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Kalie Rickard

Classroom Management Plan (CMP)

ED 310 Organizing and Managing Classroom Environments
Professor Perhamus
Classroom Management Beliefs
At the heart of this Classroom Management Plan are the following core principles of my
teaching philosophy:
o Equity
o Relationships
o Honesty
o Respect
o Communication and understanding

My philosophy of classroom management:

As a math teacher, I fully expect my students to be active and engaged in the learning of
mathematical concepts. However, in order to ensure that this learning can occur, a well-designed
classroom management plan is key. I believe that this plan should lay a foundation for what I
desire in my classroom from year to year, with the expectation that it will need to be adapted for
each set of students. I feel that a preventative plan that pays close attention to respect and
community will be most effective. I know that discipline problems will inevitably arise, but my
hope is that by having a basis for how to deal with these issues, and conveying it to the students
will help create a positive learning environment.
I also believe in the power of engaging lessons and respect as means of classroom
management. If my students are involved and interested in what they are learning, there is less of
a chance for them to misbehave. When students feel valued and important to the overall
classroom environment, they are more likely to emit respect toward others, thus resulting in
fewer discipline problems. So, creating an engaging, active-learning, respectful environment will

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increase my students willingness to put forth positive attitudes and work ethics, eliciting an
overall well-managed class.
I picture myself as an authoritative teacherone who has expectations for her students,
but treats them with respect and support. My students will know how much I care by the time I
take to form personal relationships with each of them. Along with this knowledge, theyll
understand that since I believe so strongly in them, I will always hold them accountable.

My goals of classroom management:

My goals of classroom management stem from the core principles of my teaching
philosophy. I want each of my students to know that he/she is a valuable contributor to the
classroom. No one should ever feel intimidated or afraid to share his/her feelings in front of his/
her peers. Our classroom will be a judgement-free zone, and along with that comes respect.
Respect is big for meI expect respect toward the teacher, respect toward every student and
respect toward oneself. Building honest relationships with one another and oneself helps hold
everyone accountable for his/her actions. A more stable, safe environment is created when
students feel they are able to be honest and that their voices matter. When this occurs, students
take part in the classroom management. They check their neighbors and assist the teacher in
ensuring that everyone is on task. I am not the type of person to lay down the law and tell
students exactly what they can and cannot do. Rather, I would like to open the lines of
communication and ask the students how they envision their classroom. What do they want it to
feel like? What do they want it to look like? If they take part in creating the classroom
management plan, then they are more highly motivated to follow through on their end.
I also understand that my students will come from a variety of backgrounds. I may not be
able to change what goes on in their home lives, but I can make sure that each of my students has
an equal opportunity to succeed while in the classroom. Letting them know that I am there to
support them through whatever hardships they may face will help me earn their trust. Once I earn
a students trust, they are more likely to have my back, and act in such a way that contributes
to a positive classroom environment.

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Room Visuals:


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Room Arrangement:

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Room arrangement narrative:

I am a firm believer of cooperative learning and having students teach concepts to their
peers. Therefore, I have my students desks arranged in groups of four, so that they have multiple
minds off of which to bounce ideas. Ideally the tables would be large enough for the students to
spread out their books and supplies and still have adequate space to complete their work. Smith
and Bondy (2007) suggest that room arrangement and the use of space can influence student
behavior (p. 153). If students feel overcrowded or that their work area is congested, it can create
feelings of anxiety and make them too overwhelmed to produce quality work or become too
distracting (Mundschenk, Miner, & Nastally, 2011, p. 99). None of the students have their backs
to the whiteboard and Smartboard, so there is no reason for any student to be looking anywhere
but the front of the room when someone is presenting. The teachers desk is placed in the corner
of the room so that she is able to view all of the students at the same time while they work. Those
students who may require additional supervision or proximity control to complete their work can
be seated near her, while those who are able to self-monitor can be placed in the far corner of the
The couch and comfy chairs are included to make the overall feeling of the room more
inviting to students. I dont want my classroom to emit a sense of anxiety or rigidity, but rather
warmth and openness. If students need a quiet, secure place to hang out before or after school,
they will know that they are always welcome in my classroom. Or, if students work better
relaxed on the couch versus their stiff desk chair, then I want to be able to accommodate them. I
had a teacher in high school who had two couches in her classroom, and it just felt more
comfortable and inviting. It made the white cement walls appear a little less drab and depressing,
and really contributed to the sense of community in the class. I know first hand what minor
furniture adjustments can do to the atmosphere of a math room, and I want to mimic these for my
As for the visual examples I provided, they can be divided up into two categories:
content related (D, E) and character related (A, B, C). Beginning with the content related visuals,
D is a fun way to use math and relate it to staying on task. I personally enjoy these posters
because they make students think in order to understand their true meaning. Visual E is crucial in
my opinion to have in a math classroom, because students are constantly asking when theyll
actually use any of this math in real life. This poster shows them every career that requires at

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least some mathematical knowledge or background and helps them relate what they are learning
right now to what theyll be doing in the future.
Next are the character visuals. These are my favorite, because above all, I want my
students to leave my classroom pondering and exhibiting qualities of leaders and positive
thinkers. Visual A speaks directly to this ideaI truly do care more about who my students
become and how they treat others than the grade they receive in my math class. They arent just a
number in my eyes. Craig, Bell and Leschied (2011) state that an important component of
successful outcomes in reducing violence in schools is related to the degree of commitment of
the teacher to end the violence (p. 23). While my visuals may not speak directly to violence, C
discusses attitude, which is directly related to behavior. I am committed to putting an end to
bullying, put-downs, etc. in schools, and that will be reflected in what I choose to put up on my
walls. We all have choices to make everydayone of those being our attitudeand it can make
a world of difference. Finally, visual B is simply a reminder of how we should treat one another.
Its similar to rules, but I see it as more of a daily prompt to help us all start our day off on the
right foot.

Organization of Social Environment

Classroom rules:
o What are the key rules?
I really like rules from both of the visuals above. So, listed out altogether they
would be: Be ready to learn, say please & thank you, dream big, be

respectful, do your

best. always, take risks & make mistakes, work hard, help each other, use kind words, do the
right thing, tell the truth, never give up, ask LOTS of questions, dont whine.
o How will they be determined?
At the beginning of the year we will take a day or two to create a social
contractsomething we all agree upon and agree to abide by. The students will
their ideas (some of which Im assuming will overlap with the rules


above), and those that

dont overlap will be ones that I suggest. We can reword or rework rules that the students feel
need tweaking so that they feel they can adhere

to them throughout the school year.

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o How will you communicate these rules to students, parents and
I plan to have a Weebly web page where parents and students can frequently visit
to stay up to date on current homework, events, etc. In addition, I will post these rules on the
home page so that there is no question as to how our classroom will be run. A possible
introduction letter to parents and students would be as follows on the Weebly:
Dear parents and students,
I am so excited to be working with you this year. My philosophy is to have
an open line of communication so that you know what is expected of you (student) in our
classroom. Below are listed the classroom norms we will abide by as determined by
myself and the students.
List Rules/Norms
Thank you for taking the time to read through these!
I will provide a copy for the administration so that they are aware of what is expected in
my classroom. There will also be a copy hanging in our classroom. I dont want the students,
parents, or administration to say that the rules of our classroom were inaccessible or unclear, so I
will be sure to provide multiple copies to multiple parties.

Classroom procedures:
o How will you structure activities and lessons?
I plan on having a warm-up everyday so that students know what to expect
when they walk into the classroom. This will take no more than five minutes to complete and no
more than five minutes to go over. These will either be a review of the focus from the previous
day or an introduction into todays lesson. Once we finish going through these, well launch into
the main topic for the day. My goal is to have a variety of structures for my activities and lessons
so that Im able to reach all types of learners. Some will be project-based, some direct
instruction, others will use technology as a tool to explore and still others will utilize
cooperative learning. There will always be some type of closure, but which type it is will depend
on the days lesson. Possibilities are group discussions, partner work, exit slips (one or two
problems), stop-light sticky notes (to let me know what went well, where there is still confusion
and what questions still exist), among others.
o How will students turn in their homework (if applicable)?

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Homework will be turned in at the beginning of the class hour to a tray on the
teachers desk. That way, she will be able to see if anyone turns it in late and can check to see
who didnt turn it in at all. There will not be homework everyday by any means, but on the days
that it is assigned, the students are expected to complete it by the beginning of the class period.
o How will you inform students of deadlines?
The students will told in class of all upcoming deadlines and/or tests. There will
also be a monthly calendar on a bulletin board in the classroom that lists all of these dates. To
allow the students to access the schedule from home (and to allow their parents access if they so
desire), the deadlines will be put on the Weebly site. The teacher will update the site each night
to inform the students of homework (if there is any) and to keep them in the loop on upcoming
o How will students ask for help?
I want my students to feel very comfortable asking for assistance with
anything that may be going on in their lives. During class they can raise their hands to ask
questions, approach the teacher at her desk during work time, or ask fellow classmates for help.
They can also come in before or after school or during lunch or planning period if they need
additional assistance. I want to make myself as accessible as possible.
If the students need to get a kleenex, sharpen their pencil, etc. within the room,
they are welcome to do so quietly without asking the teacher for permission. If they need to get a
drink or use the restroom, a simple hand raise and request to leave the room is all that is
necessary. The teacher will inform the student whether or not it is an appropriate time to leave,
unless of course it is is an emergency. Then the student is able to go without question.
o How will you get the class attention?
To start off the year Ill use the technique we use at my TA school, which is Can
I have a 3, 2, 1, 0? It was quite effective with the students and gave them a few seconds to wrap
up their conversations and refocus their attention. Once the students and I become more
comfortable with one another, I will hopefully be able to use fun or silly clapping signals or
phrases. This will all depend on the maturity of the students.
o How will you structure transition times?
I will let the students know from the start of the school year that we will not waste
valuable learning time going from one activity to the next. Putting away and getting out materials

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does not involve talking to neighbors. Our class time is short enough as it iswe dont need to
cut off any more!

Rules and procedures narrative:

Classroom rules that are overly negative (i.e., dont do, you cant, never) come
across as harsh and cold, which is not the type of message I want to portray to my students. If we
are all going to abide by these rules and norms, then both the students and myself should have a
say in what they are. If they take part in establishing the norms, they are more likely to observe
them because it benefits the group and they can recognize the benefits (Leriche, 1992, p. 79). I
dont ever want my students to feel powerless or helpless, so by starting the school year off with
an activity in which their voices are heard will help set a positive tone for the rest of the year.
Having our rules stated in a positive manner and reviewing them frequently helps the students
know what is expected of them and demonstrates what they should strive towardand veer
away frombut does so in a constructive way (Allen, 2010, p. 8). To create and maintain a safe
environment, rules and norms must be followed, but that doesnt mean that the classroom needs
to feel like a prison to the students. They can learn to respect their classmates in a way that builds
their self-confidence and ability to interact in a community setting.
Keeping the students to a general daily routine will allow for more effective learning and
fewer discipline issues. If students are busily engaged in positive learning experiences, they are
less likely to engage in disruptive behavior (Leriche, 1992, p. 82). When students know what is
expected of them during every moment of class, theyre more likely to stay on task, especially if
they feel like a valued member of the learning environment.
Since I will be in either a middle or high school classroom, my students will be making
the transition from childhood to adulthood. With that comes added expectations and maturity. I
would never ask them to do something that I myself could not do (Ullucci, 2005, p. 43). I dont
see how this is fair, especially since their brains arent as fully developed as mine (which isnt
even completely developed!). Im not going to prohibit them from doing something as basic as
using the restroom or getting a sip of water. If they need to sharpen their pencil or blow their
nose, then they should be able to do so without it causing some great class disruption. Until the
students show me that they cannot handle these responsibilities maturely, then they will not be
taken away. If for some reason there was an issue with one of these privileges being abused, then

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there would be a class discussion to come up with a solution. I want them to be as involved as
possible in establishing the way in which they should carry themselves in my classroom.
Hopefully this carriage will extend beyond my four walls.
For the how will the students ask for help? section, I think my description is fairly selfexplanatory. I want to reiterate how important creating a safe, welcoming environment is to me. I
had teachers growing up whom I was terrified to approach and ask for help, and I remember
thinking how I would never be like that if I was a teacher. So thats my goalmake every
student feel as though he/she can approach me at any time about anything. I will do everything in
my power to give them all the assistance I possibly can.

Classroom Incentives
I will not use physical, tangible incentives in my classroomat least not consistently or
frequently. That being said, I do believe in the power of positivity and will use it frequently with
my students.

Classroom system for encouraging positive behavior:

o How will you support students individually and as a group?
On an individual level, I want to get to know each one of my students so that I
know where his/her strength(s) lie. I can then use this information to my advantage and let him/
her be a leader in his/her area of expertise. I will also let them know that I am always available to
help, and that I will figure out a way to work around my schedule so that I can be of whatever
support necessary. To support the students as a group, I want to have large class discussions
where everyones voice is heard. Encouraging students through my words and body
language is how I will instill a desire to do well in their minds. Rather than treating them like
dogs (if you do a trick, you get a cookie), Ill treat them as they arehuman beings. I believe
that all people benefit and grow from continuous praise, motivating words and inspiring actions.
o How will you ensure that your incentive system is fair to all students (of
different learning styles; cultures; abilities, etc.) ?
My incentives will have to do with willingness to participate, take chances and
grow. I will do my absolute best to prompt those students who are quieter or less apt to speak out
in class to let them know that everyones opinion is valued in our room. There is no punishment

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for a wrong answer, because thats the best way to learn. If we never make mistakes, then we
cant learn from themso what good does that do? Another possible tactic Id like to try is
picking five students each day to really focus on and hear from. I would make sure to cycle
through each student in the classroom before repeating any. Im not sure how this would play
out, but it would definitely ensure fairness in terms of attention and finding the good in each
o How will you teach this system to your students?
My hope is that my students will learn by example. Once they realize that Im not
the enemy (and that Im actually pretty cool), I think receiving praise will boost their self
esteem, thus making them more apt to exhibit these positive characteristics more often. And not
doing so because they get something for it, like candy, but because they know its the right thing
to do and because it makes them feel good about themselves. Once they see how good this feels,
I would love to see them passing on this praise to their peers.
o Does your system require certain items? Do these items cost money? How
will you provide these items?
This system requires no items. It comes from within, so it isnt something that
can be bought. Of course, I have no problem bringing in little extras every once in a while, but
not to bribe my students into behaving. Ill do these little bonus things for them to let them know
how much I appreciate their cooperation and how proud I am for their actions. Theyll learn that
good things come to those who do good.

Classroom incentive narrative:

In the Smith and Bondy article, they discuss the effect making positive comments in the
classroom can have on the overall atmosphere. Not only does this positivity contribute to a
psychologically supportive environment, but it can help students develop behaviors that serve
them well in and out of the classroom (Smith & Bondy, 2007, p. 153). This coincides with my
desire to not only teach students math, but to navigate them towards becoming valuable members
of society. When the teacher is supportive to the student, it helps foster an encouraging teacherstudent relationships. For some students, this will be one of the most important relationships of
their lives. They may feel abandoned by all other adult-figuresyou just never know when
youre going to be someones person. Praising students frequently, specifically during the

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initial stages of learning something new, can help boost their confidence and continue to
motivate them, even through difficult concepts (Musti-Rao & Haydon, 2011, p. 93).
My reasons for not using tangible incentives in my classroom stem from the readings we
have done this semester, as well as from my teacher assisting placement observations. It has been
shown that, although rewards generally improve behavior in the short-term, under certain
conditions they can actually reduce performance and intrinsic motivation, especially in the longterm (Bear, 1998, p. 6). Once students who were intrinsically good realize that they can get a
reward when on their best behavior, they may start misbehaving during the portions of the day
when incentives are not offered. This isnt teaching them any worthwhile principles or morals
that will benefit them in the future. Its just teaching them how to react to a stimulisomething
that almost any living creature can do. Another good point that is brought up by Ullucci is, what
happens when you stop paying children for their good behavior? What does this transaction
teach children about making good decisions? (2005, p. 42). Anyone can teach a kid a trick
given some candy and a few minutes, but I want to do more than that. I want to help inspire them
to make positive choices for the rest of their lives because they know theyre the right things to

Responding to disruptive behavior

Define disruptive behavior
Disruptive behavior is anything that a student, teacher or other person does that distracts
another student from learning or prevents another students ability to learn.

Action steps for responding to disruptive behavior (list and explain the steps)
A student will get two warnings (as long as the behavior is not threatening the life or lives
of any other person or persons in the room) before more drastic action is taken. Its just like
baseballon the third strike, youre out.
The first warning will be simple (possibly proximity control, adding the students name
into a sentence, etc.). The next warning will include calling the student up to the teachers desk
or bending down in front of the students desk and letting him/her know that this is his/her final
warning, and that the behavior being exhibited does not correlate with the social contract.
If the student continues misbehaving past this point, the teacher will ask him/her to stay
after class to discuss the situation. If it is one particular student who is causing an entire group to

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misbehave, the teacher will try to get the student on her side and ask that he/she keeps an eye on
the people who were creating the disruption. Giving the student responsibility lets him/her know
that the teacher is trusting him/her with an important job, and it would be a shame to disappoint.
If the student is having an individual problem, the teacher will create a plan of action
collaboratively with the student to reconcile this issue. This action plan will include the problem
behavior, the reason it is distracting/how it affects the other students in the classroom, why the
student believes he/she is continuing to perform said behavior, how he/she is going to stop the
behavior, and what the reasonable consequences will be if the student continues to commit the
The parents will only be involved if the action plan does not work for the student. The
administrator will be made aware of the action plan and given a copy (he/she may choose to
include the parents if deemed necessary). Other teachers should be included in the action plan so
that they know what behavior is expected of this student so that it can be enforced consistently. It
does no good to only enforce the positive behavior during one hour of the students life, because
it doesnt teach consistency.

What are the students rights?

The student has the obvious rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but the student
needs to realize that his/her rights cannot infringe on the rights of others in the classroom. The
student cannot be forced to do something he/she does not want to do, but needs to understand
that because of the school policies and social contract in place, consequences will be applied.

What are the teachers rights?

The teacher also has a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as long as these rights
do not interfere with anyone elses. The teacher has the right to impose the consequences set out
by the student handbook and/or social contract if a student has violated a rule or policy. It is very
important for teachers to make their expectations, rules and consequences as transparent as
possible to the students, teachers and administration. So, these will all be listed on the Weebly
site, given to the principal, sent home with the students and hung on the classroom wall.


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Disruptive behavior response narrative:

I have seen first hand how students react to harsh discipline in my teacher assisting
classroom, so I know that it simply does not work. The teacher has no respect from his students
and kids only behave out of fear. This is absolutely not the type of person I am, and my students
would see through my tough guy facade in a New York minute. Therefore, my reaction to
disruptive behavior is to treat each case as an individual incident with an individual motive. I
prefer to deliver reprimands to students in a calm, soft tone so that the student and I can discuss
his/her actions one-on-one and the student does not need to feel embarrassed in front of his/her
peers. Research shows that this is much preferred by students because it is a much more positive
way to solve the problem (Bear, 1998, p. 4).
By letting students actively participate in the decision making process surrounding their
behavior, a sense of autonomy is created and the consequence tends to hit closer to home (Bear,
1998, p. 4). If the student comes up with the solution plan, he/she is going to be more motivated
to follow through since it was something he/she created. It is important that the teacher verify
that the consequence aligns with and is relevant to the defiant behavior. If not, it will have no
deep meaning to the student and the lesson will not be internalized. When consequences are
logically connected to the misbehavior, they are likely to discourage the misbehavior (Smith &
Bondy, 2007, p. 155).
I feel that I will be an authoritative teacherone who demands a lot from her students,
but also lets them know that she is there for them no matter what. I wont just see the disruptive
behavior being exhibited by the student, but the student behind the behavior. There is likely a
reason why he/she is continuing to commit the interruptive behavior, and I want to work with
him/her to figure out a way to extinguish the need to persist. I prefer to take a preventative
measure (establishing the social contract, building up rapport with my students, letting them
know how much I believe in them and how high of expectations I have of them), but in the
imminent case that there is a discipline issue, I will work with the student to help him/her resolve
his/her own behavior.
By working with the students one-on-one and formulating action plans, they will learn
how to take charge of their own future actions. It creates autonomy and prepares them for having
to be in control of him/herself throughout the rest of the school year and beyond.


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Building community
What will community mean in your classroom?
Community is probably the most important thing to me in a classroom. Its the feeling
students and teachers have from the moment they walk in until the moment they leave, and I
want it to be a positive one. My students and I make up a community, and that comes with
responsibility. A community builds one another up, checks in on its members, makes each other
laugh (though never at anothers expense), empathizes with one another and overall provides a
sense of togetherness and belonging.
In our community, students will be free to share their feelings with everyone without fear
of being judged. It is an underlying rule that whatever is shared within our four walls does not
get shared with others. My students should feel comfortable and safe enough to say what they are
feeling, especially if its something they would like to receive feedback on from their peers.
This idea of community in the classroom is something I would definitely discuss with my
students in the beginning of the year. It would likely go along with the creation of our social
contract, because I want to know what community means to them. What would they like it to feel
like? After all, this is their classroom, too, so they should have input as well.

How will you foster a sense of community in your classroom?

As mentioned above, the idea of community in the classroom is something I would like to
discuss with my students. I dont want to assume that they know what Im talking about when I
say that we are a community and we will treat each other as such, because if they dont then Im
simply setting them up for failure. That being said, once we do agree upon the norms and rules of
our community, I expect the students to abide by them, and if they are not able to then there will
be consequences. It may take them a little while to get used to this idea, but once they experience
it (and possibly learn by making a few mistakes), the feeling of community will be emitted
throughout the room.
I will also lead by way of example. Once they see how I treat my students and peers with
respect, kindness and a positive attitude, they will begin to understand how it is that they are to
treat others. I have a high tolerance for many things, but putting others down and exuding a
negative attitude are two exceptions. Often, when students learn that a teacher is cool or
chill, they learn to really pay attention to what irks him/her and makes sure not to take part in

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whatever it may be. Their actions emulate to others of how they should behave. I believe in
putting a decent amount of responsibility on my students, because they are learning to be mature,
young adults, so what better way to do so than act as such.

What role will the students and perhaps parents have in nurturing this sense
of community?
Parent involvement in nurturing the sense of community in the classroom would be
amazing, but I dont want to assume that I will have that each year. If I am fortunate enough, I
will absolutely welcome any questions, comments and/or concerns from parents about the way I
run my classroom. There will be a letter sent home at the beginning of the year explaining all of
the expectations, norms, rules and procedures that will take place in their students classroom. I
would greatly appreciate their support and/or feedback on what is included in the letter so that I
know that they are going to hold their sons and/or daughters responsible at home, too. Its great
to practice being a member of the community I have described above while at school, but its
even better if the students can continue with this attitude and these actions while away as well.
The students will act as leaders and mentors to ensure that the sense of community is
continuously nurtured. If I see a subset of students acting in a way that is counterproductive to
our positive environment, I will talk to the ring leader of this group and get him/her on my
side. He/she will be my eyes and ears and make sure that everyone is following along with the
class atmosphere we wish to create. Once they see their leader acting a certain way, its only a
matter of time before theyre in copy-cat mode doing the same thing. For the students who dont
have this issue, but are possibly a little shy, Ill encourage them to speak up and share with the
classespecially if I see that they have a unique way of thinking about a certain problem or
activity. This can boost their self-confidence so that they are more likely to share in the future. I
want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and willing to be themselves (at the very least)
within my classroom.


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Community communication:
Dear parents and students,
My name is Miss Rickard and your son/daughter is enrolled in my math class this
semester. I am looking forward to an exciting year. It is my goal to provide all students with an
educationally challenging, yet fun, experience in my classroom.
Math is a very demanding course. Therefore, be sure to reassure your son/daughter that it
is OKAY to struggle! Making mistakes is what helps us learn. :) I will always be available for
extra help should he/she so desire, and I will do everything in my power to help him/her
understand the concepts and discover new and engaging things in mathematics.
Hopefully, your son/daughter has brought home his/her course syllabus and you have
both read and signed the syllabus contract. I have written this contract to ensure that both the
students and their parents understand how this course will run. If you have any questions
regarding the syllabus or the course, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I have extremely high expectations of all my students, and for that I will not apologize. I
am asking for your help to maintain those expectations by checking with your son/daughter
periodically to make sure that his/her work is being done. Yes, these are high school students, but
who doesnt need a little reminder every once in a while?! :) I am available to help students
individually before school, during my prep periods, and after school. I have included a copy of
the course syllabus with this letter. If you would like me to notify you of test dates and/or update
you on your son/daughters progress, please fill out and return the e-mail form included with this
letter. Please do not hesitate to contact me at {phone number} or {email address} if you have any
questions or concerns during the year.
Thank you,
Miss Rickard
I would also send the classroom rules that we have devised (from the previous section)
home with my students, along with a note (also above).


Kalie Rickard
Dear parents and students,
I am so excited to be working with you this year! My philosophy is to have an
open line of communication so that you know what is expected of you (student) in our
classroom. Below are listed the classroom norms we will abide by as determined by myself and
the students.
List Rules/Norms
Please note that we will also abide by all policies as stated in the school
handbook in this classroom. Please read through this will your son/daughter, too.
Thank you for taking the time to read through these and if you would like
clarification and/or have concerns/questions please do not hesitate to contact me at your
Thank you,
Miss Rickard

Building community narrative:

Looking back on my schooling (K-12), the classes I enjoyed most werent simply the
ones where I received the best grades, or easily understood the content, but rather the ones where
I felt like what I had to say matteredthat my teachers and my peers cared. That is the reason I
have the desire to be a teacher. I want students to be inspired in my classroom, whether that
inspiration comes from me or from one of their classmates. So, I feel that it is my job to
constantly strive to have a solid, healthy classroom environment in which each of my students
truly feels as though they belong to a communitya family. For all I know, we could be the only
family they have.
While in my teacher assistant placement, I noticed that the students and teacher were
disrespectful toward one another, and it made me so sad. Here are middle school students with
incredibly impressionable minds, and not only are we letting them say things to their peers and
elders that are so hurtful and demeaning, but the elders are saying them back! I saw how this
endedno respect from the teacher toward the students and no respect from the students toward
the teacher. The students dreaded coming to class and the teacher talked to my partner and
myself constantly about the bad and good kids in each hour. It killed me to hear him call


Kalie Rickard
students bad when really it was a poor choice that he/she had made, but it didnt define him/
her. I never want students to come in saying they hate this class. They dont have to like the
content, but I dont want them to dislike the people theyre surrounded by or the way they feel.
Students who do not feel safe and valued will find it impossible to focus on academics
or relationships with others (Miller & Pedro, 2006, p. 294). If students are neither focusing on
the academics or their relationships, what are they focusing on? My fear is that it is feelings of
loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc.none of which are healthy for anyone, let alone a fragile
middle- or high-schooler. The students and the teacher (myself) will work together to develop
high expectations for everyone and challenge ourselves to stick to them. These are ways in which
to ensure a respectful and safe learning environment (Miller & Pedro, 2006, p. 295). Students
will begin to realize that their actions affect and influence not only themselves, but everyone else
around them. This is a powerful lesson for students to learn (Allen, 2010, p. 2).
Much of what I believe in can be attributed to the ecological systems theory (1979),
which argues that the relationships of students to one another and the teacher within classrooms
are reciprocal and interconnected (Allen, 2010, p. 2). Everything we say and/or do affects
another person. Only the individual can choose how what he/she says will affect another. It is my
goal to ensure that in our classroom community, the only things that are said to others build them
up rather than tear them down.


Kalie Rickard

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