By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant
How do you keep the attention of a class of 30 squirming students? And what you do when that attention is lost?
It all depends on how you manage your classroom, according to Secondary Education Lecturer and Placement Coordinator Nicole Ramos-Beban.
“There needs to be a baseline of structure in order for productive learning to happen,” Ramos-Beban said. “If there is a hole in the curriculum or structure, students will walk through it.”
For the second semester, The Connie L. Lurie College of Education is offering EDSC 246 “Learning Environments: Methods and Management.”
The class is part of SJSU’s five credential programs for educators: multiple subjects (elementary education), single subject (secondary education), special education, administrative services, and counseling.
“She pushed us to consider the populations that we will be teaching and to examine our own ideas about race and class,” teaching credential candidate Jane DeRosa said.
Ramos-Beban talked to SJSU Today about how environment plays into learning and what students should get out of taking her class.
SJSU: What is the purpose of your class and why do we need to offer it now?
Ramos-Beban: The number one reason why teachers leave after a couple of years is that they are having a tough time managing their classrooms. We are offering this class to meet a need. The most well-structured, student-centered classrooms are the ones where you see the most time on-task and the deepest learning.
SJSU: What do you teach students in your class?
Ramos-Beban: In the first third of the semester, we learn about building a learning community, and look at theories around putting together an inclusive learning community. The second third looks at different management theories and approaches where we focus on rules and routines. The last third is focused on students putting together their own classroom management plan.
How do students benefit from taking your class?
Ramos-Beban: Students leave the class with a pretty large toolkit of practical strategies. Students not only raise their ability level related to the subject, but also put learning routines in place for entering the classroom, turning in homework, and responding when their students miss class.