New teachers face a steep learning curve. You're figuring out how to navigate a new environment, meeting new colleagues, and forging new relationships with students. This makes developing a strong classroom management strategy as quickly as possible even more essential. Doing so means you can place yourself - and your students - in the best position possible to be successful.
There are several reasons why classroom management is so important to surviving those first sometimes-daunting teaching years. Having solid classroom management skills means you will:
Clearly, developing a strong classroom management technique is key. Putting in the time to hone effective classroom management strategies, for new teachers especially, will ultimately help students learn more effectively.
What are a few examples of effective classroom management strategies you may want to use? Take a look at some options below.
An important part of developing an effective classroom management plan is modeling the behavior you want to see. How would you like students to behave? Make sure you showcase this behavior yourself on a daily basis.
Listing a few characteristics of an ideal student can help. For example, some qualities and behaviors you might want to see in your students could include:
These are characteristics you can showcase yourself. Then, make sure you’re consistent in what you ask of your students. Students will feel more comfortable trusting you when they know what to expect. And the more they see you modeling expected behavior, the better the outcome will be. The end result? Students are more likely to rise to the occasion and meet your expectations.
As a teacher, you’re going to mesh with some students better than others. While of course this is normal, at the same time, you need to make sure you run your classroom fairly and objectively. You should never discriminate against any student for any reason. A lot of teachers don’t intend to play favorites; however, they may do so unintentionally. Ensure you make every effort to treat your students fairly and with respect.
One way to do this is to define precise rules. If you’re clear with the rules you expect students to follow, they’ll feel more comfortable. Students who have teachers with effective classroom management strategies often begin to feel a sense of responsibility. They’ll be less likely to complain about something, because they know what the expectations are. If rules are a part of your classroom management plan, your students will be more inclined to respect you (and each other).
Students have shorter attention spans now than ever before. In fact, some studies show that the average attention span has dropped from 12 to eight seconds in recent years. Finding ways to hold the attention of your students with classroom engagement strategies can be a key component of your classroom management strategy. After all, engaged students are happy students. How can you achieve this? Here are a few tips you can try:
Students don’t like to come to class and do the same thing over and over again. By implementing technology and other innovative classroom products, you can break things up and keep students fully engaged in your lessons.
Finding ways to get students more involved means they’re going to retain more information. So many students tune out when they’re simply reading from the top of the page to the bottom. Technology can reach a wide-range of students and learning styles, so you’ll be able to teach more students, at a deeper level.
Additionally, students are more likely to get a lot more out of your lessons, making your job more rewarding (and that much easier). Rely on empowerED to help you keep students engaged with their innovative products and technology. It’s easy to customize your classroom and turn it into an educational space that promotes real learning.
Many teachers only punish students when they catch them doing something wrong. Great teachers know that rewarding students when they do something right can make all the difference. Students need to know when they’re winning, too. As a consistent part of your classroom management strategy, make an effort to acknowledge positive behavior and reward it accordingly. Positive behavior reinforcement goes back to a proven principle of operant conditioning.
By acknowledging “good” behavior, you begin to reinforce it. For example, if a student makes a solid effort, takes the initiative, or demonstrates that he or she has learned from the mistakes they’ve made, you should offer praise and reward to encourage repetitive behavior in the future. Think about how you can acknowledge students who display positive behavior. This can also encourage other students to do the same thing.
Finally, one of the most important classroom management tips is the idea that you should focus on hard work too...instead of solely on results. Of course, students want to get good grades. And sometimes, grading scales and rubrics put significant emphasis on end-results. But it’s also important to make sure students are focused on the process as well, rather than just the product.
It may take some time for students to see the results of their hard work, so encouraging them to focus on doing their best every day is a win-win. It can foster pride and motivation in multiple ways.
For example, when you encourage students to pay attention to their progress, you can help them identify potential weaknesses. This can help students build life-long skills, so they can begin to solve their own problems in the future.
Being a new teacher can be daunting. You’re taking on the world, shaping the minds of our future. It’s no small task. But putting together and using some of the creative, effective classroom management strategies we’ve looked at here, you should have an easier time building strong, productive relationships with your students. And that really is what teaching is all about.