5 Principles of Outstanding Classroom Management
An knowledge of what is happening in the classroom, patience, appropriate timing, boundaries, and instinct are all required for effective classroom management. Nothing about leading a large group of easily distracted young people with a diverse range of abilities and temperaments on a meaningful learning trip is simple or painless.
So, how do master teachers accomplish this?
We conducted an informal poll on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to gain a better understanding of experienced teachers’ preferred classroom management tactics. Surprise of surprises, there is no magic bullet for achieving success in classroom management. Having said that, as we sifted through the more than 700 replies, we noticed some distinct patterns. Here are some of the most frequently referenced and innovative ways.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR STUDENTS
Putting on your personal oxygen mask comes first, as the airline safety movies instruct you to do.
According to our knowledgeable instructors, in order to study properly, your students require a healthy you. So make sure you get enough sleep, consume nutritious foods, and take efforts to look after your personal well-being. Jessica Sachs “was working 15-hour days and was completely stressed out during her first year of teaching,” she recalls. ‘The most essential thing that you do at school is make decisions,’ my spouse eventually told me one day. No matter how well-prepared you were the night before, it won’t matter if you’re too exhausted to perform it well the next day.” Taking a few deep breaths can go a long way toward assisting you in recognising frustration before acting on it. Educator Mindy Jones from Brownsville, Tennessee, says that “a second of patience at a moment of stress saves you a hundred moments of regret.”
Numerous studies support the notion that taking care of oneself can help to prevent stress, which can deplete your energy and impair your judgement. Despite the fact that self-care is more of a habit or practise for your own well-being than a specific classroom management strategy, the benefits include improved executive function, greater empathy, and increased resilience—all of which will empower you to make better decisions when faced with challenging classroom situations.
2. FOCUS ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
Developing healthy student-teacher relationships is critical to creating a thriving classroom culture, and it can even set the stage for academic success, according to the theme we heard the most frequently: During the Facebook and Instagram talks, the phrase “create relationships” appeared 27 times, and other variations of that phrase featured a total of 78 times.
“I believe that rapport is extremely important!” said middle school teacher Kim Manzer, who went on to say that she always finds time to talk to pupils, whether as a full class or one-on-one. Simple efforts, such as welcoming students outside the classroom before the start of the day, can have significant results in a short period of time. “They really appreciate it when I just pause to listen and take an interest in what they’re saying.” “I usually meet them at the door and we do a ‘high-five, chicken-five,’ contacting elbows with a ‘wing,'” says Amanda Tait, a teacher from Prince George, British Columbia, who adds a little spice to the routine.
Yes! We all give each other high-fives and chicken-fives in accord.
Many educators agreed that a teacher’s ability to strike a balance between warmth and firm boundaries is essential for successful relationships—as well as for effective classroom management. “Always maintain consistency while remaining adaptable. Love them unconditionally, yet hold them accountable as a result of your love. “Give them a voice, but be the one in charge,” Rae Rudzinski said.
Create rules, boundaries, and expectations for yourself and others (AND DO IT EARLY)
Students do not thrive in an environment of chaos. They want some fundamental structure—as well as consistency—in order to feel comfortable and to concentrate.
3. SET RULES, BOUNDARIES, AND EXPECTATIONS (AND DO IT EARLY)
However, according to Heather Henderson, a middle school reading coach, sustaining a culture of mutual respect does not imply that the purpose is to “make friends.” “You can’t be their friend,” says the author. “You may be kind, caring, and supportive, but you must also be their teacher,” says the author. As early as possible in the school year, establish a code of conduct and make certain that everyone—including the teacher—makes an effort to adhere to it. In order to be predictable, one must “follow through with rewards and penalties.” If you say something, make sure you mean it. And if you truly believe it, say it. Clarity, initiative, and consistency are all important, according to Lori Sheffield.
Overall, educators agreed that displaying acceptable classroom behaviour sets the tone for children: “You create the weather,” said Diana Fliginger, a North Dakota educator who lives in Minot. “It is your attitude as a teacher that has the most influence on the tone and environment of your classroom.” If you want your children to be calm and productive, model that behaviour for them.” Many others expressed concern that, while constantly enforcing regulations is vital, it is also important to pick your battles—especially if those conflicts are going to be broadcast to the public: “Instead, say something like, ‘You and I will talk about this later,'” Denise Tremblay Drapeau suggests. Then you may still deal with the issue while maintaining your dignity. It had a significant impact on the atmosphere in my classroom.”
4. TAKE A STRENGTH-BASED APPROACH
One of the most memorable quotes during a lengthy discussion regarding classroom management strategies may have come from a student. “Find methods to make your most difficult student your favourite student,” Karen Yenofsky said, coining a nearly perfect phrase and igniting an avalanche of teacher affection in the process. “When you establish a connection with them, everything becomes more fluid.”
Of course, this is not a simple task. Using a strength-based lens means never forgetting to look beneath the surface of behaviour, even when doing so is inconvenient or uncomfortable. “Try to get to the source of the problem,” teacher Judi Michalik of Bangor, Maine, advised. “I have never seen a kid who did not want to be successful in their studies. When they are misbehaving, it’s similar to when a baby cries; it means that something is wrong in their universe. If they are misbehaving in order to get your attention, find out why they require your attention and how you may provide them with what they require.”
And don’t forget to keep working on deepening the relationship while remaining cognizant of the situation and employing language with care and consideration. “Don’t come across as astonished when you hear about the accomplishments of challenging children,” says Jenni Park, a teacher from Asheville, North Carolina. “Instead of saying, ‘Wow!,’ say, ‘Wow! If you want to say, ‘That was great,’ you should say, ‘I’m proud of you, but not shocked.’ ‘I’ve always believed in your ability.'”
Finally, cultural differences can also play an unintentional influence in our expectations of whether or not a student will succeed, so it’s vital to examine any prejudices that come to mind while you’re thinking about your students. There have been over 230 positive responses to Elijah Moore’s statement, “Don’t look at any single one of your kids as though they are deficient and in need of ‘instruction’ to become better.” “Cultural variance does not imply cultural inadequacy,” says the author.
5. INVOLVE PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
“Never lose sight of the fact that every student is someone’s child,” writes Molly Francis, echoing the sentiments of many other teachers who have responded to our thread. “Parents, guardians, and caregivers want to know that you see the positive qualities in their child. ” A healthy relationship with one’s family can frequently be beneficial in the classroom.”
In addition to receiving widespread praise, the popular applications Remind and ClassDojo look to be on their way to supplanting phone calls—both from teachers to parents and in the other direction as well. “Let’s be honest,” wrote Kristin Ward, a middle school English teacher. “If some parents had my personal cell phone number, they would be phoning me all the time!” says the author.
In addition to sending home notes of both positive and poor behaviors—vital it’s to do the latter as well—the vast majority of teachers also utilise email and text services to communicate about forthcoming events, due dates, and student progress. The advice of Barbara Rawson is to “catch them doing something positive and phone their parents to let them know you noticed.” Moreover, Kim Manzer (who we mentioned twice because she’s so wonderful) reminds her colleagues that the benefits of parental communication can be seen in the classroom: “It’s crucial that parents are involved and know what’s going on so that they can support and reinforce at home.”