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Proximity Strengthens Your Lessons


Found in: classroom management; computer labs, staying on task

After watching multiple student teachers in their formal observations over the past two weeks, not only am I thrilled at the new group of teachers choosing teaching as their profession, I noticed something quite significant that impacted their classroom management.

Integrating technology comes naturally to these teacher candidates. But when we conferenced after their lesson, many commented that students were noisy and off-task and none of the teachers’ usual strategies were working. Why? In using their laptop and document cameras, the student teachers had tied themselves to the front of the room where the technology was situated.  They were unable to use one of the most effective strategies for helping students stay focused during classroom instruction – physical proximity!

Walking around the room while teaching allows the teacher to quietly move toward students who are off task. Without missing a beat, the teacher’s physical presence reminds the student that he or she is supposed to be participating in the lesson.

So how can a teacher still use that laptop and document camera at the front of the room? Add it to the list of student jobs for which kids are responsible. Just as students are assigned to wipe down the board or be class messenger, they can be taught how to manipulate the pages under a document camera or click to advance to the next slide or bookmarked web page. Meanwhile, the teacher is connecting with students and using physical proximity to silently address any whose attention has wandered.

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

NEST – New Educators Support Team
This is an Alaska group for new educators. A place for educators from across the state to connect on issues that are important to them, this group is here to serve as a community for you as you move into your role in a new school, city or even a new state!

ISTA Rising Educator Conference
This conference supports the classroom preparedness and professional development needs of college students planning to enter the education field and new educators within the first five years of their career.

IL - Association Welcome Program
Welcome! This group is for individuals looking to find resources to support new hires in their association journey. This site is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, political action, grant, and conference opportunities. Imagine this as your one stop for resources that will help you support new hires.

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