Classroom management is something that is of the utmost importance to every teacher, and it should be. A mismanaged classroom can be an absolute disaster for the teacher and the students. In a classroom where there is lacking classroom management skills the students will not have their learning optimized by being put in a controlled classroom, with clear and concise rules. The teacher also suffers by obviously having to deal with unruly teenagers because he or she is not effective in managing them.
However, science classrooms have another aspect of managing the classroom that other classrooms do not, and that is lab safety. Lab safety and making the rules and procedures clear is paramount in any science classroom. This is not only because labs are an important source of learning, but it is because labs, more often than not have potential to be harmful to your students. This is why it is crucial that as a science teacher, you spend a lot of time on lab safety.
Rules about Rules
Having rules for your students to follow is something that every classroom should have. Not only so the students have expectations placed on them by the instructor, but so that class can operate and be managed in a way to optimize student learning. The rules for your class should be just that, yours. Personalize your classroom rules to what you feel most fitting for how you teacher, if you think students should be allowed on their phones, add it to the “rule book.” However, we as educators do not want to seem to domineering to our students, so make sure the rules are justifiable and not pointless. Make your classroom rules with a purpose, and this will minimize stress on the student and the teacher.
Lab safety is a very important aspect of any science classroom because much of the learning comes from doing labs, and also materials used in labs can be dangerous. This is why its crucial for science teachers to be prepared and educated on lab safety procedures. Flinn Scientific, Inc is the main player in the game of science classroom lab safety. They have an online training course in which they, in detail, go through what a safe science lab looks like and how to deal with any possible situations you might encounter in your own lab. Here is the link to the teacher lab safety training course that you can complete to become certified in lab safety by Flinn Scientific (https://labsafety.flinnsci.com)
How I will Do it in My Classroom…
Lab safety is very important to be 1.because I value labs and what the can bring to the table in terms of academics and 2. because I care about the safety of my students. I plan on having a lesson on lab safety fairly early in the year, if not during the first week. I think it would be cool to perform a simple demonstration for the students, going through all of the safety procedures along the way and then introducing them to the material and locations of all of the emergency supplies, and that kind of stuff. I think that doing things in this order can get students more engaged, and see the importance of lab safety at the same time.
Below is a great video to show your students about lab safety.
Here is the link to a blog the can also help you in your science classroom especially with classroom organization https://www.edutopia.org/blog/design-tips-science-learning-spaces-ben-johnson