Half of teaching is figuring out what works for your unique set of students. Here are a few classroom management tips from a seasoned pro you might try:
1. Build Positive Relationships
Your classroom is not just your job. It is a busy and chaotic second home. Those kids become your family, whether you like it or not. It is your responsibility when they are at school that they feel welcomed, respected, and loved. If they don’t, they will not be responsive. So, the number one rule in classroom management is to build those positive relationships. Nobody wants to work for someone they don’t respect. Get to know their interests, and what incentives make them work, such as treasure boxes, class tickets, teacher chairs, stickers, free time, etc. Make them feel proud of themselves and the things that they do.
2. Find a Catchphrase That Your Students Like
When it comes to calming down a rowdy class, find a catchphrase that they like. Try out a few different ones that they can relate to. “All eyes on me” isn’t for everyone. In my classroom, we use “waterfall.” When I say “waterfall,” they all say “shhhhhhhhhh.” It really works for them, and it only takes a second. It’s also not obnoxious if you must do it all the time! Some teachers shout out song lyrics and the kids have to finish the phrase in unison. Others clap a pattern or strike a pose. Part of relating to your students is finding what will work for them and then having a shared experience. It’s like your own “secret code.”
3. Try Not To Leave Downtime
Always have an activity for early finishers, such as reading AR, an “I’m done now what” basket, or anything that they can use as an extension to what you’ve been working on so they don’t get distracted or distract others. Giving them engaging lessons will always help them want to stay on task. Try and bring some fun into your lessons!
4. Call out the good
People respond to positive reinforcement. When you see behavioral improvements in a single student or an overall difficult class, make a big deal out about it. “You guys rocked this activity today! I loved the questions you asked and the way you listened to each other respectfully.” Similarly, if an individual child’s behavior improves, send a note home to the parent or guardian.
5. Have Fun
When all else fails, and you’ve exhausted every option, have some fun! Be silly. Do a fun team builder. Take a brain break. Dance with your kiddos! After all, laughter is the best medicine!
Let us know in the comments if you give these classroom management tips a try! We want to know what works for you!
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