How to construct a self-running classroom

There it is in black and white on the Behaviour Needs website: Angela Watson, EXPERT. No pressure.

I don’t like having to do anything myself if it can be automated. Paying bills with checks? No way–online bill pay, direct debited out of my account. To-do lists and calendar dates are composed on my iPhone and auto-synced to my computer. Even my cat’s life is automated: she has a self-cleaning litter box and automatic dispensing food and water bowls. I like to know that small mundane tasks are taken care of so I can focus my mental energy on the big stuff.

And in the classroom, the big stuff is teaching.

“Construct a self-running classroom that frees you to TEACH” became the unofficial tagline for my book and website because I thought it perfectly summed up how I like my classroom to run. I enjoy teaching kids routines and procedures so they don’t have anything distracting them from their work. I put a great deal of time and effort into designing a classroom layout that is conducive to learning and well-organized so the kids and I can find whatever we need right away. And I work to empower kids to take charge of their own learning so I don’t have to constantly try to motivate them to pay attention and follow along. My system changed from year to year depending on the students’ needs, but there have always guiding principles I follow and a general approach to classroom managegment that I carry into every teaching situation.

I’m going to share my tips and tricks for constructing a self-running classroom this Sunday (2.26.12)  at 12:00 pm EST in a live webinar, and you’re invited to join in!

The U.K.-based Classroom Expert site run in association with Behaviour Needs (doesn’t British spelling make everything sound fancier and more important?) is hosting me as their guest webinar presenter. It’s an hour long webinar with a 30 minute Q&A time afterward. I’ll be discussing how to:

  • Create strong instructional routines and procedures for K-6 students
  • Teach students work habits that foster self-reliance
  • Engage students in learning and ensure active participation
  • Foster intrinsic motivation so students want to learn and succeed

You can register for free and submit any questions you’d like to see answered. And I really encourage you to check out past webinars as well as future webinars: I’ve watched quite a few and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the presentations. Many of the speakers are from the U.K. and I love hearing a perspective on education from the other side of the pond. Not to mention that I could listen to a person with a British accent read the phone book and I’d be enthralled. I apologize in advance for subjecting you to my bizarre southerner-living-in-New-York accent for 90 minutes, and hope you’ll join me, anyway. I am an EXPERT, after all.

Talk to you Sunday!

UPDATE 2.27.12: The replay of the webinar is now available! It will be FREE for the remainder of February, then will be available for sale through the website.

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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jill February 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

A self-running classroom is my dream! Thanks for the info about the webinar – I’m already signed up. :)


2 Angela Watson February 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Great, Jill! Enjoy! :-)


3 Kelly February 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

We have a ski trip planned for that day – will it be available after the webinar?


4 Angela Watson February 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hi, Kelly! The replay will be available on the site for a few days afterward for free. :-) Enjoy your ski trip!


5 Kelly February 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

Thank you! I am excited to check it out! I would love for my kiddos to be more independent!


6 Riinika February 25, 2012 at 2:21 am

Can’t enter, gives me maintenance note :( Would LOVE to hear it though…


7 Angela Watson February 25, 2012 at 8:32 am

Hi, Riinika! Try again–it worked fine for me just now. Not sure what happened.


8 Riinika February 25, 2012 at 10:04 am

Yes, i’ts ok now, thank you for answer :) Hope to get timezones correct and be there on time :)


9 Riinika February 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

LOOOOVED it! So simple but yet so ingenious! Inspirational.


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