Classroom Management Techniques: What Speaks and What Reeks!

Have you ever been in that class?  You know the one… it runs like a well-oiled machine.  The classroom is quiet and yet there is a quiet buzz of learning about you.  The transitions are seemless.  The students speak to the teacher, guests, and even more importantly- to each other- with kindness and respect.  Hands shoot up when questions are posed.  When groupwork is assigned, there are no hems and haws, no “aw mans”  that cut sweet burgeoning confidence down.  Learning is happening!  Its pulse is palpable!  Who doesn’t want a class such as this?  But have you ever asked yourself, how was this pyramid?  How did this maiden set her sails?  Is the teacher a god/goddess?  Is s/he simply, infinitely more powerful, smarter, more together than you, mere, slack new teacher are?  NO!  S/he is not the 
Stephen Hawking to your Patrick Seastar!  They have merely learned effective classroom management techniques that allow their students to shine.

 

There are many techniques that you, the nave teacher, can employ to create that classroom.  But let it be said, it begins with you, the teacher.  The following techniques will be divided into two catagories.  Catagory #1:  What speaks- guidelines and techniques that work and Catagory #2:  What reeks- the lack of guidance and techniques, or frankly, what simply doesn’t work.

 

Speaks!

Clearly defined, posted and explained rules:  Students do best when they know what to do.  When students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, they know better how to conduct themselves.  Rules and expectations should be discussed, written and then posted where they can be easily referred. 

Reeks!

Rules that seem to change at whimsy.  Lack of teacher follow-through.  Unclear expectations.

Speaks!

A visible schedule that is oulined each day and has sufficient time alotted for smooth transitions:  Students need to know how the day will progress and what their goals are for the day.  It is also extremely beneficial to include what standards and educational goals they will be meeting each day in addition to the task they will be performing.  This alleviates undue anxiety for the students and the teacher. 

Reeks! 

Maylee!  Havoc!  Undue stress from having no idea what’s going to happen next.

Speaks!

Student understanding that they are important, valued members of their classroom community:  Get to know your students!  Have them get to know you!  Have them get to know one another!  Do this through inclusive classroom activities early and throughout the year.  Make your classroom a visible homage to who and what they are.  Help them to feel important, not in spite of, but because of their differences in race, class, gender, ability, language difference, family difference, etc.  Make your classroom a warm happy place where everyone knows they are important.  Ask questions!@  Remember that they love anchovie pizza or that they love Miley Cyrus or that their softball team came in first place.

Reeks!

Do all of the opposite of what is stated above.

Speaks!

Whole class reward systems:  Give students something to work for as a class.  Remind them of your expectations and give them opportunities to work together to earn special computer privileges, time with the teacher, or extra time to play a class game.

Reeks!

Only acknowledge poor behavior.  Take away recesses.  Punish the things you don’t want to see instead of rewarding behaviors you do want to see.

Speaks!

Model the behavior you want to see in your students:  If you like students to use good manners, always do so with your students.  If you want your students to think about and value the speaker, then you yourself, make eye-contact, and be an active listener.

Reeks!

Teach students to do as you say, not as you do.

Speaks!

Clearly outline tasks and assignments that show respect for student learning differences and abilities:  Write out directions, provide guided examples, monitor independent work and very importantly, make clear what you would like students to do when they are finished with their work.  This minimizes “down time.”

Reeks!

Have a “Let-the-kids-figure-it-out-for-themselves-and-They’ll-get-it-attitude.”

 

 

 

   

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