Wednesday, November 13, 2013

classroom management

You've made it through the first two months of school, and you're settling into the routine and the heart of the year for learning progress. Something I hear every time I talk with teachers is that they are looking for ways to better manage their classrooms. This can be such a challenging aspect of teaching, and knowing that all teachers have discipline problems at some point with some students can help keep your concerns in perspective.

Effective teachers match their strategies to suit the specific needs of their students and classroom routines. They know their students well, and understand their students' goals, both academically and behaviorally, and communicate that with students. Here are some suggestions if you find yourself needing to make some adjustments to your classroom management plan.
  • Greet students at the door, and have a positive interaction with students to start the class.
  • Have something meaningful for students to begin as soon as they enter the room. So much of classroom management concerns begin when students are not engaged in academic work. This work should be evaluated in some way, as students need to know this is meaningful work or they might not be motivated to do this work.
  • Asking for an observation for your management techniques can be a helpful thing to do at this point in the school year. It can be intimidating, having someone look for your use of and provide guidance for classroom management techniques. However, as new teachers, this is one of the top (if not THE top) concern and challenge - admitting you need some support is a great way to actually get support. See if an administrator or a trusted colleague can come sit in on their prep time and watch the way you manage the classroom. They might notice ways that your techniques are being undermined or provide ideas for additional ways to manage the classroom.
  • Provide a list of expectations to parents and students. Parents are your partners here, but only if they know the expecations and are communicated with regularly with concerns. Make sure they are consistent with district and building policies, and limit your rules to five so that they are not overwhelming. The rules should be posted in the classroom.
  • Something you might want to consider is whether you are using sarcasm as a method of connecting with or disciplining students. I wrote an entire post about sarcasm that might be interesting for you to read.          
  • And as difficult as this can be, try to let each student start each day with a clean slate. It's important for students to know their goals and to have help monitoring their progress, but it is important to try to allow students to show you that they are working on making progress.
There are several other posts about classroom management available on the blog. You can review them all here.

What are some classrsoom management techniques that have worked well for you?


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