Essential Classroom Management Tips

The following classroom management tips are lifesavers. If students are not taught this from the first day of school, the teacher could have a really tough time for the rest of the school year.

Focus on the Teacher

I think the most important rule to teach students is to stop what they’re doing and focus on the teacher, otherwise, it could take much effort every time you need the class to quiet down to give them an instruction.

So, train students from Day One your rule for getting their attention in class. A popular thing is for the teacher to raise a hand whenever they want the students to keep quiet and face them. You can start practicing this rule from the very first class and repeat it throughout the day.

One-two-three, Eyes on me!

Something that I eventually taught my students is the three-two-one and stop routine. An alternative is one-two-three, eyes on me! When you say ‘stop’ they have to put on their pencils and have to look at you. You can even make it a little game where the last student to look at you has to do a task. Personally, I like the three-two-one method. Students actually start chanting it along as soon as I say three.

The Don’t Interrupt Rule

I’ve learned the second rule during my first year of teaching. The headteacher came in and we had an important conversation when one boy tried to get my attention, calling “Eric teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher!” I tried to ignore him and continued talking, but he just wouldn’t let up, calling “Teacher, teacher, teacher!”

It was very embarrassing and that is why rule 2 is so important. You should teach your students when another adult is in the room, they should be quiet and work on their lesson. It is very humiliating when an adult comes into your class and the kids go crazy in the background while you’re having a conversation. It reflects badly on your class discipline, so teach yo to be on their best possible behavior when another adult comes into the classroom and reward them when they do so.  

Take Responsibility

As the teacher, you must take full responsibility for not teaching your students the right way to behave. It is up to you to control the classroom. So, if all the good things that happen in your class are because of you, then the things that aren’t great are also because of you as the teacher. Rule three is never to give away that responsibility to someone else, it means that you are failing as a teacher. Beginner teachers tend to run to a senior teacher or to the principal when the class gets out of control.

That’s the worst thing you can do. Basically, you’re telling the students that you do not have the authority in your classroom and need to get someone else to get them to quiet down. You’ve got to take responsibility for classroom discipline and control misbehavior. Maybe you’re going to punish them or you’re going to try to sweet-talk them, or you’re going to take certain students aside and work with them personally, or you’re just going to break down and cry, but the very last thing you should do is go out and get another teacher to come in.  

Do not surrender or show your emotions. Just get through those difficult classes, for every class that you survive is helping you grow and become a stronger person and a better teacher. So, don’t see those horrible times when the kids are fighting and they aren’t listening to you. Tell yourself that it’s temporary; we’ve all been through such days. Every time you survive one of those classes, or you have tried a new technique, or you did something different to calm the class and completed the lesson, then that is you becoming a better teacher. Let it build your confidence.  

Types of Student Misbehavior

The education blog, theedadvocate.org, ranks the following 13 types of student misbehavior, from minor to serious rebellion (amended):

  • Inattention: The student daydreams, is not focused on the lesson.
  • Apathy: No interest to participate, does not care about performance.
  • Needless talk: Chat to other students about things unrelated to the lesson.
  • Moving around: Walk around the class during the lesson.
  • Annoying others:  Continually annoys and provokes others.
  • Disruption: Constantly disrupts class with interjections, clown in the class.
  • Lying: Shamelessly tell lies, fabricates stories.
  • Stealing: Takes property of others, make false claims.
  • Cheating: Acts of dishonesty.
  • Sexual harassment: Verbal and physical among older students.
  • Aggression and fighting: Bullying of classmates.
  • Malicious mischief: Destructive behavior, vandalizing property.
  • Defiance of authority: Rebels against all authority; refuses instruction.

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