All good teachers have
dreams for their students. What is your
dream? If you could have anything you wanted for your students, what would it
be? I’ve had so many dreams for all of
my classrooms and schools and NOW for the millions of educators and their
classrooms and schools. Over the years, I’ve developed, through experience and
exchanging ideas with the best educators in the world, the absolute best
simplified methods, which I call: 5 Star Classrooms.
In various industries in the world, the 5 Star Rating System is generally used to measure safety or quality. If you have stayed in a 3-star hotel and a 5-star hotel, you notice a huge difference and not just in the cost. You notice the higher quality and customer focused mission of 5 star rated hotels. In classrooms where there is more of a student focus, you will also notice very effective classroom management and a much higher quality of instruction. So, for the sake of helping everyone to implement the classroom management concepts in a simplified manner, we will refer to these highly effective classrooms as 5 Star Classrooms going forward.
Let’s go there together…
Let’s think about this in terms of how to plan for the year, how to set up the classroom effectively and how to actually manage the classroom when the students arrive - from day one!
In some situations, classrooms are being used for multiple grade levels, subjects, and purposes so some of the 5 Star Classroom design methods may not be easy to implement. However, for the most part, classrooms are set up according to grade level or subject matter, and teachers can use this 5 Star Rating, or one adapted from it. The 5 Star Classroom planning and design methods provide an excellent guideline and standard of how to set up a classroom with student interest and success in mind.
for principals, or for teachers or other administrators who may handle school
level staff development programs, a suggestion for implementing the 5 Star Classroom
rating system is to use the check lists in this book and have all teachers
visit each other’s classrooms using the rating sheet. As a school leader, this
can be used as an opportunity to set up a high performing school culture with
high expectations, and you can create a climate where teachers are helpful to one
another (this check list can be adapted based on your unique school mission or
educational program). It is even a good idea to have classrooms rated again
throughout the year, especially after a holiday or spring break, in order to
keep the standards high. School administrators can even incentivize staff members
who achieve the highest ratings to make it more fun.
Now, as a side bar, many teachers are in a situation where they have very little control over the classroom setting. Perhaps they move from classroom to classroom without a place to call home. Perhaps they are in a temporary space, or their school is going through a period of transition, so they have to make adjustments. I think we have all been there, but the good news is, situations like this are generally temporary. So, if this is you, just hold on and do what you can with what you have. When you do get a classroom space you can call you own, then you can implement these practices. Until then, you can learn along with the rest of us and help those of us who do have classroom spaces. Much of what we are discussing will be about how to utilize your classroom space effectively, but it will also be about how to manage the students in the classroom. So, this will apply to all teachers, whether you have your own classroom space or not.
Are you ready?
Let’s take the guess work out of how to create a 5 Star Classroom.