Classroom management is one of the most important aspects of being a teacher. Without it, learning cannot take place in a productive or safe environment. To create a successful classroom, it is necessary to have effective classroom management skills.
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There are many different ways to approach classroom management. To ensure the best results, we will discuss 16 tips for the most highly effective methods that have been proven to work. But first, let’s understand the importance of classroom management!
Why Is Classroom Management Important?
It is necessary to manage classrooms as it helps maintain discipline among students. Moreover, classroom management also helps in the proper utilization of time and resources spent on education.
Classroom management has four primary goals:
- Ensuring student safety
- Establishing and enforcing rules of classroom behavior
- Facilitating effective teaching and learning (the primary reason for attending school)
- Providing a safe and orderly environment conducive to optimal child development
Effective classroom management is based on the belief that every aspect of the classroom environment should be positive and mutually respectful.
16 Highly Effective Classroom Management Tips
Creating an effective learning environment is the first step to having a well-organized class. Effective classroom management involves creating rules, encouraging student participation, and managing disruptive students to create this environment.
These 16 tips will help teachers successfully implement these ideas into their classrooms.
#Tip 1: Establish Clear Rules
Before teaching anything else, it’s essential for teachers to establish clear rules so students know what they can expect from the class.
These rules should be discussed with students. If needed, you can post them on a poster in the classroom or display them using visual aids like PowerPoint slides or whiteboards.
This way, you’re always sure that your entire class remembers what the expectations are throughout the course of the lesson.
#Tip 2: Interact with Your Students
Teachers often forget the importance of developing a rapport with their students. This is possible because teachers feel as though they shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but it’s an essential part of classroom management.
To manage behavior successfully, you need the respect and trust of your students. If students don’t want to listen to what you have to say, then your attempts at classroom discipline will be useless.
#Tip 3: Teach ”In Between” Behaviors
Lecturing is one way that many teachers prefer to teach the material, but it doesn’t allow them to interact much with their class or let them know what behaviors are going on in the room.
It can also lead to students not paying attention or becoming bored. The best way to incorporate both teaching and managing is by using active learning strategies.
These involve putting students in pairs or groups to create a cohesive lesson plan that manages the behavior and teaches material effectively.
#Tip 4: Be Consistent
Creating and enforcing rules should be done consistently throughout the course of the year, so students always know what actions will be punished and which ones won’t.
If rules are enforced inconsistently, then it becomes confusing for your class as well as yourself about what’s expected of them during lessons.
Once you’ve established rules, you also need to follow through with any disciplinary action if the rule is broken. This means that if student talks when they aren’t supposed to, they should serve any form of punishment you have outlined in the rules.
Related Reading: Best Classroom Rules for Students
#Tip 5: Give Students a Chance to Redeem Themselves
If a student breaks a rule, teachers need to give them an opportunity to correct their mistakes instead of immediately punishing them.
This gives them a chance to show that they can handle themselves in class and allows you to monitor how students are reacting so you know if your disciplinary action is effective or not.
Inappropriate behaviors shouldn’t be allowed, but it’s still important for teachers to find out why these actions occurred so they can help guide their students towards bettering their behavior.
#Tip 6: Reward Good Behaviors
Rewarding students for doing a good job makes them feel as though their actions matter and allows you to reinforce positive behaviors that you’ve noticed.
One way to do this is to create a chart where students can track their progress. This could be done with stickers, stars, post-its, or another type of visual aid.
Try offering rewards for those who made an effort to participate in class even when others didn’t so they know what kind of behavior will be recognized by the teacher.
#Tip 7: Put Yourself in the Student’s Shoes
Before you can effectively discipline a student, you need to understand why they’re acting out. Is it because they don’t understand the material and need additional help? Are they frustrated with themselves and taking it out on others?
Maybe something is going on at home that isn’t allowing them to complete homework or pay attention during lessons. By putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to see what’s causing the behavior so you can work towards resolving it instead of just penalizing them for their actions.
#Tip 8: Speak With Your Students One-on-One
When students know that their teacher will be talking to them one-on-one, they feel less nervous about misbehaving since they aren’t afraid of the consequences.
This makes it easier for them to focus on what you’re saying and allows teachers to get a better sense of how they’re feeling in class so they can determine if there’s anything that needs to be adjusted.
#Tip 9: Take Advantage of Free Periods
Free periods or other times when students aren’t occupied with schoolwork is an opportune time for teachers to set up individual conferences with students to discuss any issues occurring in class and come up with solutions.
Students will feel more comfortable speaking openly about their behavior since extracurricular activities require no pressure. This also allows you to see if the issues stem from the classroom or other parts of their lives.
#Tip 10: Prepare Before Each Lesson
Classroom management tips begin with planning your lessons, so you have everything you need before starting each class period.
When you aren’t well prepared and have to shuffle through materials while trying to teach, it becomes more difficult for both you and the students to understand what’s going on. As a result, classrooms become more chaotic, leading to students acting up.
#Tip 11: Control Your Voice
Teachers need to be able to keep their cool in situations where students are misbehaving so they don’t add fuel to the fire.
Keep your voice at a moderate level. Being too loud can also intimidate students into being quiet since they won’t want to draw attention towards themselves, but being too soft is just as ineffective since students won’t be able to hear you.
#Tip 12: Keep the Classroom Organized
When classrooms are unorganized and there’s clutter everywhere, it’s more difficult for teachers to find what they need, and the same is true for students.
This makes lessons more confusing and often causes students to miss information or become distracted by messes that weren’t cleaned up after class periods ended.
It’ll be easier to keep track of where things are located by organizing your classroom and creating a better learning environment within your space, leading to improved behavior from those in attendance.
#Tip 13: Enforce Consequences as Soon as Problems Arise
When teachers put off consequences for actions such as talking out of turn or leaving early from class periods, those actions seem unimportant compared to hand raising and asking questions.
If students know they won’t be punished for leaving early, they may begin doing so more frequently. If difficult students don’t recognize that their chattiness will lead to problems with classmates who are trying to work hard, they’ll continue interrupting the class.
Related Reading: Best Bulletin Board Ideas to Make Your Classroom Look Attractive
This is why it’s important to enforce consequences as soon as possible since it makes those actions seem more important in comparison.
#Tip 14: Use a Chalkboard or Whiteboard for All Lessons
When lessons are written on a chalkboard or whiteboard, it becomes easier for teachers to stay focused on their content as well as students who need help.
There isn’t anything that can compare with writing notes onto a board, so these surfaces should always be utilized when teaching lessons.
Allowing students access to your board gives them the opportunity to follow what’s taking place more easily, and if something is unclear, they’ll be more likely to ask for help.
#Tip 15: Make Your Voice Louder Than the Noise Around You
Making your voice louder than other sounds in the room makes it easier for you and your students to immediately become focused on what needs to be done, especially if there’s noise coming from outside your classroom.
This also makes it easier for students to hear you over the loud distractions that may be present, and you’ll likely find that they’re more willing to listen when they know exactly what it is that you want them to do.
#Tip 16: Break Up Large Classes Every Once in a While
Having large classes can be quite difficult since it’s harder for teachers to provide quality attention to every student, but this doesn’t mean smaller groups need to become an exception.
Having your students work in pairs or even trios once in a while makes it much easier for them to understand information since they’ll be able to practice on one another instead of struggling through independent assignments alone.
These tips should help make classroom management much smoother on your end, allowing students to use their energy on learning rather than worrying about the class atmosphere.
How to Prepare the Best Classroom Management Plan
To effectively manage a classroom, it’s important to have a classroom management plan in place before the first day of school.
1. Make Rules for Your Classroom
One of the first steps in planning your classroom management is to come up with some rules. For each rule, decide what will happen if a student breaks it and how you will enforce those consequences.
If you’re unsure of what kinds of discipline everyone is comfortable with, do an exercise where you sit down with your teaching peers and talk about different ways that children could respond to misbehavior and discuss which ones work best and why.
Make sure that there is consensus between all members on what kinds of disciplinary actions they are okay with before making any final decisions on behavior expectations for the class as a whole.
2. Decide How Students Will Be Rewarded for Good Behavior
It’s important to set up an incentive system so that students know that good behavior is recognized and encouraged. As a class, brainstorm a list of possible rewards that students could earn in your classroom.
You can have them vote on their favorites, or just come up with the ideas together. The key is to have a variety of options so that everyone feels included in the discussion and has something they want to work for.
3. Establish Positive Ways To Monitor Student Behavior
Monitoring how students behave during class time will be vital when it comes to ensuring they are staying focused and following directions.
To accomplish this, have students create an agreed-upon signal with you so they can let you know if there’s a problem or if they need help before it becomes disruptive to learning.
For example, a thumbs-down gesture could mean, “I need to get your attention ASAP” or a thumbs-up signal means, “Everything is fine. I don’t need you right now.”
4. Create a System for Reporting Problematic Behavior and Handling It as a Class
Keep track of all infractions and be sure that everyone understands the process for both reporting them and dealing with them as a class.
If you spend some time each day at the beginning or end of class reminding students about expectations and letting them know what kind of behaviors will be reported, they’ll understand how important it is to behave well at all times because their whole group needs to work together to manage those issues as they arise.
When an issue arises, make sure there’s no confusion about who saw what and make sure everyone understands the consequences.
Related Reading: Benefits of Reading Aloud in Classrooms
5. Review Your Classroom Management Plan Periodically To Make Sure It’s Working
If there are any changes you want to make, do so before the school year starts so that students have a chance to practice following those new rules. If you find yourself in a pinch where you need another disciplinary action or another way of rewarding students, feel free to add things mid-year as necessary.
Make sure there is consistency among all members of your team when it comes to how class management is handled and be open with parents about expectations for their children.
They’ll appreciate being included in your decision-making process and will be more likely to support the way you’re running your classroom if they understand why certain things are done.
6. Keep Working at It
Classroom management isn’t an exact science but rather a skill that takes constant effort, development, and practice. You should never feel like you’ve mastered it or that there’s nothing more to learn.
On the contrary, staying on top of your game will help students stay on track with their learning so everyone can be as successful as possible.
Best Classroom Management Styles
There are many different classroom management styles that can be used. Here are a few of the most popular ones:
1. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement works by rewarding students when they behave in a manner that is desired by the teacher.
Using this classroom management style displays appropriate behavior that might include arriving to class on time, completing assignments correctly and on time, and participating positively in discussions and physical education classes.
And examples of inappropriate behaviors might be students distracting others during instruction time or not following directions for tasks assigned to them.
2. Token Economy System
With this system, students earn tokens for displaying positive behavior- sometimes using actual tokens or points or another agreed-upon system between the teacher and students.
At certain intervals, such as every one hour or every two hours, according to Education World, students may be able to withdraw the tokens they’ve collected for completing tasks or behaving well in class.
After a set amount of time like this has gone by, either the teacher or student can choose a prize from a “menu” of options that have been predetermined.
3. Classroom Management Contract
These contracts are often created collaboratively between the teacher and student. These contracts should be clear about what is expected from students in different situations and the consequences for not meeting those expectations.
Breaking a rule or acting inappropriately can result in points being deducted each time it happens with the consequence of losing privileges if there are too many points deducted.
4. Loss of Privilege
Using this method, students are given certain privileges that they can lose if they act inappropriately or don’t meet expectations for their behavior during the school day.
For example, the loss of privilege might be not being allowed to play during recess, or not being permitted to eat lunch with friends.
5. Classroom Guidelines
Classroom guidelines are usually short statements that communicate rules for appropriate behavior in the classroom.
Examples of these might be “listen when others are speaking”, “raise hands before talking”, and “keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.”
The rules should be posted in locations throughout the room where students will see them frequently so they’ll know what is expected of them every day.
6. Do Unto Others…
It can also help to find positive ways to remind students how they want to be treated by asking them questions like, “How would you feel if someone did this to you?”
That way, it becomes more of a collaborative process where the students are given an opportunity to help design their learning environment.
7. Consistency is Key
All of these classroom management styles work best when they are used consistently every day throughout the school year, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to establish new patterns for behavior with your classes.
The same goes for changing up how you manage your classroom even if you plan on sticking with one style- don’t do it mid-year without careful preparation and communication beforehand. A change in rules can be very confusing for students who are only used to certain behaviors being accepted all year long.
There are many different classroom management plans and styles that you can try in order to improve your teaching and student learning. The benefits of each style vary, but they all work best when used consistently over the course of a school year.
Whatever classroom management style and plan you decide on, it’s important to communicate these expectations clearly so every student knows what is expected from them throughout the day or week.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you manage multiple classrooms at once?
When assigned to teach more than one class at a time, it is advised to rotate between classes throughout the day.
Switch from room to room every thirty minutes or so and this way each group of students has a chance to hear that they are expected to meet certain expectations for behavior before their classmates.
Why is kindergarten classroom management important?
Kindergarten is the first time that many students are exposed to formal schooling with rules and expectations, so it’s important to establish good habits for behavior right from the beginning.
We often find that working on classroom management during this grade level has set a positive tone for later years when you might be teaching older classes or subject matter.
How can you reduce student behavior problems?
One of the best ways to reduce behavior problems is to foster positive relationships with your students.
Always try to meet them where they are at and be aware of any negative situations that could be affecting their classwork or behavior in the classroom.
Respectful communication, trust, encouragement, and kindness can go a long way!
How should you withdraw a student from the classroom?
If there is a student in your class that you feel absolutely cannot maintain their behavior, then it’s recommended to contact the office and arrange for them to be withdrawn.
Make sure that any other teachers or specialists that might see them throughout the day are aware of why they will be gone for the day.