If you’re a longtime reader of Smart Classroom Management, then you know that we hold true the belief that classroom management is knowledge based.
It’s something you can learn, apply, and see drastic, transformational improvement—no matter who you are or where you teach.
Students respond predictably to certain approaches, strategies, and teacher behaviors, and so when you do what works, you get happy results.
To prove this truth, we present to you ten simple tweaks you can begin using tomorrow that are guaranteed to improve behavior in your classroom right now.
Before your students arrive for the day, make a decision to keep a calm demeanor throughout. This simple technique will eliminate excitability, settle and focus your students, and frame you in the soft light of a leader they’ll respect and want to behave for.
2. Slow Down
Resolve to take your time, pause often, and never move on until you’re getting exactly what you want from your students. This strategy is essential to starting each day on the right classroom management foot and keeping it there until dismissal.
3. Talk Less
If you can cut the amount of talking you do by a third, you’ll notice a substantial difference in how well your students listen, attend, and follow your directions. The key is to be more specific, more direct, more mindful before speaking, and less repetitious.
As your first order of business, teach, model, and then practice precisely how you want your students to enter your classroom in the morning. A well-performed routine to start the day will help keep your class sharp, purpose-driven, and working efficiently to the end.
Spend a couple of minutes reviewing your classroom management plan. There is no reason to reteach it or go into great depth. Just walk them through a quick review. This keeps its importance in the forefront, ensuring that it’s never forgotten or far from mind.
Make a promise to your students that you will protect their right to learn and enjoy school by following your classroom management plan as it’s written. When viewed from this perspective—as a benefit to them—your plan takes on a whole new meaning, resulting in far less misbehavior.
Think of the most compelling topics and activities you plan to teach that day and sell them to your students. Give them something to look forward to and get excited about. Provide them with an irresistible motive to attend and behave and love being in your class.
Before jumping into your first lesson, remind your students that anyone who fails to follow classroom rules risks sitting in time-out and missing a chance to participate in one or more of the super-cool lessons you’ve just previewed for them.
You made a commitment to yourself to stay calm and a promise to your students to enforce your classroom management plan. Now rest in the freedom they offer. Rest in the knowledge that you don’t have to get stressed-out, raise your voice, or coerce your students into behaving. You just have to follow through.
Relying solely on your classroom management plan frees you to enjoy being a teacher. It frees you to let loose your unique gifts and personality. It frees you to lower your guard and step into a more influential relationship with your students, which gives you powerful leverage to influence their behavior.
The Class You Really Want
Although making these simple changes will result in immediate improvement, they’re not a fix-all. They merely scratch the surface of a wellspring of strategies proven to transform any group of students, no matter how unruly, disrespectful, or out of control, into the well-behaved class you really want.
I encourage you to not only get your feet wet, but to dive in and plumb the depths of what is possible. You can find over 250 articles in our archive as well as links along the sidebar to both books.
If you’re new to our website, I invite you to become a free subscriber and receive articles like this one in your email box every week. We’re committed to giving you the very best, most doable classroom management tips, strategies, and solutions you can find anywhere.
Finally, our new book, Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers, is set for release on May 1st. It provides a complete, stress-free approach to classroom management written specifically for specialist teachers and their unique challenges.