Philosophy of classroom management and discipline
Imagine, you look around the classroom and the children are all engaged, on task, productive and content. This is an example of classroom philosophy that supports effective classroom management.
To quote Maria Montessori, “”The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'”
No matter how long you have been in the world of teaching, your classroom is not just a room with desks and chairs, but, hopefully, an engaging space for learning and growth.
As an educator, your guiding light is your classroom management philosophy. It’s the compass that guides your approach to discipline, organization, and creating a positive learning environment.
Let’s chat about what an example of a classroom philosophy:
- how it differs from a behavior management philosophy for discipline
- and provide you with five easy steps to make your own.
While we’re at it we will be inspired by the Montessori approach.
I will even include some classroom management philosophy quotes to inspire you as you create your own classroom management philosophy.
Step 1: Understanding the Basics
What is a Classroom Management Philosophy?
Your classroom management philosophy is your big picture or big idea for creating an environment that is effective for learning.
You will want to make sure it includes a plan to ensure students’ well-being, and nurture their personal and academic growth.
It’s like the North Star, leading you every step of the way.
You will learn more about my personal example of a classroom philosophy down below, but just a few thoughts before that.
My philosophy grew with me; I didn’t really have a clue in the beginning.
As you teach I believe that your philosophy will grow deeper and richer out of what you discover is important to you about teaching and caring for children.
As I mentioned earlier I was frustrated when I was initially told that I need to create a classroom management philosophy. Now, as I write this post, I realize that reflecting upon my philosophy fills my heart with my best memories, reflections and lessons from teaching.
I pray one day, if not today, it does the same for you. 🥰
Different from Behavior Management Philosophy
While classroom management and behavior management are often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same.
Behavior management is mostly focused on managing and modifying student behavior. Typically through a system of rewards and consequences.
On the other hand a classroom management philosophy encompasses a broader spectrum, including organization, communication, positive classroom community, social emotional instruction, and differentiated curriculum.
Classroom Management Philosophy and Discipline
Although discipline is an essential part of your classroom management philosophy, it’s not about punishment.
Let’s take a moment for a bit of trivia! 🎉
Do you know the meaning of disciple, which is the root word of discipline? It comes from the Latin word for “student.” Many believe a disciple is a “follower” because of the use of the word in the New Testament, but in really it means student—as in, “one who studies.”
The word “discipline” is from the, “disciplina: Latin word for “instruction and training.” which is derived from the root word “discere”—”to learn.”
Bringing that into the classroom context, or any context for that matter, the word discipline just means that when students make a mistake it is our job to guide our students toward responsible decision-making.
Your philosophy sets the tone for how discipline is approached in your classroom.
Step 2: Reflect on Your Values
I know that my classroom management philosophy aligns with my core values and beliefs as an educator.
I considered the following questions:
– What kind of learning environment do you want to create?
– What values do you want to instill in your students?
– How do you envision your role as a teacher in shaping students’ lives?
– Is it your goal for them to behave while they are under your supervision, or for them to learn a pattern of disciplined living that will benefit them for the next 60 years?
Step 3: Craft Your Philosophy Statement
Now that you’ve reflected on your values, it’s time to craft your own philosophy statement. Here’s a template to help you get started:
Classroom Management Philosophy Statement Example:
“My classroom management philosophy is built upon a foundation of a nurturing, inclusive, and student-centered learning environment.
Each student deserves to be treated with respect, kindness, and empathy while valuing their individuality and unique contributions to the class.
My goal is to foster open communication, where students can safely express their thoughts and ideas.
I believe that a well-organized classroom creates a sense of peace and calm, and nurtures student independence.
Clear expectations and routines set the stage for effective learning and create the basis for the creation of the respectful, kind and empathetic classroom I value.
In my classroom philosophy, discipline is not about punishment,
Discipline is about helping students learn from their mistakes and helping them to grow into responsible individuals.
I am inspired to empower my students to take ownership of their actions and to make positive choices, both academically and personally.”
Feel free to use this template to get you started and adapt it to your beliefs and style.”
Step 4: Gain Inspiration from Montessori
The Montessori approach to classroom management is gaining momentum everywhere, and it is known for its child-centered philosophy.
Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori method, believed in creating an environment where students have the freedom to explore and learn at their own pace.
Consider again the quote on the Montessori classroom management philosophy:
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'”
You, as the teacher, have the opportunity to empower students to take control of their learning.
Empowering students to take control of their learning is a fundamental aspect of an effective example of classroom philosophy.
Step 5: Describe Your Philosophy
In steps 3 and 4 you designed your classroom management philosophy statement.
Now, it’s time to elaborate on it and provide some context.
Describe your own example of classroom philosophy in a way that reflects your passion for teaching and your commitment to creating a positive learning environment:
What Is Your Classroom Management Philosophy?
I know that when I was first asked for my classroom management philosophy it was during teacher’s college.
I can be a bit cynical at times, and I did not feel that it was a meaningful use of my time.
“Just let me get past these ridiculous assignments and teach, darn you all!”, I shouted to myself.
Now, as I write this, I understand that my classroom management philosophy expresses my passion for teaching, my love for the children, and my hope and beliefs for their futures.
I believe that teaching is a privilege, and a weighty responsibility, and I want my philosophy to embody those beliefs.
My classroom management philosophy is more than just words.
My philosophy is a blueprint for a vibrant learning community. Imagine stepping into my classroom.
I want it to be unavoidably evident that it is so much more than a room with desks and chairs.
I want you to see immediately that my classroom is a vibrant ecosystem where curiosity is nurtured and blooms, and where every student thrives.
My classroom embodies a dynamic blend of structure and freedom where:
- Students are encouraged to explore, ask questions, and take ownership of their learning journey.
- The power of kindness and empathy is evident.
- Each student is treated with respect and valued for their unique perspectives.
Step into my classroom, and you will see that organization and clear expectations form an part of the backbone of our classroom success.
These elements create a safe and predictable environment that are the safeguard that allows students to focus on the joy of learning.
Discipline is not about punishment. It is about guiding students toward responsible decision-making and helping them to learn from their experiences.
In my classroom, we love to celebrate the successes of ourself and others, no matter whether they are big or small.
We learn from our mistakes.
We’re a team, and we work together to grow academically and personally.
My goal is for my students to leave my classroom not just with knowledge but with the confidence to tackle whatever challenges life throws their way.
Classroom Management Philosophy Quotes
My favourite of all classroom quotes is from Plutarch:
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
To inspire and reinforce your philosophy, consider these quotes as well:
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton
“Discipline is not about control; it’s about teaching.” – Albert Einstein
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
In Conclusion – AKA And So it Begins! 🙃
Designing your classroom management philosophy is a thoughtful and essential step in your journey as an educator.
The process of considering it, writing it and contemplating it provides you with a clear path to creating a positive learning environment.
Through it you will nurture student growt, and foster a sense of community in your classroom.
The wonderful news is that your philosophy will evolve over time as you learn and grow with and from your students.
Embrace the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of your students through your personal classroom management philosophy.
Share an essential component of your classroom management philosophy statement in the comments below.
Let’s Connect! :