Question Three: How do I manage my classroom to optimize learning?

Managing the learning environment in the classroom for all students is a complex process. It includes not only arranging the physical structure of the learning environment, but also the intricacies of student learning that include expectations, interactions, motivation, and behavior. It is a process that challenges accomplished teachers as well as novice teachers. To manage a classroom well requires that you continuously monitor and make adjustments to the classroom and your routines in order to effectively include students who have disabilities.

In the book, "Classroom Management that Works: Research-Based Strategies" (ASCD, 2003), authors Robert Marzano, Jana Marzano and Debra Pickering explain that an analysis of the classroom management research shows four general components of classroom management that affect student achievement for all students. These four components are (1) rules and procedures; (2) disciplinary interventions, (3) teacher-student relationships, and (4) mental set. "Mental set" refers to the mindset with which you approach your classroom management.

Improving your classroom management means you are constantly working to create a learning environment in which all students feel safe and appropriately challenged. It means the learning opportunities you provide to students are organized and delivered in ways that allow all students to succeed. Effective classroom management is a crucial component of ensuring that all students, including students who have disabilities, achieve in your classroom.

The questions below address issues about classroom management and students who have disabilities.