The 5 Priorities of Classroom Management
Classroom management is the most difficult skill to master for new teachers, as well as for experienced teachers like myself who are returning to the classroom. The lessons I had learned over ten years of rigorous instruction had to be relearned: effective classroom management entails more than simply being strict or authoritarian, and it entails more than simply being well-organized. Creating a structured learning environment in which certain behaviors are encouraged and others are discouraged is essential if I want my classroom to run as smoothly as a well-oiled learning machine.
The following are the five components of effective classroom management that I have discovered are necessary to establish structures that are strong enough to entice and motivate student learning:
Making effective working relationships with students is essential.
Students should be educated on how learning takes place in their environment.
Time management and time leveraging
Predicting student behavior in well-written lesson plans is essential.
Creating standards of behavior that encourage student learning are important.
1. DEVELOP EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR STUDENTS
Relationships are the most important component of effective classroom management. My relationships with my students begin the moment they walk through the door and I shake their hand and greet them with a smile (regardless of what misbehaviors might have happened the day before). When I use a student’s name and actively praise him or her, for example, I am strengthening the bonds that have been established. Individual time with each student to get to know them, followed by the use of that knowledge to create personal learning opportunities, helps to strengthen those relationships.
One of the most valuable takeaways from the professional development program Capturing Kids’ Hearts was this: If I have a good relationship with my students, I can push them harder and further in their learning because they trust me.
2. TRAIN YOUR STUDENTS ON HOW LEARNING TAKES PLACE IN YOUR CLASSROOM
Instruct your students on how learning takes place in your classroom by demonstrating it to them.
Your students must understand that you do not expect them to learn everything right away, that everyone has a unique learning process, and that if they follow your instructions, they will be successful in learning.
In this conversation, you’ll go beyond simply describing your homework policy, late work, and absences. In this lesson, you will demonstrate to your students how you will collaborate with them to build a highly effective, low-maintenance learning team. For example, I explain to my students that the true power of a strategy such as Cornell Notes does not lie in the fact that the paper is divided into two sections. The advantage of using this strategy is that it allows students to write their questions on the left side of the paper while reviewing their notes, and then take the time to summarise what they have learned. Educate your students about your learning philosophy, which guides your instructional style. Make it clear to your students what you do to assist them in their learning so that when you do it, they understand what you are doing and why you are doing it, and they will be more willing to assist you.
3. PROTECT AND LEVERAGE YOUR TIME
An effective classroom manager must be well-prepared with materials and understand how to seamlessly transition students from one activity to another without wasting time or disrupting the learning environment. The most important thing we could do to improve the academic performance of our students is to increase the amount of time they spend learning. A great deal of time is consumed by activities such as taking attendance and making announcements. Other activities include calling students to the office and scheduling restroom breaks. Other activities include organizing class meetings, giving special presentations, holding awards ceremonies, and celebrating special occasions.
There will always be disruptions and time stealers, but being successful at managing the classroom also includes managing your time, protecting it, and maximizing its use to your greatest benefit. Teach Like a Champion author Doug Lemov demonstrates how to use routines to minimize lost time in activities such as handing out papers. He also demonstrates routines to assist students in training their minds to adopt useful habits and skills, such as being able to respond and ask questions promptly.
4. ANTICIPATE YOUR STUDENTS’ BEHAVIORS IN WELL-WRITTEN LESSON PLANS
Four, plan your lessons to anticipate the behavior of your students. Well-written lesson plans will help you do this.
Intuitive lesson planning is required to channel student behaviors, interests, and attention into productive learning paths and learning paths. First and foremost, Grant Wiggins, co-author of Understanding by Design with Jason McTighe, emphasizes the importance of focusing on how students will be able to demonstrate that they understand and have achieved the learning objective. Then create learning activities that will take students through the process of getting to that point.
The goal of our lesson planning efforts, according to education researcher Robert Marzano, should be to encourage students to ask and answer their questions. Although coming up with those types of questions on the spur of the moment can be difficult, you can incorporate those types of questions into your lesson plans with a little planning. At the end of the day, the best discipline management plan is a well-thought-out lesson plan.
5. ESTABLISH BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS
These standards should encourage learning while also enacting consequences that reduce or eliminate behaviors that are detrimental to learning. Instead of going into great detail about each behavior and the corresponding consequence for failure to comply, they should focus on the most important points, such as showing respect, communicating effectively, and arriving prepared to learn. The standards should also work in harmony with the other four components, particularly when it comes to teaching your students about how learning takes place in your classroom environment.
I’ve learned to frame each lesson as it’s being taught to better understand it. This means that, for each learning activity, I explain the expectations for performance as well as the boundaries of acceptable behavior for the students. As an illustration:
You will be working with a partner on creating a structure out of newspaper that will reach the ceiling in the 15 minutes you have available. You and your partner may wish to discuss your plans in private by using inside voices. If you have any questions, please place the red cup on your desk and I will come over to assist you as soon as I can. Meanwhile, continue to work on other projects until I can arrive.
FROM DAY ONE
Starting at the beginning of the school year is the best time to establish an effective plan for classroom management, but it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, we must be consistent and persistent in developing trusting relationships with students, following and teaching the most effective learning theories, respecting student time, designing lesson plans that are responsive to students’ behaviors and needs, and upholding high and rigorous standards of learning behavior. We must also be adaptable and willing to change in the face of tangles that can derail even the best-laid management plans. What classroom management techniques have you found to be the most effective?