Classroom Management for the New Teacher
Sep 15, 2008 Classroom Management 4907 Views
Classroom management is managing the physical learning environment and managing student behavior. As a new teacher, this may worry you. You are not alone because classroom management is an ongoing concern for both new and veteran teachers. Know that you don't have to know everything about classroom management when you are first starting out. You will continue to learn and read about it as you continue your teaching career.
Classroom management does not have to be overwhelming. It is just knowing how you want your classroom to run. It is important to think about how you are going to manage your classroom long before the first day of school. Begin by considering, classroom climate, class structure and discipline.
The first thing to consider is classroom environment. Consider these questions:
• What type of classroom do you want to walk into every day?
• Do you want to have a lot of discussion type lessons or more book oriented lessons?
• Do you need for your classroom to be immaculate or is it okay if it is a little messy sometimes?
It is important to be clear on what kind of classroom you want. That way you can clearly communicate that to your students.
The type of physical environment in the classroom depends on each teacher's preference. However, as a new teacher you should probably start off with a lot of structure and few activities. This helps start off the school year in a very orderly manner. You can always relax a little later in the school year as you get to know your students and become more confident in your teaching.
Next think about class structure. Most of the time, a school will give you access to materials related to the subject you are teaching a few weeks before the first day of school. Go over those materials and get an idea of what you would like to cover during the course of the school year. The school district and curriculum will require you to go over certain materials during the course of the year but a lot of curriculum decisions will be up to you.
Think about what you are expecting from your students and how lessons will be conducted:
• What are your expectations as far as student work?
• Will there be a test every week?
• Will you accept late work?
• How will students turn in their work? Will they pass it forward or to the side or will you have a box or bin by the door where students can drop off their work as they come in?
There is really no one way to do things when it comes to student work. Choose what works best for you.
Student discipline is a very important thing to think about before starting the school year. You will have many different types of discipline challenges. They will range from simple challenges, like a student who talks too much in class to a more difficult challenge like a student who is defiant or disrespectful. When you think about your discipline plan remember that if you establish an environment of consistency and respect you will get rid of many discipline problems right away and have a way of solving others. Some things to do are:
• Find an effective way to quiet an unruly class. Depending on the grade and class you may want to dim the lights, play soft music, or start off the day with a journal entry, brainteaser, or question that relates to what you are going to do that day.
• Avoid threatening students in order to get control of your class. It may cause a quiet student to withdraw and a rebellious student to want to challenge you. If you do threaten a student with detention or something similar, don't back down. Follow through.
• Reprimand students in private. Scolding a student in front of the class creates additional discipline problems because they feel embarrassed
• Be proactive and head off potential behavior problems before they get out of hand.
There are numerous books available about classroom management and you will find many helpful resources on the internet.