Classroom management may be the most critical part of your teaching job.
Classroom management… really that important? Well, if you can’t manage your classroom, nothing else you do may even matter.
While there have been thousands of books and articles published over the years about classroom management, I think these four simple tips can make a big difference.
1. Be consistent with classroom rules and keep them visible throughout the year.
Make rules clear from day one, and make sure they are easy for your students to remember. Post classroom rules and behavior guidelines in obvious places, and make a copy to distribute to every student. TIP: There are all sorts of game-playing apps you might want to use to “make a game” out of the rules, and get your students involved in learning about them that way. Check out Kahoot: Games for Review and Assessment and 5 Learning Games for Little Learners for some interesting ideas and simple apps that help you create classroom games.
2. Create an atmosphere that’s conducive to individualized attention.
Make it your mission to get to know each student individually – their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses, their dreams, and more about how they learn best.
3. Encourage classroom discussion amongst all students.
Practice moderating a discussion and be gently encouraging with the shy students. Call on different students, but don’t make it into an experience that’s frightening or nerve-racking for any individual student. See the links above in item #1 for some game tips that can help your introverted students.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve had a hard day. It comes with the territory of teaching.
Even the seasoned pros have challenges. Take it one day at a time, and don’t get discouraged from a bad day, or even a bad week. We’ve all been there!
Classroom management, when done well, is probably the single biggest factor in determining how effective we are as teachers.