In the past weeks I have been flooded with questions from teachers looking for practical help in the area of classroom management. It’s no surprise, really, because winter is hard. Sunlight is fleeting and it has been very, very cold. As fate would have it, one of the people whose advice I respect the most in this area of teaching reached out to me with news of a coming course on classroom management. YES!!
Who is Jon Cowart?
Have you met Jon yet? If not, you must! Jon is currently the director of world languages at KIPP collegiate middle and high school in Memphis, TN. He has taught Spanish for 9 years in inner city Memphis using CI and merging best practices between CI and urban education (read an old guest post by Jon here). Jon also coaches world language teachers through Memphis teacher residencies and teach for America – Memphis. He has presented for Fluency Matters at the iFLT conference and in a webinar series (read more here!). In response to the overwhelming positive feedback about the immediate results that teachers experienced after attending his webinars (I attended them too!), Jon is now offering online, mini-courses geared toward CI teachers who want to improve classroom management.
Jon Cowart on Classroom Management for CI Classrooms
by Jon Cowart
I’m a believer in CI because it is the best academic practice that we as language teachers can provide to our students. However, too many people won’t try it or quit using it because management is so hard. To many, it seems easier to present students with a formula and then pass out textbooks for independent or pair work.
I argue that we didn’t choose this profession to do what’s easy; we chose it to do what’s best.
I began this online class in the fall of 2018 in order to provide high quality PD for CI teachers wanting to improve their management skills. After presenting at iFLT last summer, I realized that there is a HUGE need for PD directed at improving and building management skills while doing CI. It’s the elephant in the room that too many people don’t want to talk about, but we must.
CI is the best way to facilitate language acquisition, but many of the comprehension based strategies that we use arguably present the most significant challenges to managing a classroom. When we invite our students to share their voice in class…they do just that-often loudly and chaotically.
This is exactly why I designed my online course – to get directly to the “how” when managing a classroom during CI lessons. Over 9 years, I’ve used CI while teaching in inner city Memphis, and by mere survival needs, I’ve put together some of the best practices I’ve learned and developed.
What does the course consist of?
This class is a combination of power point presentation, video analyses, discussion, and 1-1 coaching with me. Participants “meet” online via Zoom conferencing once a week for 4 weeks and engage in the class. Then, every class is recorded so participants can watch later. Before each lesson, I post articles and videos for participants to watch in preparation for open discussion. During the days we don’t meet, participants can access the online class and post discussion threads that others and myself will answer and then reference throughout the class. Participants also may choose to sign up for a 30 minute phone chat with me throughout the course to talk about class content and participant-specific issues.
My passion is helping teachers teach better and having as big an impact on as many students as I can. Through this class, I am able to do both.
Classroom management offerings
If you are ready to regain control of your classes so that you can connect meaningfully with your students, enroll in a course that launches next week.