Classroom Management

This week I have been helping a fellow teacher with the struggles of classroom management.  It wasn’t until my principal asked me to help out that I realized I actually had my classes managed.

Last year was a struggle.  It was my first year teaching and I jumped in with little experience and no plan as to how I was going to manage my classes.  By the end of the year, I was in survival mode (especially with my 5th hour!).  I vowed to myself that I would spend the summer making a new classroom management plan that would work and would make the students respect me.

Last summer, I read Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and The First Days of School by Harry Wong.  I took copious amounts of notes and used Pinterest to my advantage.

Since this is teacher appreciation week, I decided to share some of my insights that have helped me get my classes under control and to get my students to respect me.

1.  Introductions

I started the school year off by showing a PowerPoint of my life.  I included pictures of my family, my pets, and my friends.  I wanted my students to see that I was a human too and not someone to fear.

2.  Procedures

I know everyone says it, but it is true.  Procedures are everything!  I have a procedure for how students come into class, how they sharpen their pencil, how they get out of their seats, how to pass out papers, how to share their ideas, etc., etc.  I spent the first two weeks of school reminding students of how to behave in class and how to follow the procedures.  I would often say things such as “you know better than that” or “you know the procedure for that.”  I never called them rules because rules have consequences.  If procedures aren’t followed, students will practice some more.

The best procedure I came up with was the one for students getting out of their seats.  Last year I struggled with students following me around, walking around the classroom, etc.  I taught students that they must remain in their seats at all time.  If they needed to get out of their seat they needed to show me with their fingers a 1, 2, or 3.  A “1” meant they had to sharpen their pencil, a “2” meant they needed tissue, and a “3” meant they needed to use the pass.  To make things even easier on myself, I used a whiteboard with sharpie on it written “pass” for students to leave the classroom.  They showed me a “3”, I nodded and off they went.  It was a dream!

Another piece of amazing advice that I received was to never allow students to talk over you.  When you are talking, the classroom should be silent!  If it isn’t, stop talking and wait.  Eventually students will begin to understand that the class will not continue until they stop talking.

3.  Relationships

One thing I am always complimented on is my rapport with students.  I love hearing about my students weekend, what they did the night before, where they went out to eat, etc.  The most important thing when you are listening to students is to ask questions and remember what they said!  Ask them the next day about their game the night before and you have them hooked!  They will be so excited that you remembered that they will tell you when the next one is scheduled.

Try to understand your students.  I once read somewhere that sometimes it isn’t that students don’t want to do something, but maybe they don’t understand.  Be patient.  Maybe they had a rough day and they just want to go home and go to bed.  We all have those days.  Try re-explaining it and maybe they will feel more inclined to do the work.

 

I hope everyone has a great teacher appreciation week!  Enjoy it!

If you have any other ideas to add, feel free to add in the comments.

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