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Critical Task Final Paper

Erin Doherty
I. Philosophy of Management
Teacher Influence Paper
If you were to walk into my classroom, you will see an organized and welcoming
environment. You would see all my first grade students sitting in table groups with their nametags on each of their desks. You would see a supply box in the middle of each table group for the
students to share with one another. Hopefully, they would be on task as I teach the lessons. If
some students were off task, you would see me handling classroom management. For instance, I
would use nonverbal cues to get students on task. If a student was off task, I would simply walk
over and tap on his or her desk. An important component in my classroom would be the clipchart, which lets students visually see their overall behavior for that particular day. The role of
the teacher is to teach, answer questions, encourage students to do their best, be the role-model,
and to facilitate good and bad behavior within the classroom. The role of the student is to listen,
follow directions, ask questions when they dont understand, get along with their peers, respect
one another and the teacher, and give their best effort in completing any assignments or tasks
given to them.
The management discipline that I most align with is cooperative discipline. I believe this
discipline is the best for my classroom because in cooperative learning, relationships are
structured, manipulated, and controlled by the teacher with group competition replacing
individual competition in many cases (Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull, 2008, p. 124).
Collaborative learning is defined as students working together to help each other learn
(Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull, 2008, p. 124). According to the Managing Diverse Classrooms
text, In collaborative learning groups, interpersonal interactions are at a higher level of personal

involvement. Group responsibility is enhanced; participation is more focused on learning and

sharing, and the process takes place in a more natural learning context (Rothstein-Fisch &
Trumbull, 2008, p. 125).
From this snapshot, my philosophy of teacher influence and authority base is referent
authority. According to the reading, When a teacher has referent authority, students behave as
the teacher wishes because they enjoy a positive relationship with the teacher and like the teacher
as a person (Levin & Nolan, 2010, p. 90). I want my students to view me as a good person who
is concerned about them, cares about their learning, and demands a certain type of behavior
because it is in their best interest (Levin & Nolan, 2010, p. 90). I like referent authority because
of the positive relationship that develops between the students and the teacher. I genuinely care
about each one of my students and I want this respect to be mutual between all of us. The text
states, Teachers who engage in more positive interactions with students are generally more
effective teachers and create emotionally positive classroom climates in which students show
more respect to the teacher and to peers (Levin & Nolan, 2010, p. 90). I am a sincere person and
I feel like my personality will transfer over to how I teach in the upcoming years.
2-3 blog links (Blogs 7-9)

APA Citations
Levin, J., & Nolan, J. F. (2010). Principles of classroom management: A professional decisionmaking model, (6th Ed.). Boston: Pearson.

II. Response to first three questions located in the chart on page 8 of the syllabus.
1) What does the learning environment look like?
The learning environment is welcoming and structured. By structured, I mean that the
students know exactly what to do when they walk into the room. In the morning, they
come in and drop off their planners for me to stamp and check for any notes from parents.
They then unpack their backpacks and place them in the appropriate bins. They are
allowed to book shop until the tardy bell rings. Once they hear the bell, they should start
returning to their seats and quietly read to self. The classroom is structured because the
expectations are clear and the students fall into the consistent schedule each day. The
classroom is also colorful, organized, and accommodating. In first grade, they have a
reading carpet where they gather to listen to read-alouds and learn writing lessons.
Student work is displayed throughout the classroom, along with inspirational posters, and
academic scales.
This setting reflects more of a collaborative classroom because student behavior is the
joint responsibility of the student and the teacher. According to Chapter 4 of the Levin &
Nolan text, When viewed from the collaborative perspective, the goal of establishing a
learning environment is to develop a well-organized classroom in which students are 1)
engaged in learning activities, 2) usually successful, 3) respectful of the teacher and
fellow students, and 4) cooperative in following classroom guidelines because they
understand the rationale for the guidelines and see them as appropriate for the learning
situation (Levin & Nolan, p. 104). My first graders are active participants within the
classroom and they are capable of controlling their own behavior. They follow the rules

and understand why the rules exist. The rules and procedures make sense to them and
help shape their self-regulated behavior.
2) What are the needs of my learners?
The needs of my learners include the following: teacher assistance, attention,
structure, discipline, positive reinforcement, interaction, stimulation, guidance, social
experiences with their peers, and the opportunity to explore and learn. My first
graders usually need assistance when they are working independently on various
assignments. After I teach a lesson, I go over examples with them as a class, then I
instruct them to practice similar problems to the examples on their own. After I
dismiss them back to their seats, I get many raised hands in the air for help. I do my
best to go around the classroom and provide them hints so that they can figure out the
answers on their own. If I have additional time, I pull up a chair and work one-on-one
with the struggling student. Furthermore, I provide attention to those students who
need emotional support. For example, I have a student who has ADHD and he
constantly fidgets to look for ways to get my attention. Recently, he has stolen items
off of other students desks and even stole items from the Christmas Holiday Store.
This particular student likes when the attention is on him. This distraction affects the
rest of the class from giving their full attention to me, the teacher.
Additionally, the students need discipline and positive reinforcement. It is important
for students to know how they are doing within the classroom. They should be
praised for things that they are doing right and disciplined for any wrong-doings. This
consistent behavior management will help keep the children on track. We use the clipchart for both good and bad behavior. If a student is caught doing something bad, they

must clip-down and if a student is caught doing something good, they clip-up. At the
end of the day, they color in the color they landed on into their planners. This way
parents can see how their child did behavior wise that day. Most importantly, teachers
should provide the opportunity for students to explore and learn. I have observed my
first graders explore and learn during centers. They play either math or language arts
games with their peers. This kind of interaction helps with their social skills and their
overall cooperative learning.
3) What are the needs of the learning environment?
The needs of the learning environment include allowing a place for the students to learn and
grow. The learning environment should be functional for various classroom activities. The
learning environment should be safe, organized, equitable, flexible, inclusive, and collaborative.
FEAPS 2a-2i should all be included in the needs of the learning environment. Additionally, the
learning environment should maintain a student-centered approach. Having a student centered
classroom means focusing on each student's interests, abilities, and learning styles, placing the
teacher as a facilitator of learning.

Include at least 3 hyperlinks/ entries from data notebook as evidence.


III. FEAP 2 evidence

2a. Organizes, allocates, and manages the resources of time, space, and attention


For managing space, I designed the floor plan for the classroom layout. I put all the desks into
table groups with boys and girls in each group. I made a note of putting our exceptional student
on the end, close to the teachers desk. For managing time, I gave time limits on assignments and
asked the students to show me on their hands how much time they needed to wrap-up a certain
task or assignment. I checked the clock often to make sure we were sticking to our daily agenda.
As a teacher, it is important to allow enough time for each subject. For managing attention, I
used various attention-grabbing strategies. For instance, I would say, Class, class? and the
students would respond, Yes, yes? Another strategy was pulling a name from our index cards.
If that person was paying attention, then he or she could clip-up on the clip-chart. To quickly get
the students attention, I would say Give me five! while I raised my hand until every student
had their hand raised. This strategy helped the class refocus their attention back on me.
2b. Manages individual and class behaviors through a well-planned management system

For example, I managed individual and class behaviors through a well-planned management
system by sticking to the clip-chart. I need to work on clipping students down as well as up. In

my rst grade classroom, the rules and procedures were explained to the students on the very
rst day of school. I went over them throughout the rst week of school to remind the students
of what they were. I was really surprised to see how quickly the rst graders got the hang of it.
They were excited to follow the rules and procedures so that they could clip-up on the clip-chart.
My students really like the classroom jobs procedure because they all get a certain
job/responsibility. These change weekly so that everyone gets a turn. I implement really effective
rules that the students can reasonably follow. The students know what is expected of them when
they have concrete rules. I have a student, in my class, who is known to have behavior issues. He
refuses to come sit on the reading carpet with the rest of the students, so I made him a sticker
chart. Each time he chooses to sit on the reading carpet with the rest of the class, I give him a
sticker to put on his chart. When all the boxes are filled with stickers, he gets to have a lollipop
from the front office. This individual behavior management has been working well with this
particular student.
2c. Conveys high expectations to all students

In my internship classroom, I am currently working on being more assertive with my students.

Sometimes the rst graders think because I am not their teacher, they can get away with things. I

let them know that they must obey me as they would with my CT. This example shows that I
convey high expectations to all my students. Another example is when I use proximity
interference in the classroom, when a student is talking or o task. This strategy seems to work
and lets students know that I expect good behavior from each of them. In addition, I constantly
remind my students that I have the best first grade class in all of Connerton. This statement
makes the students realize that I have high expectations for them. They always smile when I tell
them that and it makes them want to prove that they are the best first graders in the school. In
addition, I have had many students want to redo their assignment to strengthen it knowing that it
is acceptable the way it is. This shows that they want to improve their work for their own benefit.
2d. Respects students cultural linguistic and family background

I respect students cultural linguistic and family backgrounds by remaining in open

communication with the parents. I also request parent volunteers to help out with school
functions. I have a classroom library set up with books representing various cultures, races, and
ethnicities. I have a few students with divorced parents, so I make folders with two copies of the
weekly homework for each divorced parent. Instead of having a Christmas party before break, I
planned a Winter party. This way students who celebrate holidays other than Christmas could
participate. While studying maps in Social Studies, I asked my African student to share his
experiences in Africa.
2e. Models clear, acceptable oral and written communication skills;

As a teacher, I model oral and written communication skills. I do this by talking to my students
the way they should talk to me and each other. I also write out these skills in my class rules and
procedures.In my internship classroom, I use the student planners as a form of communication. I
check all the planners every morning, looking for notes and other paperwork. I believe planners
are an effective form of communication between the teacher and the parents. Report cards and
progress reports help with showing where the children are at that time. There is always time for
improvement, and it is important to let the students parents be aware of that through written
communication skills. For instance, I modeled clear oral communication when the students were
about to take a test. I said, Here is a question where some students have difficulty, be sure to
read it carefully. I modeled clear written communication when I posted the learning goals
written in student language. For example, I CANcompare and contrast two different books on
the same topic.
2f. Maintains a climate of openness, inquiry, fairness and support;

In my internship classroom, there is denitely a positive classroom atmosphere. My CT and I

welcome the rst grade students every morning, with a smile, right when they come in the door.
We greet them by their names and remind them to unpack and turn in their planners. On
Mondays, I usually ask the students about their weekend and what they did. This warm and

inviting atmosphere enhances their learning and inuences their behavior in the classroom. I am
maintaining a climate of openness, inquiry, fairness and support. I am open because the students
can come to me if they have any questions or concerns. I let them know that I will support them
in any way I possibly can. Additionally, the students support each other through collaborating
and peer tutoring. The students even clap for each other or congratulate each other for moving up
reading levels. This openness does affect the students in my classroom because I have observed
my students helping each other on various occasions. For example, if one student is not
understanding a particular task or assignment, another student will run over and try to assist their
peer. Although this is really sweet of them, usually this situation distracts the helper from doing
his or her own work. Since school supplies are already shared in our rst grade classroom, being
unprepared for class is not an issue. I usually allow the kids to help one another because they sit
in table groups. As long as everyone is getting their work done, it does not create a problem.
2g. Integrates current information and communication technologies;

I integrate current information and communication technologies by telling my students about

current events. For example, on Veterans Day, I asked my students to make cards for our
Veterans. I explained what it means to be a Veteran and I told them how they relate to our current
world. I use the projector as a form of communication technology. I display items such as stepby-step examples, student work and reasoning, and pictures or photographs relating to the lesson.
I can communicate through using the projector, in ways that I could not without this form of
technology. For instance, I use the document camera to share the blank Venn Diagram at the
beginning of the lesson and the completed one at the end of the class period. We have also used

nearpod.com for interactive science lessons. The students follow along with the lesson by using

the class-set of laptops.

2h. Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of
students; and,

I realize that I will teach many different kinds of learners. Some will need more motivation than
others. It is important for me as a teacher, to see my students as people too. I want to reach
everyone and help in any way I can. I will denitely use independent work and small-group
work in my future classroom. I have seen the benets of each in my internship. I do my best to
accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students through grouping students desks in a
strategic manner. I pair lower-achieving students with higher-achieving students. This way the
students can assist each other. For instance, I provided small group instruction for students who
needed additional support. During math, I pulled the same group of four students to work with
me on the math worksheets. These students continually struggled with math and needed the extra
assistance. I adapted the learning environment by dedicating a large space for students to work
on the floor. They were allowed to use clipboards to write on as they made themselves
comfortable on the floor in the classroom. I also utilize the round table, in the back of the
classroom, to work with students needing more support.
2i. Utilizes current and emerging assistive technologies that enable students to participate in
high-quality communication interactions and achieve their educational goals.

I have a student who uses assistive technologies such as a pencil grip and a slanted writing pad.
These two items enable him to participate in communication interactions and helps with his

educational goals. The pencil grip helps him hold his pencil correctly when he writes. He seems
to enjoy using it because its squishy. The slanted writing pad helps him position his paper
while he writes on it. He is the only student in our class that uses assistive technologies. At first,
the other students felt left out for not having these technologies at their desks but they quickly
realized that Dillon had specific needs that were different from their own. Dillon feels special for
having these assistive technologies because he is the only one who has them. He often says
things like, These are for me, and no one else can use them. Dillons items help him achieve
his educational goals and allow him to keep up with written tasks.
IV. Final question in chart

How does my facilitation of the learning environment impact the learners in my classroom?
My facilitation of the learning environment impacts the learners in my classroom by
allowing my students to learn and feel comfortable within the classroom setting. I allow
my students to learn by providing them opportunities to explore, learn, and grow. I love
seeing my students fully understanding a concept for the first time. I allow them to ask
questions and discuss various topics. The steps that I take to help my students learn and
feel comfortable include the following: provide visuals or other concrete examples which
would include printed handouts and Venn diagrams. I also make sure they are fully
engaged in the lesson being taught. Without their attention, there is no learning
experience. To make my students feel comfortable, I have to be receptive, be a good
listener, a good observer of the overall classroom, and be available for their specific
needs. As a teacher, I should facilitate what goes on within the learning environment. I do
this by regulating what happens during and after the lessons. I provide constructive

feedback and help them expound on their own ideas. If the students feel safe,
comfortable, and accepted then they will want to learn and explore.
5) Make a claim about where you feel your classroom management skills lie as of now based
on information you have provided in the rest of this critical task. What strategies do you
think you have to continue to work on? What strategies do you feel you have mastered?
Claim: Classroom management is an essential part of every effective classroom. I should
implement many different approaches throughout the school year. Maintaining structure
within the classroom environment helps the students follow expectations, rules, and
guidelines. With more teaching experience, I will start to feel more confident and
comfortable with my profession. Just like any chosen career, success takes effort and time
to develop.
Strategies I have to continue to work on: Assertiveness, teacher-voice, maintaining the
students attention.
Strategies I feel I have mastered: Lesson plan templates, preparedness, professionalism,
organization, collaboration with CT and peers, small group teaching.