I have worked for a lot of people, but the most inspiring boss I have ever had was a principal who was strict, forgiving of human flaws, hard-working and who lived by the motto “A good curriculum is the best classroom management”.
I’ve never been a disciplinarian and never will be. I value learning too much to stifle a kid’s personality in favor of keeping my classroom quiet. Learning is loud, it’s fun, it’s rich, it’s not a library. If learning was supposed to be done in complete sterility we’d all be able to teach ourselves in the quiet of our own homes. Learning is the push and pull between student and student, student and curriculum, and student and teacher. It should be a fun process. Do you normally do things that are not fun? The best classroom management is a good curriculum.
The article by Pamela Kripke “And You’re Out!” in the Huffington Post is very much in line with what I encountered during my years of teaching. Kids would get kicked out of their classes for doing something against the teacher’s status quo and end up in my classroom. I was constantly torn between letting them stay and being part of the “united front” against the student. I never wanted to be a part of that front and never really was. In my mind the right thing to do was keeping the kid happy and wanting to come back to school the next day. With the dropout rate as high as it is and high school degree jobs steadily dropping, it was my job to keep learning fun and school an enjoyable place to go. And that’s what I did.