Teachers know that one key to a successful school year is to ensure classroom expectations and routines are well-established within the first few weeks of school. Criterion 2a and 2b in the DPAS-II framework articulate the characteristics of successful classroom procedures and behavior management systems. Classroom walk-throughs early in the year can focus on classroom procedures and student behavior systems to ensure feedback and support for teachers to find success in early efforts.
Criterion 2a is “Managing Classroom Procedures.” In an effective classroom, “classroom routines and procedures have been established and function smoothly for the most part, with little loss of instructional time.” The elements of this criterion, listed below, describe procedures that might be considered:
- Management of instructional groups
- Management of transitions
- Management of materials and supplies
- Performance non-instructional duties
A classroom with successful procedures may seem to “run itself;” students know what to do and when to do it in order to keep learning moving smoothly.
Criterion 2b is “Managing Student Behavior.” In an effective classroom, the “teacher is aware of student behavior, has established clear standards of conduct, and responds to student misbehavior in ways that are appropriate and respectful of the students.” The elements of the criterion describe the three essential steps in managing behavior:
- Monitoring of student behavior
- Response to student misbehavior
Getting to a classroom that “runs itself” and student behavior that is well managed requires up-front planning by the teacher, and early work to set expectations and to teach students to adhere to those expectations. Spending early days and weeks making clear what students should (and should not) be doing in the classroom can set a teacher up for success over the year, and, most importantly, ensure that learning is maximized in the classroom.