10 Winning Techniques for Great Classroom Management
Nov 12, 2010 Classroom Management 3997 Views
Good classroom management can mean the difference between keeping your job and being let go or involuntarily transferred to another building. Effective classroom management skills can take a long time to develop but they are essential if you hope to have a long-lasting and satisfying educational career.
- Always face your students when in front of the classroom. (Students can create an amazing amount of chaos in a few seconds!) Learn to write backhanded on the white board or, better yet, use an overhead or document reader. You can see everyone and their attention is focused where you want it.
- If a student is angry and wants to argue, inform him/her you only argue at the end of the school day. Then turn and walk away. Never argue in front of the class. This strategy also works well for the kid who enjoys trying to get you off track by baiting you into an argument. Warning: Be aware that students will sometimes bait a teacher so they can video the teacher getting angry. You DON'T want to show up on YouTube!
- Call individual students at home and speak specifically to the student at the very first indication of a discipline issue. "John, I noticed you seemed angry in class today," or "Mary, I noticed you seemed distracted in class today. Is there anything I can do to help you with that? It is important to me that we do all we can to create a positive learning experience for you." The student appreciates that you didn't involve their parents, the students feels more in control of their own learning; and the parent(s) get curious about why the teacher called their child. A positive parent/child discussion can develop.
- Get parental help as soon as you see a problem developing. "You know Kristy better than anyone. What have you found helpful? Do you have any suggestions for me?" Make it clear you view the parent as a partner and that you are working together to help Kristy achieve her best.
- Give "problem" students a class responsibility like taking attendance or picking up homework. They crave attention, so give them positive attention. Your "problem" kids are often funny and a joy to be around once you learn how to keep them focused and interested. They can also be turned into your best allies! (Note: This doesn't always work, but it's worth a try!)
- Discuss behavior expectations with the entire class at the beginning of the year. Don't assume they know what is expected of them. They don't. Even within the school building different teachers have different expectations. It's unfair to your students not to be straightforward with your expectations. They aren't mind readers.
- Make eye contact with every student every day! Look at what they are wearing and observe their body language. This accomplishes two things. First, you want them to see that you notice them. Second, you can tell a lot about their mood by their demeanor and what they are wearing. If you sense some negative emotions, make it a point to talk to the student as quickly as possible to see what's up. This can help head off negative behaviors.
- Get to know your student- not just their names, but their hobbies, interest, sports, etc. Discuss these with them, go to their games and activities. Show them you care about them as individuals. Effective classroom management begins with good relationships with the kids.
- Call home immediately after a student misses a test. "Mrs ____, I noticed Ben missed his test today. He must really be ill. I hope he's OK." Often the parent didn't realize Ben wasn't in class. Students quickly learn it isn't a good idea to miss a test in your class.
- Create one-on-one time with each student as often as possible. It take a concerted effort but the benefits are enormous!
If you are organized, care about the kids and are clear about your expectations, teaching can be a fun and rewarding career. Be patient with yourself and the kids, take time to share a laugh with them every day and keep working on your management skills.