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top 10 classroom management strategies

Classroom management was a huge struggle for me when I first started teaching. Okay, It may or may not have escalated to the point that I found myself crying in the back hallway because I just couldn’t face my first period class.

But thankfully that’s not the end of the story. I finally found some classroom management strategies that actually worked and eventually turned things around.

Here a top 10 classroom management  

strategies for  New teachers and experienced ones 

1- Model Ideal Behavior

Make a habit of demonstrating behavior you want to see, because modeling effectively teaches students how to act in different situations.

A straightforward way to model certain behaviors is holding a mock conversation with an admin, other teacher or student helper in front of the class. Talking about a test or other relatable topic, be sure to:

*    Use polite language

*    Maintain eye contact

* Keep phones in your pockets

*    Let one another speak uninterrupted

*    Raise concerns about one another’s statements in a respectful manner.

After, start a class discussion to list and expand upon the ideal 

behaviors you exemplified.


2- Let students help establish guidelines

Encourage all students to help you build classroom rules, as you’ll generate more buy-in than just telling them what they’re not allowed to do.Near the start of the year or semester, start a discussion by asking students what they believe should and shouldn’t fly. At what points are phones okay and not okay? What are acceptable noise levels during lessons? This may seem like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but — depending on the makeup of you class — you may be shocked at the strictness of some proposed rules. Regardless, having a discussion should lead to mutually-understood and -respected expectations.


3- Document Rules

Don’t let your mutually-respected guidelines go forgotten.Similar to handing out a syllabus, print and distribute the list of rules that the class discussion generated. Then, go through the list with your students. Doing this emphasizes the fact that you respect their ideas and intend to adhere to them. And when a student breaks a rule, it’ll be easy for you to point to this document.If you’re feeling creative, you can include the rule list in a student handbook with important dates, events and curriculum information.


4- Avoid Punishing The Class

Address isolated behavior issues instead of punishing an entire class, as the latter can hurt your relationships with students who are on-task and thereby jeopardize other classroom management efforts.Instead, call out specific students in a friendly manner. For example:

  • “Do you have a question?”, not “Stop talking and disrupting other students”
  • “Do you need help focusing?”, not “Pay attention and stop fooling around while I’m talking”

This basic approach will allow you to keep a friendly disposition, while immediately acknowledging poor behavior.


5- Encourage initiative

Promote growth mindset, and inject variety into your lessons, by allowing students to work ahead and deliver short presentations to share take-away points.Almost inevitably, you’ll have some eager learners in your classroom. You can simply ask them if they’d like to get ahead from time-to-time. For example, if you’re reading a specific chapter in a textbook, propose that they read the following one too. When they deliver their subsequent presentations to preview the next chapter on your behalf, you may find that other students want a bit more work as well.


6- Offer praise

Praise students for jobs well done, as doing so improves academic and behavioral performance, according to a recent research review and study. When it is sincere and references specific examples of effort or accomplishment, praise can:

  • Inspire the class
  • Improve a student’s self-esteem
  • Reinforce rules and values you want to see

Perhaps more importantly, it encourages students to repeat positive behavior. Let’s say a student exemplifies advanced problem-solving skills when tackling a math word problem. Praising his or her use of specific tactics should go a long way in ensuring he or she continues to use these tactics. Not to mention, you’ll motivate other students to do the same.


7- Use non-verbal communication

Complement words with actions and visual aids to improve content delivery, helping students focus and process lessons.Many differentiated instruction strategies and techniques are rooted in these communication methods. For example, running learning stations -- divided sections of your classroom through which students rotate -- allows you to deliver a range of non-spoken content types. These include videos, infographics and physical objects such as counting coins. Paper airplanes fly across the room. Students race between desks. You can’t get a word in, as they yell over you.It doesn’t have to be this dramatic, like a movie scene you’d watch in a media literacy lesson, but poor classroom management will almost assuredly elevate your stress and burnout rates.


8- Give Tangible Rewards

Reward specific students at the end of each lesson, in front of the class, as another motivational and behavior-reinforcement technique.Let’s say a few students are actively listening throughout the entire lesson, answering questions and asking their own. Before the class ends, walk over to their desks to give them raffle tickets. So others can learn, state aloud what each student did to earn the tickets. On Friday, they can submit their tickets for a shot at a prize that changes each week -- from candy to being able to choose a game for the next class party.


9- Build Excitement For Content

Start lessons by previewing particularly-exciting parts, hooking student interest from the get-go.As the bell rings and students settle, go through an agenda of the day’s highlights. These could include group tasks, engaging bits of content and anything else to pique curiosity. For example, “Throughout the day, you’ll learn about:”

  • How to talk like you’re a teacher (sentence structure)
  • Why you don’t know anyone who’s won the lottery (probability)
  • What all the presidents of the United States have had in common (social analysis)

The goal of this classroom management technique is to immediately interest students in your agenda and thereby dissuade misbehavior.


10- Adress Bad Behavior Quickly

Avoid hesitation when you must address bad behavior, especially when a student breaks a documented rule.

Acting sooner than later will help ensure that negative feelings -- whether between students or you and a student -- won’t fester. Failure to act can result in more poor behavior, leading to needlessly-difficult conversations.

But keep in mind: It’s usually best to talk to the student in private.  Emerging research shows that punishing students in front of peers has “limited value.”


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