“The function of education is to teach one to think intensely and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
During the course of my career in facilitating the Cooperative Discipline classroom management workshop (Dr. Linda Albert, author), one of the operating principles I have discovered about myself in how I desire to see my students perform in my classroom is my desire for them to demonstrate self-efficacy. What is ironic about this self-discovery is that it was not that way when I first started teaching. By my 3rd year of teaching I was confrontational and controlling, more hands-on than hands-joined in my management style and approach in intervening with students who disrupted my classroom.
This self-discovery about my desire for my students to demonstrate self-efficacy has revealed to me that managing the classroom is more about managing myself in a positive, productive manner consistently than it is about managing my students. Experience has taught me that, at no time do I have control over my students. Learning to master/model self-control enables me to articulate it consistently in a manner that influences, inspires and motivates student cooperation and participation in demonstrating self-efficacy. I cannot expect from my students what is not within me to state to them.
Chuck Noll, former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, stated, ‘People think motivation comes from the mouth. Motivation comes from helping someone get the job done.” It is my sincere belief that educators who are successful, positive and productive within the classroom is because they have excelled in becoming great motivators in helping their students achieve the goals expressed and set forth within the classroom community in a manner that moves the students to take initiative with their personal responsibility as a positive, productive contributor to the classroom community.
Ways I have been successful in promoting self-efficacy within the classroom:
- Recognizing positive behavior (providing verbal/written feedback)
- Reinforcing positive behavior with tangible rewards (verbal, treats, use of computer, etc.)
- Stating clear, specific expectations repeatedly
- Including them in discussion/lesson plan about principles of self-efficacy in relation to assignment (focus, effort, diligence, perseverance)
- Why is focus important in drawing? What does focus look like when drawing?
- Expressing gratitude to students/class when they achieve goals
- Posting names of students visibly who master desired behaviors
- Catching them at the door (Greeting students and sharing a brief positive statement)
- Creating short-term/long-term goals related to behavior for students/classes to improve self-efficacy
May God grant you insight, wisdom, understanding and knowledge that will help you to progress, succeed and prosper in your ability to effectively manage your classroom and maintain order.