Classroom Management Tips For Every Teacher
If you are a new teacher going to experience a classroom for the first time, you must have received a lot of information about how to handle the class from various sources.
It is often difficult to determine what is important and what can be saved for last. Well, let us tell you that nothing is more important than classroom management because if you do not manage your classroom in an effective manner, then no other knowledge you have gained will come to your aid. Teaching can become a difficult experience if this area is not mastered at the earliest.
You may have a number of strategies that can be used in various situations, but mastering a few key ones can be critical to your career. Following the below mentioned basic principles from the first school day to the last will ensure that you have a successful teaching year.
The strategy of not smiling during the initial two months of school year is absurd. A smile gives the students a subtle but strong message that they are expected to behave kindly and politely. It also helps to build rapport with the students. This is extremely important because when the students feel comfortable being around you and start liking you, they will want to please you by listening to you and behaving properly in class. So, when you meet your class, smile, look them in the eye and then say hello.
Set Clear Rules
Every student’s right to learn and have fun in school and your right to educate the students are protected by classroom rules. Make sure these rules cover every disturbance, intervention and disorderly conduct and the students should have no doubts about what breaking them means.
State each rule clearly during the initial days of school. Examples make students understand better, hence make them understand by showing them the exact behaviours that breaking the rules comprises of.
Have Clear Consequences
Consequences hold students accountable for their actions without your having to give them a lecture or reprimand them. To inspire your students to behave in a mature fashion, it is essential to maintain a positive relationship with them.
Explain to your class the consequences of misbehaving, from the warnings given initially to informing the parents. Walk the students through the exact consequences so that they are not surprised when something goes wrong.
Being inconsistent when enforcing consequences is the easiest way to lose control over your class. When students misbehave and you admonish them instead of enforcing consequences, you are sending them the message that you are not to be trusted. This makes the students feel disappointed, causes resentment and ultimately leads to more misbehaviour. The path to consistency is to keep reminding yourself that your success is dependent on it. When a student behaves inappropriately, simply approach the student and let them know which rule was broken and what the consequence for it would be and then walk away.
Teach Detailed Routines
The heart and soul of a well conducted classroom are the routines followed by it. Routines help by saving time, keeping the children focused on learning and reducing misbehaviour. Everything that is done on a repeated basis should be turned into a routine.
The key to establishing a routine is to teach the children in a detailed way. Play the role of a student and take them through the steps they have to follow. For e.g.: If you would like the students to follow a routine when entering the classroom, put on a back pack, stand outside the classroom door and walk them through the steps they are supposed to follow. Once you make sure they have understood, choose a couple of students as models and practice the routine until it becomes perfect.
Add a Dose of Fun
Most often, teachers become so busy fulfilling their objectives that they forget that school is supposed to be enjoyable for the students. This is the secret to managing a classroom. When the students have fun, are engaged in their work and look forward to the classes you take, it helps you to curb misbehaviour as the consequences of their actions mean something to them. By combining fun and accountability, you can transform even the most difficult of students into amicable ones. This does not mean that you need to spend extra time planning for the day or have some game or events ready at hand, just being yourself and not being afraid to show the person you are would do the trick. Share stories of your childhood days with them or talk in a funny accent and enjoy yourself while you do it. Your students too will love you for it.
Tried and True
It is lamentable that there is lots of bad advice being handed out to new teachers, some which are dishonest and manipulative, some that may work at that particular instance but may lead to more problems in future and some that are simply harmful to students.
You will be successful if you filter all that you hear through the tried and tested tips mentioned above. If the method you intend to implement does not build healthy relationships, is not honest, consistent and the best for your students, does not allow your students to enjoy what you are teaching; then it is in your best interest to let go of that strategy.