While teachers all over would love to plan and implement great lessons every single day, there is often something standing in the way: student behavior. No matter how thoroughly a lesson is planned or how engaging activities are, students play a major role in determining how well the lesson goes over. Poorly delivered lessons include when the teacher has to stop countless times to redirect students to focus and pay attention. Or, when they have to stop teaching to settle bickering between students. Therefore, establishing strong classroom management from the get-go is essential. Whether you are a new teacher or veteran, being an effective teacher requires having strong control of your classroom, and today I’m sharing my top 5 classroom management hacks to help you out!
1. You Get What You Give
There is a classic saying: In order to get respect, you have to give respect. Therefore, you have to model respect for your students. While some teachers may feel that students must just respect and obey their teachers, this will not occur with many students. Instead, teachers should show respect from day one of school. When respect is shown, students will feel more cared for. Thus, they will want to be in the classroom and will show respect in return. Truly, once students respect you, they want to behave for you. If you need help with anything, such as running something to the office, they will be there to help. Out for a day and have a sub covering your class? Your students will want to make you proud, so they will even behave for the sub! Gaining the respect of students is truly one of the top ways to have strong classroom management.
2. Classroom Call Backs
Whenever students are working in groups or focused on a project, it can be hard to get the room back together for discussion or wrap-up. Whether it is just to provide a reminder or start the next lesson, it is important to develop ways to quickly get the attention of students. Many teachers just try to talk over students or even resort to a shout to get students’ attention. You can be effective and have fun with classroom callbacks. Whether it is part of a phrase or a number countdown, students will love getting to help everyone regroup. Grab these 12 favorite call backs and instructions for implementation for free now!
3. Classroom Arrangement
It may sound surprising that classroom arrangement is a classroom management hack. However, teachers must have their eyes on students at all times. Students must also know that they can be seen at all times in order to reduce them trying to do something sneaky. As such, the teacher table must be located where eyes can be on everyone during small group instruction.
4. Behavior Clip Charts
Depending on the age you teach, behavior clip charts can be a highly effective classroom management hack. However, there is a key to implementing them. Gone are the days of the green, yellow, and red clip charts where students are only recognized for misbehavior. Teachers have to be proactive in their management and be constantly looking for opportunities to praise students and have students CLIP UP! So many students exhibit attention seeking behavior and if they get teacher attention through misbehaving, then that’s what they’re going to do. However, students need to know they will be recognized for positive behavior, too. When this happens, students will do great things in order to be recognized. Be sure to check out these themed Behavior Clip Charts! There are so many themes to pick from!
5. Positive Reinforcement
Students often want to hear that the teacher is proud of them. Therefore, positive reinforcement is key. Phrases, such as, “Thank you, … , for… “ or “I like the way….” For example, it may be something like, “I like the way Brody is standing in line quietly facing the front.” Many times, students will hear the teacher say this and then do exactly what the teacher says. This is a very effective PBIS strategy, especially when it’s behavior-specific. Also, this will help remind students of expectations and what the teacher wants to see. When teachers use behavior-specific praise, even off-task students quickly fall in line and do whatever the expectation is.
Classroom management is a constantly evolving aspect in the classroom. Each year, teachers get a brand new group of students (and parents!) and different strategies may be needed. However, the classroom management hacks above are all ones that will work no matter the students you have. By implementing them effectively, your classroom will run much smoother every day, resulting in a room where learning takes place. Do you have classroom management hacks to add to this list? Join in on the conversation on social media or comment below!