For many teachers, getting students to pay attention is half the battle. A new certificate program at La Salle University shows teachers how to organize and manage a classroom effectively. Learning to understand their students is the first step.
“We’re asking them to understand the impact culture, background, history, race, gender and sexual orientation have on a classroom. To be self-reflective and know how to think critically about their environment,” says Harris Lewin, director of Graduate Programs in Education at La Salle. “It’s not a cookbook approach to classroom management.”
Teachers learn techniques to manage conflict and avoid disruptive behavior, violence and bullying. And, just as importantly, Lewin says, they learn how to guide their students toward making good decisions. It’s an extension of the single course in classroom management most teaching programs include, he explains.
“As a lifelong educator, I’ve found that one course is insufficient to address the issues teachers are facing today,” says Lewin, who worked for the School District of Philadelphia for almost 35 years, retiring as a regional superintendent in Northeast Philly.
“The problems are complex, the social issues are complex and teachers need to understand what their students’ needs are and have the skills to address those needs.”
The program, called “Classroom Management, Student Resilience and Independence,” is new for this spring semester. Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working teachers and are meant for all educators.