart of that milling, moving crowd, I stopped abruptly and turned. I had the distinct feeling that someone was watching me.

From far across the ballroom, a young woman was staring intently in my direction. I had no idea who she was. I checked behind me to see if I had mistaken the direction of her gaze, but there was no one behind me. And the mischief in her smile only deepened.

Before I knew it, she was only six feet away. She stopped before me then, her hands folded behind her, waiting for me to give up, but suddenly, I had her. With a suddenness that shocked and delighted me, I caught sight of a nineyear- old child gazing impishly from the eyes of the young woman before me. I burst into a laughing grin and reached out to embrace her. It was Jennifer Longley.

A dozen years before, I had taught Jennifer as a third grader. I had never seen her again-until now.

She still had a light spray of freckles across her upturned nose and the same devilish glint in her eyes-although obviously much had changed over the years. As we spoke, she began to fill in the blanks of that intervening stretch. Her mother had remarried and had moved to Maine. Her older sister, whom I had also taught, had taken a job with a magazine in New York. And Jennifer had taken a job in California, working through her first year of teaching, serving out an interim year for a teacher on maternity leave.

Our conversation quickly filled the minutes before the next series of workshops. We were headed in different directions, but before we broke away from each other, we agreed to meet for lunch.

I was very excited to have run into Jennifer. Beyond the simple pleasure of such a reunion, I felt a deep, resonant joy that someone as wonderfully bright and good-hearted as Jennifer had looked at the myriad opportunities before her and had chosen to teach. She had been a generous child, with a capacity for reaching out to classmates who struggled. Hundreds of students would come to be touched by her spirit. Many would be forever changed by what she brought to her classroom each day. The teaching profession is enriched every time a Jennifer Longley gives up the chance to achieve fame and fortune to take on the education of the young.

But when we met for lunch, things changed. We seated ourselves at a big, glassy café and began to catch up. She was teaching high school English. It was "fine." It was going "okay." We talked about the books she and her students were reading. I said that it must have been tough taking on a one-year assignment so new to the profession. She nodded, looking down and away. She didn't immediately surface from the nod. Her head remained bowed for too long. When she looked up at last, her eyes were brimming with tears.

She began speaking of the kids, good kids she couldn't really begin to control. She said she even knew how much some of them-all of them maybe-wanted her to be strong enough and sure-handed enough to control them, to keep them on course, but there was this group of boys...her voice trailed away then.

After a moment, she had the courage to meet my eyes and continue talking. Just the week before, she had missed a day because of an illness. The very next day, when she returned, the class was more chaotic than it ever was before. And one of the girls who had really liked her and had been rooting for her all along came up to her at the end of class. With a scalding look, she confronted Jennifer and hissed, "Even the sub could control us better than you can." And at that confession, right there in the noisy, crowded clatter of the restaurant, Jennifer Longley began to cry.

We spoke for a time. I tried to console her. I wished that there was something I could have said, something I could have done or offered to ease her pain. I wished that I knew what to tell her. I felt helpless in my compassion and care. After a while, we rose to go our separate ways. I gave her a parting hug. A soft light had begun to return to her eyes, not so much of hope but of the simple relief of having shared such a deep and secret grief. I never saw Jennifer again, though I thought of her countless times in the days that followed.

Several years later, I went to a reunion at the school where I had taught her and saw a number of her classmates. Several of them had been in touch with Jennifer in the interval. She was now doing "something in marketing." That had been her one and only year in education. We had lost her. Generations of students who would have had her as a teacher, learning English, decency, an enthusiasm for literature, and their own creative expression, would never know what they had missed.

Jennifer Longley had had a great deal to give, but she wasn't able to last. She hadn't had time to learn the survival skills of classroom management. One quiet June afternoon in a school emptying for the summer, she had packed her books and left, never to return. In so doing, she had left more than just a school behind. She had left education, and perhaps her own self-image, self-esteem, and aspirations were forever diminished.

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