The new school year is about to start, and the best way to get going on the right foot is to check in with your classroom management. It’s the perfect time to evaluate what worked and what processes in your classroom need to be reworked. Classroom management is the best thing to focus on in the new school year if you want to feel less stress, have more success teaching your students, and have a more positive relationship with your job.
Classroom management is the system that Teachers have in place so that classes run more smoothly. It is not just about discipline, but instead managing a class to prevent issues from even forming. Structuring your courses to run more smoothly will give you more instructional time and lead to more positive interactions in the classroom.
Have you ever worked for a boss that you loved? You know, the type that pushed you to be better by being tough. At the same time, this boss seemed to be fair with everyone with identical expectations. That’s what your students want as well. Good classroom management feels safe, predictable, and fair.
The best way to stop discipline problems in your classroom is to stop thinking about discipline problems. Instead, focus on setting up classroom management and procedures that prevent opportunities for these to occur. Eliminate distractions due to disorganization and gain more time for teaching.
We’ll walk you through our classroom management strategies for a year that goes more smoothly.
A well-managed classroom starts before the bell even rings. Have students walk in ready to learn with a bellringer waiting for them. This becomes a great tool for classroom management when students know that bell work will be graded. So add some accountability with TeacherMade. TeacherMade makes it easy to assign work that can be completed and turned in digitally. Once students hit submit, then TeacherMade grades the assignment. Students will be focused on bellwork every day when you have a system that provides accountability.
You can’t do the same thing the whole class period, and transitions to new activities are a necessity. Don’t lose your students as you move on to new activities. You have to have procedures for these transitions. A typical activity usually requires collecting paper assignments and materials. TeacherMade can simplify this process. All work can be assigned and collected digitally. It takes just a few minutes to create an online worksheet from materials you already have. Try it today.
Nonverbal communication is essential in the classroom. There has to be a way to get the attention of your class when you need it. Many Teachers like the “give me five” hand, but anything you and your students will use and respect will work. It can even be a simple look that conveys that you are ready to move on.
Your students are not mind readers, don’t expect them to just know your boundaries. As a Teacher, you must set clear boundaries. Tell your students what your expectations are of them. Have class rules. Tell your students exactly what you need them to do, and be consistent each day.
Classroom management should be positive. Celebrate your students as being part of your team. Tell them when they are doing something right. Show them that they are finding success, and you will create a positive classroom culture that will feed off itself. You want to create a culture of students that want to work for you.
While you work on group dynamics in front of the whole class, build individual relationships. An excellent opportunity for this is to talk to students in the hallway, before class, or even in passing during class. This will build rapport with your students so that you will begin to win over a majority of the class. Besides, this is how you get to see your students’ hilariously unique personalities.
When you do need to intervene for a discipline issue, do so at the appropriate level. Most students will not respond well to being called out in front of an entire class. Talk to them one-on-one, and see how this works first. When you need to respond in front of the whole class, consider saying it as a blanket statement that could apply to anyone before singling out this student. The respect that you give students in these moments helps to build trust in your classroom. Students need to know that they can feel safe in your classroom, and they will not be embarrassed even if they mess up.
If you want your students to be organized and perform well, you need to do so also. Your students will work hard on their work if they know that you work hard on planning and grading their work. A great tool for this is TeacherMade. TeacherMade allows you to convert your existing PDF worksheets into digital activities. It makes it easy for students to complete work and makes it easy to return graded work promptly. Your students will know that you are grading their work seriously, which will show in the effort they put into completing each assignment. And when they receive feedback almost instantly, their retention and improvement increases.
The last step is the most important. Keep consistent standards for classroom management. Your students will try to test your boundaries, but they need to know that your standards never change.