You Can’t Teach a Class You Can’t Manage
by Donna Whyte
“You can have the best lesson plans in the world, but when your students are playing desk-to-desk leapfrog in the middle of the classroom lesson plans aren’t much help…”
That’s the opening line of the very apt description on the back of Ms. Whyte’s entertaining and informative book. A friend recommended it to me and I’m passing on the recommendation to everyone, new teachers and veterans. This book is a reminder that we are trying to teach children to be responsible and accountable for their own actions. We need to educate them, not just control them.
I am in total agreement with Ms. Whyte’s views on teaching children to solve their own problems. If we spend hours each day tying shoes, sharpening pencils, getting papers, and mediating minor disputes then we are taking time away from academics. But we must begin the year by teaching children the routines and procedures they need to solve their daily problems. We can’t assume they enter our classroom knowing our expectations. We can’t assume they know how to behave politely or be kind to others or respect someone else’s rights. We have to spend a few weeks letting them get acquainted with us, with each other, and with our classroom environment.
Ms. Whyte has some very practical ideas about classroom management and she presents them with logic and humor. A good read and a good reference for the new year!