Classroom Management Tips & StrategiesAdmin
When I first started teaching, I thought classroom management revolved around how strict you were as a teacher. I pictured a quiet (one can dream, right!?), calm, monotonous environment where all students were smiling, listening, and working hard. I WAS SO NAIVE!
I have always been told that you need to be able to manage a classroom before learning can take place, and I completely agree with that. One question that I’ve ALWAYS been asked in every interview is about classroom management. And my answer is always the same:
“Classroom management is about engagement. If your students are engaged in learning, classroom management takes care of itself. With established routines that are clear and consistent, students never have to wonder if their behavior is acceptable.”
Now, I could share all of the classroom management systems I have implemented over the years, but I have learned that you have to build a system tailored to your students. Something that works with one group may not work with another.
Here are my top 5 classroom management tips!
1. Implement ONE System
If you search “classroom management” on Pinterest, you will find so many different ideas. At the beginning of the school year, after a holiday break, or even a 3-day weekend, you may have ALL THE MOTIVATION to try them ALL!
Try just ONE system at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your students with too much change, especially if you’ve done things in a very specific way for an extended period of time. The teachers I know who have the best classroom management all have just one system in place. And they ALWAYS follow through!
2. Be Clear
State the obvious. Always. Even if you think it’s ridiculous.
You may think to yourself, “obviously, they know they should raise their hand if they have a question,” but still say it – three times if needed! Be very clear and transparent about what you expect from your students.
TEACHER TIP: To prepare, think about what questions your students may ask you in advance. Things such as, “what happens if I do this…?” or, my personal favorite, “what do we get!?” and have your answers ready! You can even run these questions by a colleague or teacher friend to see if they can think of anything else!
3. Be Specific
Being specific is just as important as being completely transparent with your students. Even with older kids.
I always like to ask my students:
– What does it sound like when we are taking notes?
– What does it look like when we are lined up in the hall?
This really helps students visualize and practice! It also gives you the opportunity to be explicit with your expectations so that students will never have to guess.
TEACHER TIP: Role play specific scenarios with your students. This is a fun way to go over your expectations and will ultimately lead to a well-managed classroom!
4. Be Consistent & FOLLOW THROUGH!
This is a big one. I learned the hard way on this, but you know what they say… you live and you learn.
If you say you are going to call a parent, CALL THE PARENT! And call them that same day!
If you are not going to do what you say you are going to do as a result of poor behavior, you’re essentially making an empty threat and your students won’t take you seriously the next time it happens.
Not following through on consequences is the easiest way to lose respect and control of your students. You need to build that trusting relationship with all of your students.
5. YOU DO YOU
I think this is the MOST important tip I could give any teacher about classroom management!
YOU DO YOU!
You are unique and your teaching style is yours. One system that works for one teacher may not work for you. TRUST YOUR STYLE! There is nothing worse than having to put on a “show” for your students every day. It’s the easiest way to get burnt out, too.
Before you fully commit to that one classroom management system, ask yourself, “is this system realistic for me and my students?” You can always take bits and pieces from multiple ideas and make it your own! No one knows you and your students as well as you. YOU DO YOU!