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Three-Day Seminar Offers Help for Teachers with Classroom Management

By Brendan O'Hallarn

It's the end of a busy school year, and local elementary and secondary school teachers can be forgiven for wanting to forget the classroom for a little while.

However, the sometimes rancorous learning environment awaits only a few months from now. And the issue of classroom management remains one of the key reasons teachers leave the profession.

Teacher preparation programs have typically included little classroom management training, forcing teachers to develop classroom management systems through trial and error while fulfilling all the other responsibilities of professional educators.

Old Dominion University's College of Continuing Education and Professional Development is partnering with the Darden College of Education to remedy this shortcoming.

From June 28 to 30, the University is hosting a classroom management "boot camp" for prospective teachers from grades 6 to 12.

"Classroom management poses challenges for novice and expert teachers alike," said Pete Baker, lecturer in the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development and the Darden College of Education's Department of Teaching and Learning and facilitator of the three-day workshop.

"Many teachers who leave education altogether do so because of frustration associated with student behaviors. The point of our boot camp is to provide educators not just with strategies but with a supportive, collaborative, low-risk space in which they can explore and identify new approaches to these challenges."

Baker and other boot camp instructors will encourage participating teachers to identify and strengthen their approach to the components of classroom management they find the most challenging.

The boot camp will include opportunities for participants to discover and reflect on research-based and field-tested classroom management orientations and approaches alongside expert presenters and facilitators (professors, researchers and seasoned secondary-level teachers). The scheduled activities include significant use of the state-of-the-art Mursion classroom simulator - a consequence-free setting in which teachers can take risks they may avoid in their classrooms.

The sessions also include workshops aimed at bullying prevention and remediation, connecting classroom management to instruction, diversity and inclusion considerations, response to interventions and student-centered approaches.

The program costs $199 for three full days of professional development. To register, and for more information, see the Classroom Management Boot Camp website.

For more information about this program, contact Lisa Temple of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development at ltemple@odu.edu, or 757-453-6867.

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