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Teachers attend in-service training this week at Southwest Campus

Education consultant Mary A. Williams on Tuesday conducted a workshop for new teachers on the art of classroom management as part of a week-long, in-service training at the Southwest Campus.

"It's important to know your customers," she told the group. "It's important for us to know our students." The session covered such topics as "What a Well-Managed Class Looks Like," "Classroom Management Characteristics," "Strategies to Quiet the Classroom," "Rules of Authoritative Presence," and "Increasing Interventions." The new teachers, many from The Philippines, were also assisted by some veteran teachers during the workshop.

Here's what a well-managed classroom looks like, according to Ms. Williams:
*Students know what is expected of them and their teacher.
*There is little wasted time, confusion or disruption.
*The climate of the classroom is of a learning environment, but relaxed and pleasant.
*There is observable evidence of procedures, rules and routine among teachers and students.

The teachers, meanwhile, were encouraged to:
1. Stand up straight and square up.
2. Maintain a calm, relaxed neutral body and face.
3. Project a calm, confident neutral voice.

Some strategies were also presented to quiet a classroom, including:
*Everyone put both hands in the air.
*Chant...teacher says 1, 2, 3, eyes on me.
*Hand claps.
*Bell ringer.
*A recorded musical theme song.
Some teachers said they found the lessons to be valuable as they head toward the first day of classes on Aug. 23. Administrator Twilet Alexander and Greta Peacock also facilitated.

At another gathering, teachers were told the importance of school mentoring, classroom management, discipline and documentation.

The Monday training  was led by Mrs. Alexander, the district's special education and English as a Second Language coordinator. Later, in a brief interview, Mrs. Alexander said, "We want to give the teachers the tools they need to help students with second languages to be successful in a general education setting."

Superintendent Annette Cluff handed out cash awards for case studies completed by teachers at each of the three campuses.

See photo gallery.
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