By Teachers, For Teachers
One of the many challenges that teachers face is classroom management. Whether it’s getting students to stay in their seats or just simply follow the rules, controlling kids using classroom management can be a constant struggle. Follow these top 10 teacher-tested classroom management tips to ensure that you have a well-managed school space.
Children thrive on predictability. It’s very important that your students know what to expect every day. Also, being predictable in your routine can ensure that students won’t misbehave. Make sure that you try and stick to your routine each and every day.
A well-managed classroom means that students have a clear view of what you expect of your students. It’s fine if you set your expectations high, because you can always lower them later on. Make sure that students know exactly what you expect at all times. The clearer your expectations are, the less issues that will arise.
Keep your rules simple and right to the point. Try to have about three to five rules and post them somewhere in the classroom where it is easy for the students to reference. Make sure that your rules are positive versus negative to help you teach students the preferred behavior that you expect. For example, make your rule positive by saying, “Please raise your hand before talking” versus the negative, like “Do not talk without raising your hand.”
Just like your expectations, all of your procedures need to be clear and predictable. If you decide that you want students to come into class each morning and do seat work, then make sure that you stick to that every day. When your procedures are unclear and undefined, then this can lead to an out-of-control classroom, where students don’t know what they should do next. When this happens, there is a good chance that your students will misbehave.
Research shows that students can’t sustain attention for more than five to ten minutes, so it’s important that you make lessons short and to the point. Break your lesson into parts, and involve students by using cooperating learning groups. You can also incorporate a few “Brain breaks” throughout the day where students get up and get moving to help them release some energy. Try making your lessons no longer than 20 minutes and incorporate some type of brain break after each mini-lesson.
Deal with the problem as soon as it occurs to ensure that there will not be a larger issue later on in the day. If you see two students having a disagreement, deal with it as it occurs and do not wait. Even if you think the issue may be small, it’s still best to tackle it right away.
Transition time between lessons or in-between specials can be the worst part of a teacher’s day. Be sure to make your transitions quick and easy. Try using a visual or non-verbal prompt to get students’ attention. An attention signal will help you deter unwanted behavior. When your students know what you expect of them, they will be more willing to do what you want.
Students can sense if you are not confident. Even if you feel that you are not confident, then try and fake it. Think about how you will respond to a few common situations that could possibly occur in class. Then practice in the front of the mirror how you will respond to them with confidence.
Organization is the key to a well-managed classroom. Without an organized classroom, you have an out-of-control classroom. Train your students to put things away where they belong and try and label everything. When your students know where things go and can see the label for it, it can eliminate all of those trivial questions students ask, like the placement of the ruler or extra pencils.
Your students are not your friend, you are there to teach them. Be firm and your students will respect you for it. It is possible to be nice and firm at the same time -- you just have to choose to be that way. Choose your words wisely and never cower.
Do you have any classroom management tips to add to this list? Please feel free to add them in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.