Classroom management is one of those topics that everyone wishes was taught in college, but somehow, it just isn’t taught enough. Student teaching gives you some insights, but it all changes when you enter your own classroom for the first time and you’re on your own. Veteran teachers, if you’re reading this, I hear you too. Each and every year the challenges of classroom management change, but remembering the basics of classroom management and really sticking to your routines will have your classroom running like a well-oiled machine! Take a look at some of the best tips and ideas for classroom management and be ready with some classroom management strategies!
7 Classroom Management Strategies
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you are reevaluating your classroom management strategies. It is always a good idea whether you are a veteran teacher or a new teacher to look at your classroom management yearly!
#1: Relationships matter.
Building rapport with students is vital to classroom management. The more the students feel connected to you, the more they want to learn from you. Tell them about your family dog Ralph or your four kids and their hobbies. This is what it is all about. You are going to spend a lot of time together. It is a good idea to let the kids in and give them a glimpse of who you are and what your life is like outside of school.
An idea to help you build relationships is building a bulletin board about yourself that students can interact with. Add a picture of yourself in elementary school and a school report card from them (if you have them) and some pictures of your life now. Add your favorite foods, movies, and sports teams. Make yourself relatable and build that rapport!
Relationships between students matter too! Read more about building a positive classroom community in this blog post!
Classroom Management Strategy #2: Routine, Routine, Routine.
It might take a few weeks and you might have to revisit routines in the middle of the year, but clear routines and expectations will keep your classroom from turning into a circus! When students know what to expect and when, it removes that layer of anxiety about the unknown, and gives students less time to act inappropriately. Have a routine for entering the classroom, putting belongings away, and of course for transitions. Transitions are the time when it becomes really easy to get off task.
Carpet spots for little learners is always a great way to make sure students transition well to an area where all students will be!
An idea for keeping routines in place is clearly posting and reviewing the schedule each day. Review the routines often. Don’t be afraid to review them midyear too! Use pocket charts to group students and allow students to be a part of the routine by moving their name when they are moving to a different station. This will give them a task prior to transitioning and eliminate any idle time!
Letting students get you angry can be your downfall. Yes, teachers get angry, but let your patience be your shining light. When you are patient, students will respond. Yes, sometimes it may take students longer than you would like to settle down or remain quiet, but be patient. Do not let anyone talk over you. Take control by patiently waiting for the class to settle and eventually other students will chime in and say, Mrs. T is waiting… You will then build the routine and expectation that you will wait for them and won’t be disrespected.
Patience comes in really handy as a teacher because students come with baggage and sometimes, patiently waiting gives you that opportunity to observe the class and you might notice one of your students doesn’t seem like themselves. That would be an opportunity to have a chat and check in. This builds rapport, shows you care, and also helps that child be ready to learn for the day!
Classroom Management Strategy #4: Challenging Students?
If a student is truly challenging, sit near them, stand near them, and this simple task makes it easier to redirect the behavior. When you have a chance, have a chat about the behavior and try to find the root cause. Maybe they were hungry, had a fight with mom, lost their favorite stuffed animal, or anything else little minds are having a hard time managing.
Really getting to know your students will make a tremendous difference in your classroom management. You may need to have challenging students stay in for lunch or spend some extra time bonding with them or figuring out the reasons behind their behaviors. Ultimately, the more you show you care, the more the students will too!
Remember your lessons need to be well planned and have some element of excitement. Kids don’t have long attention spans, so try to plan your lessons with some elements of fun! Engage kids in creative ways and they will look forward to studying math with you! Curriculum can be your behavior management! I have some really engaging lessons on TpT ready for you, if you are looking for a quick fix!
An idea when it comes to engagement is don’t forget about your early finishers. Downtime is when little problems grow. Make sure you have tasks for early finishers and make it part of your routines in the classroom!
Classroom Management Strategy #6: Find a Class Cue!
Transitions can still be tough, even with following all of these ideas! Using a class cue like raising hands, counting down from 5, flicking the lights, or even clapping hands can be great cues to help the class transition back in a quick, but effective manner.
Teachers get really creative with this! Have the students help you determine the cue. Clap a pattern and have them clap it back. Say spaghetti and the students say meatballs or use peanut butter and jelly! Get creative and have some fun!
#7: Always start a new day fresh.
Yesterday was yesterday. Remember you can’t hold grudges as a teacher. It really needs to be a new day each and every day. Remind students of this too. Mistakes happen, but don’t let it bring down your whole year!
Each day can be positive. Remember to focus on the positive choices students make and use a ton of praise. Making positive phone calls home makes magic in a classroom too!
Classroom Management Strategies
Behavior management isn’t easy. Find your groove. Find what works for you and don’t let the small stuff bother you. If all else fails, go find your teacher bestie and have them work out a plan of action to get the class back in order! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Use common sense and patience and you will be kicking butt at classroom management with these classroom management strategies as soon as tomorrow!