The teacher is responsible for not only the education but the health and the safety of their students. This is why the teacher needs to have exceptional classroom management skills. These will allow the teachers to set expectations for the students and develop an environment where learning can occur.
What is classroom management?
Classroom management is the way that the teacher controls the classroom. Classroom management includes the techniques they use and the tone or the attitude that they use to help the students stay safe and reduce misbehavior. The teacher needs to develop an environment or learning and they need to have a plan to prevent disruptive behaviors and respond to any incidents that may occur. The teacher does need to have a solid plan to prevent the behavior. Classroom management will allow the teacher to look at specific goals they want for their classroom and how they can achieve them.
The teacher will look at the big picture they want to create. They will look at how they can develop a successful place for learning and what they can do to have a positive impact on student development and learning. They will look at how they can create a supportive classroom where students will not be afraid to ask questions or give new information a try. Now the teacher has to include how they are doing to address the social and emotional needs of the students as they relate to learning.
The teacher needs to have order in the classroom and give the students what they need to follow the rules. Teachers need to promote appropriate behavior. All of the information that the teacher gives the student when it comes to classroom management should be clear and they need to express the expectations clearly and directly. The teacher needs to use age appropriate language when communicating this information to the students.
Why is classroom management important?
There are many reasons why classroom management is important and a teacher needs effective classroom management skills. Classroom management will allow a teacher to develop a routine and expectations. If the teacher has a disorganized classroom they will not be able to effectively teach students and the students are not going to be able to learn all they need to. If the teacher needs to stop the lesson several times to address student behavior this takes away from instruction time. When a teacher takes the time to develop a plan for their classroom this will allow them to use the time wisely. They will be able to deliver the lesson, plan lessons, grade the material, and do other work as needed. The students will know what is expected of them and they will have their materials ready to do. It may take a couple of days at the beginning of the school year to develop this routine but it will be well worth it. A teacher that has strong classroom management skills will provide consistency in the classroom or the student. The students will know what is expected of them which is very important. If the students do not know what will come next or they do not know the expectations this can lead to misbehavior and confusion when it comes to the lessons. Teachers with a well managed classroom do not have to deal with as many behavior problems. They will have a consistency which will reduce students acting out. The students will know what the behavioral expectations are and how to follow them. This will provide an overall successful classroom setup.
Types of Classroom Management Styles
There are four main types of classroom management styles. The teacher can get their inspiration from these styles or they can combine certain features so that they can develop an effective classroom for learning.
This is the style where the teacher makes the rules and the rules are enforced strictly yet consistently. The teacher will give the students a lot of direction and they will be expected to do as they are told. The teacher does not tolerate misbehavior and is ready to enforce consequences. They will want the students to complete their work and comply with all directives.
This management style will allow the teacher to go with the flow. While they will have a routine and expectations they may include some fun activities from time to time. The teacher will allow the students to have an active role in their success.
This teacher is interactive with the student and wants to be friendly with them. The teacher can be seen as warm with the students and allow the students to express themselves. The teacher encourages the student to solve their issue and they do not want to apply harsh punishment.
This teacher has control of the classroom while they remain involved with the student. The teacher is firm but they are fair when dealing with misbehavior. They are consistent in this and they are consistent with their lesson planning. The teacher will provide positive reinforcement to the students and encourage them to freely express their ideas. The teacher will want the students to be successful and will develop a plan for success. Rules are consistent and they are enforced. The teacher will hold expectations for the students and give them ways that they can meet these expectations.
Classroom Management Plan
When it comes to having control of the class and making it a place for learning the teacher needs to begin by developing a plan. The teacher should look at any positive behavior support plans and other policies that the school already has in place. They will need to be consistent with this while making up policies for their classroom. They will need to take these rules and expectations and use them as the basis for their plan.
A teacher will have a much more successful classroom management plan if they get the parents on board early. They should meet with the parents at a parent night or send home a newsletter explaining the rules and the procedures in the classroom. This way they can be consistent if a rule is broken. This will also allow parents to support their child through the education process no matter what grade the child is in.
The classroom management plan needs to have some form of positive reinforcement even if there is not a school wide positive behavior support plan. A teacher needs to give praise to the students that are on task. The students can also have the chance to earn rewards such as a homework pass for good behavior choices. This will help support the classroom expectations and allow students to participate in the classroom rules and policies.
If a student breaks a rule the teacher needs to intervene right away. If one student gets a consequence and another does not students will pick up on this. They will then have little respect for the teacher because things will not be fair. When a teacher is giving the student a consequence this should be done in private and not with the entire class watching.
While it may seem like a lot of work upfront the teacher needs to develop a policy for everything that can happen in the class. This includes a policy for students when they first enter a room. They should be expected to get their materials out. The teacher should also have a policy for handing in homework, using the restroom, and dismissal. There should be a policy for when to ask questions and about interrupting during the lesson. While this is a lot of planning it will save time in the long run and a teacher will get to carry on their lesson with the least amount of distractions.
On the first day of class, the teacher needs to review all of the policies and rules for their classroom. While this may seem long the teacher needs to set the tone from the beginning. If they take the time to review what they expect from the students and the students know how to reach these expectations things will go a lot smoother. The teacher may need to review them often with the students especially at the beginning of the year. The teacher will need to have clear expectations from the beginning and share these with the students. This will help the teacher and the students learn how to respect each other and know what is expected in the classroom.
Classroom Management Techniques by Age
The teacher needs to handle the classroom differently based on the age of the students. While some things will be consistent between grades some techniques can be used at each level.
To help organize an elementary classroom the teacher should be organized. They should have a seating chart and areas where the supplies can be easily accessed. They need to go over the rules in a language that children can understand. When possible have some visuals around the room that go along with the written rules. The teacher needs to be consistent. If one student breaks the rules the teacher needs to be firm. They need to do this every time a rule is broken. The teacher needs to have fun ways to get the attention of the students. When a teacher is ready to speak they may have a clap that they do or a chat that they say to get the student to know that it is time to learn. Teachers should praise students openly that are following the rules and speak privately to those that may be breaking the rules. At this age, a student will get embarrassed and they will not learn anything from being reprimanded. The teacher should have procedures in place. There should be a procedure for entering the room, using the restroom, getting materials ready, recess, lunch, packing up, and just about everything else. Little minds need to be guided so the teacher has to go over these rules and procedures often so the students will understand what behavior is acceptable in schools.
At this age, the students have been in school for some time but they need additional skills to keep them engaged in the lesson and acting appropriately in the classroom. In middle school, the teacher needs to set clear rules and expectations right away. It is helpful if the student and the teacher go over these rules together so the students feel like they have some input which is important at this age. Once again the teacher needs to be consistent when addressing the rules. The teacher also needs to set clear boundaries. While they can have an interactive classroom they need to let the students know they are not friends. The teacher can listen to the students but they should not share too much about their life. The teacher needs to model good behavior so that the students can see they are not the only ones with expectations. The teacher should also admit if they made a mistake as part of this modeling.
While these students may be older they are still students and classroom management is still essential at this level. The teacher needs to be confident in their management ability and still be firm with the students. They need to have clear rules and expectations. The teacher still needs to be clear about what they expect from the students when it comes to their behavior and their education. The teacher needs to follow through. If they tell a student something they need to stay true to their word. At this level, there may be some additional rules such as turning off cell phones and not talking when the teacher is speaking.
When it comes to classroom management the teacher must have a clear plan. Rules and expectations are needed as well as the plan to meet the learning needs of the students. The teacher must be consistent and confident in their ability to handle a classroom.