Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners

Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners

Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners

Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners


Teaching is as much about students as it is about curriculum, and no one understands this better than middle and high school teachers. But even the most dedicated teacher can sometimes feel defeated by the challenge of reaching distracted, disconnected, and defiant adolescents. Drawing on her own experience as a high school teacher, Katy Ridnouer shares an approach to classroom management that will help you spend less time dealing with your adolescent learners and more time inspiring them to be their best selves in school and beyond. Managing with heart means accepting teenage students as they are and recognizing what they need: a connection with the curriculum; a sense of order; and most essentially, a sense that someone cares. In this book, you ll find practical strategies for
• Balancing care and discipline
• Interacting with students and their parents
• Establishing classroom routines that keep students on task
• Communicating expectations and ensuring accountability
• Handling common challenges, from classroom noise and personality conflicts to inappropriate clothing and disrespectful language
• Building trust and helping students feel emotionally and intellectually safe. Vivid, real-life examples and questions for reflection make this a perfect choice for faculty reading groups and any middle or high school teacher looking to create a positive learning community, enhance students confidence and interpersonal skills, and rediscover the reward of being a teacher.


Although the United States trains more than enough teachers to meet its needs, the attrition rate for educators is higher than that of any other professional occupation. According to a report from the National Commission for Teaching and America's Future, up to one-third of new U.S. teachers leave the profession within the first few years. I was one of them.

In my second year, I taught 8th grade language arts in a school full of challenges. I felt isolated, unsafe, and incapable, but I trudged on. I met with parents, I brainstormed with colleagues, and I discussed issues with members of the administration. Nothing changed. At the end of the year, I decided to leave teaching for the quiet solitude of the bookseller's life.

For six months or so, I convinced myself that I had made a good choice. Then the dreams about my classroom started. I was in front of my 8th graders, leading a grammar lesson. I saw their willing faces. I saw them. I then realized that I had expected everyone else to change while I remained the same. I expected the surly child to be pleasant, but I did nothing to encourage this behavior. I expected the underachieving child to work to his potential, but I did nothing

Fulton, K., Yoon, I., & Lee, C. (2005, August). Induction into learning communities. Wash
ington, DC: National Commission for Teaching and America4's Future. Available: 2100 M
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.

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