Classroom management is an integral part of a teacher’s work profile and school management. It is about having a wide plethora of skills and techniques that can be employed to keep the students in the classroom organized, focused, and academically productive. When these skills and techniques are executed efficiently, it helps in reducing behaviors that obstruct learning and encourage behaviors that are pro-learning. If we speak about it generally, good teachers have great classroom management skills whereas teachers with inexperience find it hard to manage a classroom giving students and school management a chaotic experience.
A few years ago, classroom management was just about keeping a check on students as if they are paying attention in the class or not. Are they seated on their seats, are they following your instructions, it was all about that. Everything has changed now; things have become a lot more profound and meaningful. In today’s time, classroom management is more about understanding the behavior of students and facilitating better learning. It is about providing them with better study materials, teaching them through modern high-tech methods, and designing activities that engage the interests of students, their passion and curiosity.
Today, having poorly designed classrooms, learning materials that are not interesting enough and unclear goals can undoubtedly trigger the disinterest of students in academics, behavioral problems, and dullness in the class. When you read it in theory, classroom management techniques may look easy to apply, but practically they are not unless you have a proper class management system and your personal set of rules in place. Apart from this, having technology at your helm by using school management softwares is a must. The reason being, school management or ERP softwares provide a set of tools that help school administrators and teachers to run a school with utmost precision that is not only effective but cost-friendly. Why? Because education is going through tremendous change in this digital era. With students having more access to laptops, mobile phones, and other digital devices, classroom management should also adapt itself to the current times using digital ways.
Having said that, a teacher should have proper command over her teaching and teaching methods in order to manage her students effectively. Here is a list of ways how to do classroom management effectively:
1. Create a classroom management plan with the following and follow it religiously:
- Rules: explain them to the students with examples
- Procedures: explain in detail, practice and reinforce consistently. Have a procedure for almost everything you repeatedly do in the class
- Attention-getting signal: practice and reinforce
- Rewards and consequences: 5 levels for each and explain to the students what they get it if they behave and what they lose if they don’t.
2. Build a positive classroom environment
- Use positive reinforcement while teaching students. Positively reinforce them on the small things to show them that you notice their good behavior. Being quiet and paying attention is hard for many kids so positively encourage them to do that as well.
- Smile, thank and greet your students every day. Always remember to show them that you love them and are glad to be their teacher. Thank them for having a good day at the end of the day.
- Appreciate their personalities. If the class clown wants to crack a joke, let them do so, laugh, and then redirect them to the task. Don’t take it as disrespect. They are just trying to express themselves. If they take it too far, give them a warning and move on.
- Focus on the good and maintain a pleasant environment. If one misbehaves, punish them. Resist the temptation to lecture and show how upset you were. Just give them the punishment they deserve and move on to positively reinforcing another student who is following instructions.
- Do not show them that you are stressed and upset. Try to minimize that as much as you can. When you look angry and upset, you lose connection with them and show them that there is nothing they can do to make you feel better. Some of them then start to misbehave, which will make the situation worse.
- Spend a few minutes every day to talk to your students about their day and topics unrelated to academics. Especially the problematic students. This is one great way to make the students enjoy your company and want to please you.
3. Structure your lessons carefully to meet your student’s needs.
- Do not give children who are not independent learners independent work. They will play around.
- Create a lesson that engages the students. Let them imagine and create. For example, let them write about their interests or themselves.
- Differentiation is important. Meet the students at their level even if it’s much below the standard. They need to be busy with something they can do for them to stay on task.
- Don’t give a lot of group work during the first weeks of school. Group work should be given when the students are already familiar with all the rules and most generally follow them.
- Consistency is everything when it comes to classroom management. Defend your classroom management plan obsessively.
- Always do what you say. Never let embarrassment make you skip on following a behavior with a reward or a consequence.
4. Know the difference between disruption and disrespect.
- Understand why the student is behaving the way they do.
- If it’s to express themselves or play then, it’s a disruption. If they mean to question your authority and take control of your class, then it’s disrespect.
- Disruptions can sometimes be ignored and not be followed by a consequence to keep the flow of the lesson which highly depends on the behavior. Disrespect should never be tolerated and should be accompanied by a consequence.
To employ all the above points and behavior patterns to make your classroom management better, here are some things you can do:
- Use a school ERP software like Schoolbird to track your lesson planning, attendance and other activities so that you can focus more on your student.
- Reward them for prolonged good behavior.
- Use a daily diary to keep a note of everyday activities.
- Use analytics to understand the grey areas that need attention.
- Get an idea of topics that students want to be taught again.
- Keep analyzing the academic performance of students and help them do better.
Most importantly, relax and believe in yourself. The students can see if you are out of control. Always make sure they know you are relaxed and in control.
Follow these tips religiously and we’re sure your class management ways will be the most sought for in the entire school. Let us know in the comments if you’re already following some and how are they helping you.