The aim of this exercise is to either supplement or increase your effectiveness in the classroom. You may have heard or read of these tips before. You are probably practicing most, if not all of them.
But these gems or tips might just trigger something in the grey matter about some classroom management strategies that you may have forgotten to use in a while.
Increasing effectiveness in classroom management reminds me of the story of the axeman. You see he was cutting down trees in the middle of the forest with his mate. He was going hell for leather because his axe had become blunt from all the heavy-duty cutting. His mate suggested that he should stop to sharpen his axe to which he replied, " I simply do not have the time to stop. I am too busy cutting down trees."
Strange but true. It is a little like us all. We are so busy implementing classroom management strategies that we forget to look at and sharpen our own skills.
To help you be even more effective, you must sharpen your classroom management axe, so to speak.
When I started compiling this it was originally going to be 21 classroom management tips but I got a little carried away and the list kept growing and growing.
I also tried to kept the classroom management strategies brief so that the list would be thought provoking but would remain an easy read. This is not meant to be an academic expose on classroom management strategies. You probably couldn't use this post for your uni projects.
I tried NOT to teach you how to suck eggs. I didn't include write neatly on the board or white board. That would be just too basic and like I said, I don't want to teach you to suck eggs.
So, for what it's worth I have compiled this list of classroom management ideas that have worked for me during my time in the classroom.
These classroom management tips are pertinent whether you are beginning teacher or like me, an experienced campaigner who still needs to keep the edge on the axe.
The classroom management tips suit whether you are a full time, part-time or a casual relief teacher.
So grab your cup of coffee and your secret stash of iced vo-voes and here we go...
20. Don't make your desk a classroom barrier.
21. Continue to explore new classroom management strategies.
22. Be flexible.
22. Look at your kid's work through parent eyes. Would you be confident of you - as a teacher of your children?
23. Write positive comments on kids work - often.
24. Get to know your students as people.
25. Contact parents with good news stories.
26. Be fair.
27. Don't accuse students.
28. Be prepared to listen. Active listening really makes a difference to classroom management.
29. Keep records of the good things kids do.
30. Stop occasionally and just look at your room through student eyes. Ask yourself, "Would I like to be a student in my class?"
31. Don't threaten kids with what you can't deliver.
32. Don't hold grudges. Let things go.
33. Ensure fresh air enters the room. Stuffy rooms put kids (and teachers) to sleep.
35. Keep water close. Lubricate your vocal chords often. Your voice is your tool of the trade. Protect it at all costs.
36. Keep positive. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
37. Don't punish the whole class as a result of the behaviour of some. The good kids will hate you rather than the trouble makers.
38. Keep your expectations high.
39. Never criticise parents in front of children.
40. Keep the focus on learning, then learning and finally learning.
41. Show the kids how you learn new ideas. Model this skills to your class. You can, can't you?
42. Never get into an argument with kids. EVER!
43. Set the example for your kids - in EVERYTHING.
45. Have a quiet time. Give yourself and you kids a 5 minute break every now and then.
46. Get excited about your own learning.
47. If you expect kids to behave in your room, make sure they are behaved before the enter.
48. Have your first activity ready to go and start it quickly. Make you first classroom management strategy to get your kids working ASAP.
49. Silence ISN'T really golden. Real learning involves talking. Give kids some time to talk.
50. Don't paint kids into corners. Give them an OUT - some way of saving face. Even a snake only attacks when it is cornered.
51. Variety is the spice of life. Are your lessons putting your kids to sleep? Vary your classroom management strategies such as speed, pitch, volume.
52. Continue to build rapport with your students during the lesson. This makes your interactions much more personal.
53. If you need to support of admin, do so after the lesson, not during.
54. There are 30 pairs of eyes watching you. Be aware that you may not be dealing with 1 student. How are the other 29 pairs of eyes interpreting your interaction.
55. Make everything about learning. If you make a comment about behaviour, do so in term of learning. "You are interfering with everyone's learning. You are not giving yourself a chance to learn."
56. Deal with miscreants quietly and privately. Remove their audience.
58. Make all your classroom management strategies age appropriate. Give older students a bit of freedom to do the right thing.
59. Don't make one student a target for ridicule by putting them on a pedestal.
60. Carry on a conversation with your students. Model appropriate and desired communication techniques.
61. Change your classroom management strategies where appropriate. Different classes may respond differently to different strategies.
62. Give students appropriate levels of choice. Not too much, and not too little.
63. Never ask why.
64. Avoid sending your students to others to deal with especially in front of your class.
65. Avoid making classroom management decisions in anger.
66. Don't forget the ugly kids. Research shows ugly kids get less attention from teachers.
67. Use peer tutoring to help out the slower kids. It is a great strategy to strengthen the understanding of your brighter kids and improve the performance of your slower kids.
69. Give your recalcitrant kids something purposeful to do early in your lesson.
70. Use proximity to ward off trouble. Standing beside an offender without talking sends a clear message.
71. Don't work over kids shoulders. Keep your distance to avoid body closeness. Most applicable to the blokes but equally important for women.
72. Never work with a student in a room by yourself.
73. . Kids love to see a teacher enjoying their work.
74. Never compare one student with another student.
75. Have a signal for quiet (bell, clicker, a key word) and demand compliance when used. Always.
76. Understand that there is usually more than one set of rules.
77. Be comfortable with some moments of silence especially when waiting for an answer.
78. Be passionate about what you’re teaching. Bored teachers almost always have classroom management challenges.
79. Don't always rely on the good kids ( you know the teacher pets) to do jobs
80. Don’t interrupt on-task behaviours. If the kids are working, let them work.
81. Seek advice from your colleagues. Most teachers are only too happy to provide assistance. Ask other teachers for their opinions on classroom management issues.
83. Be disciplined with your words and actions.
84. Make your classroom individually different. Build your classroom culture but making a point of difference.
85. Make eye contact when talking to your students.
86. Use humour only if you have the skills.
87. Genuinely care for students or change jobs.
88. Avoid rewarding students for expected behaviours. Use rewards for exceptional behaviours.
89. Don't define yourself by your job. Do it the best you can, but you are a person first. Don't take school dramas home.
90. Regularly remind students of rules and expectations - but don't nag.
91. Give instructions once. Avoid repeating them. you will be rewarding inattention.
92. Parents can be your best ally if you treat them as co-partners in their child's learning. Kids will respond differently if they know you have their parent's support.
93. REALLY listen to your own instructions. Are they clear and concise?
94. Change the classroom layout when necessary. Classroom management is also about the physical environment.
95. Don't fade away during your lesson. Maintain student attention through to the end.
96. Take personal responsibility for everything that happens in your classroom.
97. Model organisation to your students. If you are not personally and professionally organised how can you expect your students to be.
98. End you lesson on a high. Tell the kids what they can now do/know as a result of the lesson they just had.
99. Don't solve all your students' problems. If they have a problem (lost pencil, broken ruler) ask them to try to come up with a solution first and come back if that fails.
101. Keep your board work neat and organised. I know I promised not to teach you to suck eggs, but honestly how can you expect neat book work from your class if you can't set a standard for yourself.
So there. I could have written 1001 classroom management tips. And I might just do that.
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Resources that might help you further in developing your own classroom management tips.