The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify and evaluate classroom management strategies that may prevent the need to discipline. This study is focused on the beginning of the class period (take-up time); special emphasis is placed on how a teacher’s leadership style sets the tone for the remainder of class time. The sample consists of a high school in a small community with 900 students in grades nine through twelve. Twenty high school teachers were observed and analyzed in the following areas: (1) their physical presence when the bell rings; (2) their interaction with students; (3) how they handle non-academic interruptions; and (4) focus strategies used to start the lesson. Questionnaires were distributed to 13 teachers and 20 students to gain further insight into factors that contribute to disruptive behavior, determine effective prevention strategies, and find out which characteristics of teachers are most important. In addition, personal interviews were conducted with five teachers that focused on student misbehavior and establishing the student/teacher relationship. The data revealed: (1) teachers and students have differences in perception and comfort level, (2) physical factors contribute to disruptive behavior, and (3) take-up time is essential to the flow of the lesson. In addition, effective classroom management strategies are contingent on a positive student/teacher relationship.
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