Classroom management is the foundation for everything that happens in your classroom. Without it, deep learning can’t take place, and with it, the opportunities in your classroom are endless! Here are a few tips that I used to transform a chaotic and unstructured classroom into a beautifully run classroom that teachers and administrators would come to observe frequently!
A little background…I was thrown into an elementary school classroom as a brand new teacher, mid year, in a Title 1 school where nearly all students were English Language Learners and performing far below grade level. The majority of my students came from extreme poverty and lacked rules and structure at home. The school had an extremely hard time keeping teachers because of classroom behavior, and a consistent, firm but loving teacher was exactly what these students needed.
Within weeks, the classroom was an entirely different place. We finished the year very successfully, with the majority of my students performing at or above grade level. I honestly credit most of that to the classroom management that was implemented into the classroom. The remainder of the year we were able to maximize student learning time!
Here are a few tips that I think are most important when dealing with classroom management/behavior management in your classroom:
- The more effective routines and procedures you have in place in your classroom, the less discipline you will have to do. With effective routines, rules, and procedures in place in the classroom, when a student doesn’t follow a rule, they know exactly what will happen to them and why. This minimizes disruption and maximizes precious learning time. If you are interested in a checklist of routines and procedures that I introduce and teach in my classroom, check out this freebie here!
- As the year progresses, don’t think it’s too late to implement a new procedure or routine. As long as you explain to your students what it is, why it’s needed, model it and have them practice, practice, practice, a new procedure or routine can be easily implemented at ANY time during the year! Remember, I came in to a classroom mid year and changed EVERYTHING successfully in a matter of weeks! You can do it! It’s not too late!
- Positive reinforcement- everyone loves being complimented and acknowledged. This can be as simple as saying, “Johnny, I really love that today you came right in the classroom, sat down, and started working right away” or as elaborate as a class reward incentive program (behavior clip chart, marble jar, table/class points, stickers, etc.)
- Stay strong and firm with your decisions- never argue or let a student gain control by getting into it with them. I’m not saying to not listen to their point of view ever, but make sure that they know you are in charge and your rules, routines, and procedures are there for a reason. It’s so important to be consistent with them and what happens when class rules aren’t followed.
- Make sure every student feels special, respected, and cared about. Developing a personal relationship with every student is so important and really helps with classroom management. When students feel like their teacher truly cares about them and their learning, they will work harder and behave better in the classroom. This is especially important with your “hard to reach” students. Talk to them, get to know them, their likes and interests, and try to really connect with them. I promise it will work wonders! A great way to help students feel special is having every student have a meaningful classroom job. Check out my class jobs here!
I hope these help!