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Chapter 2 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Develop a Successful Elementary Classroom Guidance Program

Student security, emotional stability, personal satisfaction, and realization of individual potential result when dedicated teachers prepare a successful classroom guidance program for their students. Their concern for a successful adjustment to the classroom and school can be taken a step further by helping the children adjust to the community. Teachers who understand the significance of such guidance present a program that is well prepared and organized. Each child is unique with basic desires and needs that must be satisfied and personal goals that must be achieved. If his needs are to be met, teachers must remember to include all students when planning activities and not to choose favorites. The class must be given ultimate attention when guiding children, which requires staying ahead of problems. Examining case studies will provide insight for solving future class and individual student problems. Forming communities composed entirely of children is one approach to implementing a guidance program in the classroom. The teacher and children select various topics for discussion, and the students talk about them openly. Be objective in analyzing the discussions that grow and conduct appraisals in a respectable manner. Do not barge into these discussions; they are the childrens discussions. Be observant and offer advice only if the children desire help. Identifying classroom leaders is important. Simple sociograms can help the teacher spot children with leadership qualities. As with all things, leadership can be positive or negative. If negative qualities are found early enough, disorders can be corrected. If positive qualities are found, striving for academic excellence becomes a total functional goal. The guidance program must include personality development. Positive personality development is reinforced for the child through experiencing academic success. Mental health plays a vital role in the personality development of a child. 5

Opportunities must be provided during the day for this important development. Authorities agree that individual growth of the total child is developed in three major areas: 1. Physical growth - having the finest physical health possible, 2. Emotional stability - having respect as an individual and feeling secure in maintaining this respect, and 3. Academic achievement - knowing the potential being sought is real. Remember these areas and strive to learn more about them, thus becoming a better equipped educator. Continue to read and learn about child growth and development. It is important for teachers to remember the names of the children in their class, as well as the names of others who are not in their class. Imagine the embarrassment if a teacher were to meet a child and his parents in public and not be able to remember that childs name, especially when the child remembers the teachers name. In many cases, a childs name is his most important possession. Please remember this. In the classroom, teacher student conferences are an integral part of the guidance program. Assign a specific classroom time that indicates to the child his teacher is available to talk with him. Active listening solves many problems before they happen. If accumulative records are to be of any use, they must contain: 1. The childs extracurricular activities, 2. Results of various standardized tests, 3. Positive comments (If negative comments appear, the teacher and principal must decide if they should be taken out of the childs record.), 4. Information concerning health, 5. Grade reports and other records, and 6. Other personal data. When standardized tests are administered, the teacher must examine the results and clearly understand how to interpret these scores. Developing positive lessons by 6

relating these results to instructional methods will help children overcome their learning difficulties. Standardized tests must be used in a positive manner and not have negative connotations. Human relations in the community are improved when childrens parents understand the guidance program functioning within the classroom. Every effort must be made to help parents understand its significance. Recommendations for guidance programs must come from reliable sources. Teacher discussions and discussions with interested members of the community often provide helpful suggestions and ideas concerning classroom guidance programs. School counselors, school psychologists, and other specialists are excellent sources of information. A Thought in Words Educate men without religion, and you make them but clever devils. Wellington