California Educator

August 2016

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practices is that we need to be partners in this for the kids. Once you do that, the rest falls into place." Teacher training Association-led trainings have been especially well received in Palm Springs, where there is always an influx of new teachers from out of state. About 100 teachers attend two PSTA sessions offered in the fall, according to Acker. Such trainings offer classroom management techniques, and also engage members and show value, he says. Along with breakfast, T-shirts and a chance to win an iPad with the session, "the main thing is that we are offering them something they need and they see a value in their membership." Other local chapters have incorporated classroom management into their own professional development trainings. CTA provides trainings as well through its annual Good Teaching Conferences in Northern and Southern California. Schools of education, which are producing newly minted teachers, have also made changes and incorporated learn- ing-centered classroom management into the curriculum. "It 's a bit of a n ew approach ," says Fred Nel son , professor of science education in th e Departm ent of Curriculum and Instr uction at C SU Fresno and a California Faculty Association (CFA) member. "If I'm redirecting a student, it's toward learning and not [addressing bad] behavior. There are still routines and rituals in the classroom, but it's important to think of students as individuals." Nelson urges his teachers to be reflective and to go back to their lesson plans and explain their thinking processes when things appear to go awry. "Doing that can often h elp novice teach ers," h e says. "Really, it's all about engagement. It can't be a teacher-centered classroom. We are instead taking a learning-centered approach." What's working • Nelson is a frequent visitor to local classrooms and has observed that when there is a disruptive student, it is often a function of class size. "I've been in classes that approach 40 students. A lot of behavior issues just go away when class sizes are reasonable," he says. UTLA member Daniel Jocz,a high school social studies teacher and 2016 California Teacher of the Year, says classroom management comes down to instructional strategies and a well- prepared curriculum relevant to students. 29 August 2016

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