One of the most difficult aspect of teaching is how to mange a classroom. Effective classroom management requires at least five years of experience and an understanding of the ever changing classroom environment. Most importantly, is how the teacher understands the different student dynamics that the teacher inherits for each class. If a teacher gets a high-achieving, focused classroom, it is much easier to control that class than a teacher who walks into a low-achieving, unfocused class. The later group is more likely to have behavioral problems and makes classroom management even more difficult. This post will attempt to provide some effective techniques that have worked for me to improve teacher classroom management. While it is important that the teacher have administrative support at the school, especially with dealing unruly students, once the student is in the classroom, it is up to the teacher to control their classroom.
First, identify the problem students, if any. Usually, there may be one to three students in the class that cause problems. These students should be seated away from their friends and repeated calls to the parents should result in better behavior. Ignoring the problem and hoping it will get better will result in a chaotic classroom throughout the year. Many students are in cliques and if any problems occur, be quick to break up these cliques by separating the students.
Second, get the students into a routine. It is important that the students know what is expected of them daily. When my students come in, they see the "Do Now" on the board. Homework for that night and the "Aim" for the day. Furthermore, they are to hand in their homework assignment and copy the Regents question and be ready to explain what the answer is.
Third, enforce the rules but be flexible. Too many teachers either are too stringent in enforcing the classroom rules or not stringent at all. The result is a classroom of students that either resent the teacher for being too stringent or disrespect the teacher for not enforcing classroom rules. The trick is to make sure the students know the rules but on rare occasions the teacher can bend the rules, when appropriate. This will allow the teacher to maintain classroom control and get the students to buy into them knowing that they can be flexible depending on the situation.
Fourth, you are the boss! It's your classroom and the students look to you for guidance. Make sure you know your curriculum and speak with an authoritative voice. Speaking softly in a classroom of 34 students will not result in good academic learning.
Fifth, walk around the room if possible. It is always a good idea to check on "student work" such as the "Do Now" and see if they have their notebook open and taking notes.
Seventh, try to call on as many students as you can. It is important to keep them on their collective toes and engaged in the lesson you are teaching.
Finally, and most importantly, it's up to you to show your students that you care about their well being and problems. If the students believe you care about them, they will respond positively to your teaching academically. The students must like the teacher if the teacher is to get the maximum effort from the student.
Good classroom management is a necessary part of "effective teaching" and is the hardest to get right but with experience and watching other teachers teach any teacher, as they gain experience, will be able to master the classroom management issue.
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