Proactive Classroom Management Tips

This website offers tips for both new and veteran teachers on how to avoid disruptive behavior in the first place.

Researchers Jacob Kounin and Paul Gump discovered that imposing severe discipline on oneself can have unintended consequences. While a disruptive student who receives harsh punishment from the teacher may eventually stop, other students will continue to act in the same way they have in the past.

This is what Kounin and Gump call the ” ripple impact” and it shows that controlling a classroom can backfire.

Kounin and Gump stated that teachers who are interested in controlling ripple effects should give clear instructions to their students rather than exert pressure.

Classroom management remains a challenging issue for teachers, even though it has been decades since its inception. According to a 2014 report by the National Council on Teacher Quality, nearly half of all new teachers feel that they are not prepared or only partially prepared to manage disruptive students. Teachers report that they have lost 144 hours of instruction to behavioral disruptions on average every week. This is roughly three weeks in a year.

Recent research confirms the findings of Kounin & Gump decades ago. A 2016 study negative attention —reprimands such as “Stop chitchatting!” —was discovered to be ineffective. Even though negative attention (such as reprimands such as “Stop chitchatting!”) may initially deter pupils from engaging in disruptive behavior, they may eventually become more prone to do so. According to the findings of the study, pupils reported feeling disengaged and having difficulty concentrating. They also battled to maintain control over their emotions and ideas, which “really accentuates” the inappropriate behavior displayed by kids.


It is better to prevent disruptions from happening than to react to them after they have occurred. These are eight classroom strategies teachers shared with Edutopia, all supported by research.

1. Greet children at the door: Falon Turner, of Washington, DC’s Van Ness Elementary School, gives each student a high-five and a handshake or embrace. “I’m trying to connect with them during that time… She refers to it as a “pulse check” to determine their location.

According to school research, greeting pupils at their front doors enhanced academic engagement by 20% and reduced disruptive conduct by 9%. This adds around an hour of engagement per day to your day.

2. Create, maintain, and reestablish relationships. Students can begin to form relationships with their classmates by greeting them at their doorways. They must be kept in good working order throughout the school year and repaired when problems arise. The stronger the relationship and the better we know our pupils, adds Marieke van Wong of the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility in New York, “the more information we have and the more goodwill we can rely upon when things got tough.”

Relationship-building, maintenance, and restoration strategies can prevent disruptions by up to 75%.

3. Use reminders and cues: Todd Finley, a former English teacher, and current English education professor recommends these tacrecommenduieting loud classes.

If you want older kids to follow your instructions, make sure you let them know ahead of time. Reminders and signals can be used to urge students to follow the instructions. If you expect interruptions, such as students getting up to finish an assignment late, remind them of what they should do instead.

Although the majority of reminders are verbal, they can also be visual (flickering lights to indicate that it is silent), aural (to remind students to pay attention to their instructor), or physical (to remind students to pay attention to their teacher) (using a hand signal for students to get back into their seats).

4. Make the most of the seating in the classroom. Those who select their seats are three times more likely to do so than students who are allocated seats. They’ll most likely sit close to their buddies and spend more time conversing than they would if they were in the same seat.

Courtesy Emily Polak is a writer. Flexible seating, according to Emily Polak, a ninth-grade teacher, is an important aspect of classroom management.

This does not, however, imply that all options are terrible. It can make a difference to have clear standards and a sense that pupils have some control over the area. An appealing environment can reduce anxiety and boost academic achievement. Emily Polak is a teacher in Madison, Alabama, where she teaches ninth grade. By adding a couch and a loveseat to her room, she was able to make it cozier. Students can sit anywhere they wish, but if they can’t finish their work, they must return to their workstations. “Discipline issues have significantly diminished. “When my pupils are in an environment that respects their choices, they feel more calm and driven,” Polak says.

5. Be explicit in your compliments. Although it may appear paradoxical at first, praising positive behavior rather than penalizing pupils can be more successful. Rather than focusing your attention on individual kids, praise the conduct you want to foster. “Excellent job getting to your seats fast,” you could say.

It’s also a good idea to avoid using the word don’t, says Alyssa Nucaro, a sixth-grade English teacher in Memphis. Students respond better to clear reasoning.

6. It’s critical to set clear expectations. Instead of simply showing guidelines for behavior, have a dialogue with your children about why these rules are necessary. Bobby Shaddox is a social studies teacher in the seventh grade from Portland, Maine. He develops a list of norms with his kids, including words like inclusive and attentive. This contributes to the formation of a sense of community. “It helps to own the behavior in class,” Shaddox says. These aren’t rules that a teacher imposes on a class; they’re words that we came up with jointly. These are words that we believe in.

7. Actively supervise: According to Sol Henik, a Pleasant Hill high school teacher, presence is critical for good classroom management and instruction. While it may be tempting to sit at your desk all day grading papers, this will cause your students to become distracted. Get up and move around, ask questions, and keep an eye on the students’ progress. It’s not about punishing students, but rather about interacting with them.

Nonverbal indicators like smiling or making eye contact might “decrease psychological and/or physical distance” between teachers and students, according to a 2017 study. This promotes conduct by increasing students’ positive attitudes about the teacher and course material.

8. Follow the rules: Kelly Wickham Hurst was a high school supervisor when she was requested to discipline a pupil who was wearing drooping pants. As he strolled down the corridor, he pointed out several more white boys sporting drooping trousers. “Are you going to get him as well, or are you simply going to get him?” He inquired. He inquired. You shouldn’t single out a few students for special attention. You should concentrate on the student’s actions rather than the student himself. If misbehavior is observed, correct any errors you identify and provide additional education or reteaching.