Science Teacher 1:
Question 1: This teacher’s style of management is authoritative. The teacher is in control but is not completely strict. The effect on the students’ engagement is evident in their comfort in asking questions and discussing points not initially introduced by the teacher. The effect on the students’ attitude is that they appear to be quite at ease in the lab. They were also sensible whilst carrying out the science practical.
Question 2: The teacher moves freely about the science lab to assist students, and they do not appear uncomfortable having the teacher near. A sense of mutual respect pervades interactions between the teacher and the students.
Question 3: The science lab has benches for experiments on the outer wall of the classroom, with desks in rows in the center. It is well set out and tidy, in keeping with the teacher’s overall style. Students show respect by raising their hands to ask a question. The teacher validates this by responding promptly and giving positive feedback (i.e. “that’s a great question”). Being a busy science practical class, this could have been quite chaotic, but it was not.
Question 4: This teacher uses a pleasant tone of voice throughout the lesson, and prefers hand gestures to elicit behavior, i.e., raises a hand when they would like the class to be silent.
Science Teacher 2
Question 1: This teacher’s style of management is authoritarian. The effect on the students’ engagement is evident in their lack of asking questions or bringing up discussion points that deviate from the curriculum. The effect on the students’ attitude is that it is a very quiet and industrious classroom.
Question 2: The teacher mainly stays at the front of the class. Other than the explicit instruction component of the lesson (a theory lesson, not a practical lesson), there is little interaction between the teacher and students unless one asks for help. If a student does require help, they raise their hand and wait until the teacher asks them what their question is.
Question 3: The classroom set-up is as for the previous description, with the desks in rows. Again, the overall neatness and orderliness reflects the teacher’s style. Mutual respect and validation are evident in the overall quietness and industry of the science lesson.
Question 4: This teacher uses a very serious and loud tone of voice to prevent poor student behavior. The overall impression conveyed in the room is that disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Any idle chatter is quickly stopped with a brief reprimand.
Question 5: The administrator values a ‘firm but fair’ management style of teaching and this is encouraged; this is in keeping with the schools’ vision/mission of pastoral care.
Question 6: The administrator looks for teachers with personalities that match the school and students during the interview process to find “a good fit”. Having said that, leadership acknowledges that everyone is different, and that like the students, teachers too will have their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Question 7: The administrator says that the school supports the teacher when dealing with disruptive behavior so long as it is reasonable and professional at all times, and a child’s feelings are taken into account (i.e. comments are directed at the behavior, not the child, for example, “what you are doing is disruptive”, rather than “you are disruptive”).
Question 8: Staff can always call on leadership for “back-up” when dealing with unreasonable student behavior, and professional development is conducted in the school twice-yearly to teach staff new strategies in classroom management. There is a strong emphasis on restorative practices and mediation between student, staff and parents to overcome any obstacles or communication breakdowns that impact on learning.