Trial and error in the trenches

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This past December NCTQ released a report examining the extent to which America's traditional teacher prep programs offer future teachers strategies to help them manage their classrooms from day one. Regrettably, we found that future teachers aren't being consistently trained in fundamental, research-based classroom management techniques.  

We aren't the only ones pointing out that teacher prep has room to improve in this area. In the month following the release, numerous teachers have taken up the fight, spoken out about the importance of classroom management, and demanded more from their teacher prep programs.  We want to ensure that these teachers' voices are heard:

Classroom management key to keep the ball rolling (Las Cruces Sun-News)

"When I first began teaching, my mentor teacher was too busy to help me and I felt like I was treading water all year long! Now, when I see novice teachers in the same boat I was in so many years ago, I tell them that getting past the first year or two makes all the difference. But it shouldn't have to be that way. After spending four years and thousands of dollars in an education program, new teachers should be trained with the same classroom management skills I've spent nine years cultivating." -- Stephanie Hofacket

Better equipping Cleveland's future teachers (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"The most striking part about this hole in teacher-preparation programs is that classroom management is the backbone to an effective learning environment. If a class isn't properly managed for even five minutes, an entire lesson could be lost on 20 young minds. In today's classrooms, the stakes are high, and more than ever teachers need to push their students to their maximum learning potential. And even more so, keep them out of the school-to-prison pipeline. So why send our new teachers into the workforce without proper classroom-management instruction and practice?" --Katelynn Patterson

Classroom management skills matter as much as curriculum (Baltimore Sun)

"When I first entered the classroom after four years of training in elementary education, I was overwhelmed. No matter how carefully I planned a lesson, I was daunted by the idea of engaging 28 active second graders all at the same time. As one teacher described it, 'trial and error in the trenches' was simply how classroom management was learned." -- Beth Panitz

Update teacher prep models and outdated classrooms (Sun Sentinel)

"It is time to keep up with the pace of society outside the classroom--a fact most teachers understand and try to address--but a fact they are little prepared to contend with when they first walk into a classroom. Classrooms are changing, the teaching profession is changing and traditional teacher prep has done little to keep up." -- Maria G. Mendez

Order in the classroom (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

"Once the very teachers who will be at risk of leaving education quickly start demanding solid classroom management instruction, education programs will have to deliver it or risk getting left behind." -- Esther Cepeda

Please share with us your experience as a new teacher in the classroom. Did you feel prepared to manage the classroom setting OR did it feel more like "trial and error in the trenches?"