Before Class Begins: Ensuring Classroom Management
Aug 18, 2013 Classroom Management 3015 Views
Ensuring classroom safety begins with solid planning. We can't prevent accidents from happening, but we can prepare for most of them in a way that will minimize their effects. As a result, all school boards have systems and procedures in effect for a host of challenges from fire drills to clinics. However, as a teacher there are things you can do to make minimize problems in your classroom. Here are a few things to consider as you set up your classroom.
Ergonomics: Slips and falls are a serious concern and account for the majority of the injuries that occur in schools each year. As you set up your classroom, pay special attention to patterns of movement. Can you and your students move around the room easily without having to dodge obstructions? Are there cords or items that may trip someone up? Is the furniture in your room the appropriate size for your students? Is ventilation and temperature control adequate? What about lighting? Will your students have trouble seeing the board on bright sunny days? Having good ergonomics is essential to classroom safety and if you see issues you should take them up with administrators and/or maintenance staff.
Sanitation: Anyone who has taught a class for more than a day knows about the high risk of bringing home an unintended virus. For that reason, sanitation measures are an essential preventative measure. Most teachers provide sanitation gel, but soap and water is actually more effective. Providing the tools and instruction on proper hand washing procedures is essential. Keeping work surfaces clean and tidy is also important.
Many teachers have also made the mistake of not being careful about food in the classroom. Generally, food should be restricted to certain areas of the school, such as, the cafeteria. However, that is not always possible. When food has to be distributed in the classroom, extreme cleanliness needs to be maintained to prevent the onset of insects and bacteria.
Prevention: Finally, prepare for as many contingencies as possible. Every teacher should have band aids, Kleenex, and sanitary wipes. Having a stash of surgical gloves is also essential. If you have to help a student with a bloody nose or an open wound, you should protect yourself first. It only takes a few seconds and could save you a great deal of heartache.
Before class every begins, before the first day of school, take a look around. Have you prepared properly? Is your classroom a safe place for the kids in your class? What about the trip to the cafeteria and playground, will they be safe as well? Do you have a clean class and can you teach your kids the skills they need to maintain cleanliness? And finally, have you prepared for the things you can't prevent but you can prepare for?
Things will go wrong, we can't prevent every incident. What we can do is be pro-active about the things we can prevent and prepare for those things we cannot.