by Shelley Sheets
You, the instructor, are the facilitator of the classroom climate. To effectively avoid and manage conflict, you must create standards that are clear, basic, assertive, and meaningful. This may include establishing a motto that reflects standards of behavior such as, "All students are expected to demonstrate respect and responsibility for themselves and others during the class," or "Each student uses respectful words and actions with one another." Have students agree to demonstrate social courtesies while interacting and be aware of appropriate boundaries. It is important to empower all students so that no individual s thoughts or ideas overpower or diminish any one else s. It is your job to make sure that all the students learn from each other. Every class is an evolving, dynamic entity wherein learning takes place on levels above and beyond the boundaries of the written curriculum.
People hunger to be appreciated and validated as worthwhile individuals with gifts and talents to share. Inevitably there are times in the classroom setting when students needs are not met. This may include feeling excluded from the group, having a perceived lack of power or leadership skills, or fear of failure. Other times students may feel their identity or values are being negated. They may perceive a lack of acceptance for their ideas or a disrespect of their personal goals. Just like the ignored toddler who acts out with frustration and anger, adults will react in several different ways. They either withdraw, becoming the quiet overlooked student in the back of the classroom, or feeling that negative recognition is better than none at all, become the hand waving, "look-at-me" student monopolizing the conversation. Assist the student in identifying what is troubling him/her and set out a plan for overcoming the issue(s).
When dealing with conflicts keep calm, be assertive, and use a neutral voice. Have a private discussion with each involved student reminding them of their agreements. Use statements such as, "We agreed that..." "Help me understand what caused you to break the agreement." "What can be done to reestablish the agreement?" or "What actions do you need to take to not break the agreement?"
Classroom management may also include class meetings to prevent problems. Establish specific procedures and use tools such as a talking stick or agendas. Train some students to be facilitators, recordkeepers, or timekeepers. Give students the ability to manage themselves by discussing potential problems and creating solutions ahead of time to avoid possible conflicts. Once classroom agreements are established, it is your role as facilitator to consistently maintain the integrity and purpose of those agreements. By doing so, you build trust, security, and a sense of fairness in dealing with your students.
Strive to promote a classroom atmosphere of cooperation versus competition. This allows and encourages each student to reach their maximum learning potential in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. At the same time they learn how to cooperate with each other'a lesson they will take with them into their careers.
TOPIC: Pass Your Problems
Objective: To obtain several possible solutions or suggestions for students current challenges or problems in the classroom.
Procedure: Form groups of 6 students in a circle or around tables. Ask each student to think about a current classroom problem or concern and write the problem on a blank sheet of paper. After allowing a few mintues to think and write about their problems, ask each student to pass the problem to the right. That person silently reads the problem and has 30 seconds to jot down the first thought(s) that come to mind. Then each student passes the paper to the right again. Repeat this process until each student gets back his/her own sheet.
Discussion Questions: What are some of the practical solutions offered? Did anyone discover novel solutions that had not been previously considered? What value do some of the suggestions merit? What other ideas or solutions were triggered by these suggestions? What lesson does this teach about reaching out to others for guidance and assistance?
Materials Required: Paper, pencils
Time Required: 15-30 minutes.
Source: Adapted from Even More Games Trainers Play, by Edward E. Scannell and John W. Newstrom, who adapted it from Cookies from Home by Susan Brooks.
There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.-- Richard Bach
Teacher Support Materials
We are dedicated to assisting you in providing quality business education so your students have every opportunity to succeed in their chosen career. We accomplish our objective using several mediums: written materials, web site resources, and one-to-one contact.
Our written materials include our Teacher's Manual, test questions that we e-mail to you for your convenience, syllabi covering 16, 33, and 50+ hours, and our Teacher's Aide Newsletters.
On our web site you will find our Teacher's Corner. While this section is under construction, we do have our 50+ hour syllabus which can be copied and utilized to enhance or create your curriculum. Also, a sampling of the contents and excerpts from our Teacher's Manual is available for those who want to get an idea of what it entails. We are working on the other sections which include back issues of the Teacher's Aide Newsletter, Teachers Workshops and Teaching Tips.
On our site we also have an Articles and Publications section that has various articles written by Cherie Sohnen-Moe where you can gleen additional business information for your students.
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The Massage Kit
by The Massage Garden
The Massage Kit is the first of its kind with all the office materials needed to run your business in one package.
The kit includes 21 master office forms for making copies such as: Confidential Client Intake, SOAP Notes, Insurance Information, Referral Tracking List, and Statement of Services. Also included are 7 educational handouts to copy and pass out to your clients with topics covering important related issues like: "What to Expect After a Massage," "Ice vs. Heat for Injuries," "The Importance of Stretching." Additionally you get the following: 15 brochures of three different styles to market your business; and 10 elegant foil and embossed gift certificates of two different styles with matching envelopes. All material is designed to be personalized with your own stamp or sticker.
The Massage Kit saves hours of designing professional material to promote yourself and putting all your forms together. It is convenient, ready to use, and makes a great graduation gift!
Since the beginning of 2002, the following schools have selected Business Mastery 3rd edition as a part of their curriculum, thus expanding our family to 420 schools requiring our book. We welcome them and express our sincere appreciation for using our products and services to enhance their students success!
Write a Feature Article
We send special thanks to Laurel Freeman and Melissa Sheets for their contributions to the Teacher's Aide Newsletter! If you are interested in writing a feature article for the newsletter, please call SMA at 800-786-4774 or e-mail us. We welcome you as a guest writer and look forward to sharing your knowledge and experience with our colleagues!
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Marketing Mastery has just started and has over 100 subscribers! This comprehensive on-line marketing plan is quickly becoming an important guide to expand your marketing and networking efforts, elevate your visibility in the community and increase your client base.
Tammy Frazier wrote: "Thank you. I have really enjoyed your web site and have been putting your marketing advice to work. I have been an independent contractor in a health club for the last year as an RMT. I am moving into my own massage studio at the end of February. Your advice has really helped me focus on what to do next to build my business even more. Thank you for making it so easily available."
Please encourage your students to visit our web site to utilize the information and resources available to support them in their success.