Influences in Teaching Essay

Influences in the Teaching Environment In this essay I will identify how ten negative behaviors and/or classroom conditions can influence the teaching environment. In addition, I will outline several different strategies that may be used to create a positive atmosphere conducive to the learning environment. In my personal experience inside the classroom, I have witnessed students act out for a variant of reasons. Most of my experience is primarily with elementary aged children so I feel it is especially important for me to instill in them the proper conduct and self control skills early.

Some of the negative conditions I have seen consist of: 1) The groups inside the classroom that negatively influence another’s individual behavior. 2) The teacher’s poor communication with his/her students. 3) The teacher’s dictatorship of rules and policies that the children do not understand or agree to as fair. 4) Students that do not have a sense of belonging inside their class. 5) Teacher’s that hold grudges or prejudges against students based on multiple factors. 6) Student’s who are punished opposed to being disciplined. ) Teacher’s who do not maintain the respect of their students who may view them as a role model, source of knowledge, referee, judge, or surrogate parent etc. 8) Students that only behave to get rewards and do not know true discipline. 9) A lack of order, organization and structure inside the classroom. 10) Teachers that are nonassertive and take an overly passive approach with their students. These negative classroom conditions can have a huge influence on the classroom management of the teacher and the learning environment of the children.

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It is important we understand how to handle misbehaviors in a way that teaches discipline and promotes self discipline. In our first example of negative group behavior, one may observe imitative behavior, scapegoating, and hiding places for non achievers. Redl and Wattenberg state, “In any class, students take on student roles, such as leader, follower, clown, instigator, and scapegoat. ” They informed teachers to be watchful for the emergence of these roles, bring them to the class’s attention, be prepared to encourage or discourage them as appropriate, and know how to limit their detrimental effects (Charles 2008, p. 5). In our second example of a teacher’s poor communication one can realize the importance of congruent communication. A teachers poor speaking can result in a negative teacher-student relationship. Ginott explains teachers should use sane messages to address misbehavior. Sane messages focus calmly on what needs to be corrected without attacking the student’s character or personality. In addition to this, he recommended using I-messages instead of you-messages. This means to direct the statement onto oneself and not on the student so they will not feel defensive (Ginott 1971, p. 2). Thirdly, a teacher’s dictatorship can result in a negative teaching environment as well. Ginott warned against this advising, “teacher’s at their best, using congruent communication, do not preach, moralize, impose guilt or demand promises. Instead, they confer dignity on their students by treating them as social equals capable of making good decisions. ” In addition, he emphasizes “do not dictate to students or boss them around, which are acts that evoke resistance” (Charles 2008, p. 61).

According to Dreikurs, good discipline occurs best in a democratic classroom, where both the teacher and student work together to make decisions regarding the class. This will help to prevent and minimize misbehaviors in the classroom. Our fourth behavior consists of students who do not feel a sense of belonging. Students feel like they belong when they are given attention and respect, involved in activities, and are not mistreated. When students do not feel like they belong they act out in mistaken goals of attention seeking, power seeking, revenge seeking, and inadequacy.

Some of the problem behavior when seeking attention can be demonstrated when students talk out, show off, interrupt others, and demand teacher attention. Students seeking power may drag their heels, make comments under their breath, and try to show that the teacher can’t make them do anything. Revenge seeking students however, resort to lying, subverting class activities, and maliciously disrupting the class. Students feeling inadequate will withdraw from class activities and make little or no effort to learn. Teachers must be able to identify these mistaken goals and in doing so, discuss it with the student.

This should be done in a friendly, non-threatening manner. This strategy in addition to fulfilling their void to belong should result in more positive behavior (Charles 2008, p. 61-64). The fifth negative classroom condition is described by a teacher that holds grudges and or prejudices towards the students. Obviously, this will create a negative student-teacher relationship and perhaps an abuse of authority on behalf of the teacher. For the student it can make it difficult and uncomfortable to learn as well. A strategy to remedy this is to use influence techniques to better respond and control student behavior (Glasser 2000, p. 5). Some positive influence techniques may include supporting student self control, offering situational assistance, and helping students become aware of the causes of their behavior (Charles 2008, p. 56). I feel this will help build better relationships with students and minimize any prejudices and or grudges by trying to understand and support each individual student. A sixth example is a classroom where students are punished as opposed to disciplined. Dreikurs believed punishment should never be used in the classroom. It is humiliating to the student and has ill effects on the mental and emotional state of the child.

Many view punishment as a way for teachers to get back at their students and show who’s boss. Dreikurs explained, “Rules for governing class behavior should be formulated jointly by teachers and students” using logical consequences (Charles 2008, p. 64). This means the consequences should reflect the compliance or violation associated with the rules. I feel this will add order and structure to the discipline plan as well. For our seventh example, we will discuss the negatives of a teacher who does not have the respect of her class due to not fulfilling the role of her student’s expectations.

This could range from being a role model, referee, judge, and surrogate parent. Redl and Wattenberg advised “teachers need to be aware that students hold these expectations and discuss them openly with their students. ” It is important that teachers show a genuine desire to be helpful, remain objective, show tolerance, a sense of humor, and help students maintain positive attitudes regarding school (Charles 2008, p. 56). The eighth negative behavior consists of students who only behave well to receive rewards and otherwise misbehave. This has a bad influence on the class because the teacher has to bribe the students to act properly.

They will not know why it is truly necessary and important to behave. To counteract this, a teacher must simply teach them how to behave desirably and show them how they should not behave. Our ninth example can be seen in a poorly arranged classroom and layout. It may lack in order, organization, and structure which may make children less motivated to learn. It may also make it difficult to observe the students. A strategy to resolve this is to create a positive learning environment with lots of images and information on educational subject matter.

The teacher may also arrange the desks in a way that supports Kounin’s theory on awareness called “withitness” which will help teachers monitor and interact with all the children (Charles 2008 p. 57-58). Lastly, our tenth example is the overly passive teacher. Students are often left confused about expectations and enforcement under this type of classroom. The students may feel insecure, frustrated, manipulated, and have little respect for their teachers in this situation. In addition to this, teachers are unable to get their needs met and may become stressed and hostile toward the students.

Teachers must become assertive to meet their needs and those of the class. The Canter’s suggest for them to utilize student collaborations and to help students practice acceptable behavior. This will help students learn proper behavior and be able to rely on the consistency and clear expectations of their teacher in a comfortable learning space (Charles 2008, p. 67). This informs my personal classroom management system because it allows me to be aware of the importance of consistency and teaching discipline inside the classroom. Personally, I agree with Rudolph Dreikurs theory of having a democratic classroom.

I feel that it is important for the children to help implement the rules and policies of the classroom as well as the consequences if broken. In my opinion, this helps them take ownership and have a sense of belonging so they feel apart of the class. This also helps me, as the teacher educate them on discipline and ensure they have a thorough understanding of what is expected of them. Through my analysis of these negative classroom conditions, I feel better equipped to create and modify my own personal classroom management system.

In summary, there are many different strategies one can implement to maintain proper classroom management. This can help to prevent or change any negative behaviors that may influence the teaching environment. It is important for teachers to master this skill to discipline their students so they will eventually begin to utilize self discipline; which is the teachers overall goal. References: Charles, C. M. (2008) Building Classroom Discipline (9th ed. ), Boston: Allyn and Bacon Ginott, H 1971, Teacher and child, Macmillan, New York. Glasser, W 2000, Reality therapy in action, Harper Collins, New York.


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