Classroom management is probably the most important factor to a classroom and can be the most challenging and difficult thing. Expectations need to be known from the beginning. Teacher expectations affect classroom management in many ways. Students will feel secure knowing their teacher has certain expectations about how the day will flow, how procedures will be followed, and how instruction is given. We all like to be prepared for what is coming, and students are no exception. I have found that the better prepared I am, the calmer and more smoothly the day goes.
When students are unsure about what is expected, chaos can ensue, and behavior problems can be overwhelming. When students know the procedure for every occurrence possible, whether it be tornado drills, passing in papers, lining up, or any emergency, they feel better prepared for what the day may bring. They also need to know what is expected of their behavior, and to be aware of consistent consequences.
Classroom management and instruction are connected, and both are very important to the student’s success.
Without classroom management, the students will not hear or learn the instruction. Having a well-planned lesson or instruction is part of having a well-managed classroom. A teacher can have a quiet classroom, with students seated, but your lesson must be able to reach all students at their level and must encourage students to grow and be motivated to learn. I desire to have a well-managed classroom where students know what to do and what is expected of them, and students are actively involved and are enjoying learning.
The classroom should be a place where a student feels welcome and at home. Students need to feel safe and accepted, so ridicule and sarcasm are not allowed. Mutual respect and the Golden Rule are the keys to maintaining this climate. The classroom should be clean. It should be decorated with student work and drawings, but free from over distracting stimuli. The tables should be arranged to allow students to work cooperatively but room for the teacher to circulate. Students will often misbehave if they don\’t know exactly what they should do and when they should do it. Some characteristics of a well-managed classroom are routines and procedures are in place. Practice the routines and procedures. Have the rules posted? Continually go over-rules and consequences, especially the first days of school. Follow through.
Establish the climate for your classroom. Students should know the expectations and what is acceptable and unacceptable. Students are actively engaged in their learning, using a variety of methods.
Question students and make suggestions to them, don’t give commands. Be consistent in how you treat the students. Be encouraging and always be professional.
Some areas of classroom management can be troublesome, you need to plan positive statements or actions that could head off any improper behavior. You could walk around and monitor students more while they are working. Compliment those doing the right thing as much as possible. Redirect and remind those that may be of the track. While teaching you give cues when there may be problems, instead of fussing at students. Call student’s name in lesson, walk closer to student, and give small reminders. When correcting or disciplining a student talk to them quietly and privately so as not to embarrass the child. Do not get in a shouting or arguing match.
Always deal with any misbehavior, quickly. Be consistent, and always be respectful. Misbehavior is very disruptive to a classroom. The time you spend dealing with misbehaving is time lost from teaching the other students. It is really important to be able to recognize ahead of time when misbehavior might occur. If you are able to use some non-verbal communication, it could prevent escalation. Sometimes however a verbal reminder of the classroom rules and the consequences will stop the misbehavior.
If misbehavior occurs, you could redirect the student to what you are wanting them to do. Redirection is beneficial when a student is seeking attention. If you ignore the attention-seeking, it could escalate to a point where it can not be ignored. If you can redirect the students and later give attention when they are not demanding it, they would learn to get their motivation from themselves and not have to disrupt for attention.
It is important that the teacher not engage in power struggles with students. Again, redirect a power-seeking student\’s behavior by offering some position of responsibility. Remember to address the behavior and not the student’s character. Consequences must be consistent. Students should understand they chose the consequence by misbehaving. Sometimes you will have a student that does not want to listen to the teacher. When this happens, move to a location where you can talk to the student privately. This will help prevent escalation.