Classroom management strategies for teachers are critical to minimizing student disruptions and keep high expectations for student behavior in the classroom.
Holding students accountable for their actions will serve as a reminder of the classroom rules and will raise your students’ expectations of themselves. If they see that you hold them to a high standard, they will begin to believe that they can achieve to a high level, thus increasing their self-esteem and confidence.
Along the same lines, you should not expect that your students will misbehave, you should expect they will behave appropriately. This should be reinforced when you speak to your students so that they know what your expectations of them are. You might say, “During this group activity, I expect you to raise your hands and wait to be called upon before you answer aloud. I also expect you to respect each other’s opinions and listen to what each person has to say without interrupting.”
When classroom disturbances do occur, it is crucial that you deal with them instantly and with as little interruption as possible. You don’t want student learning to be interrupted because of the actions of a few disruptive students.
If students are having a discussion among themselves, and you are trying to teach a lesson or have a classroom discussion, ask one of the disruptive students a question to encourage them to get back on track. This will also encourage the rest of the students to perk up and pay more attention as they won’t want to be caught off guard with a question that they aren’t prepared to answer.
If you have to interrupt the flow of the lesson you are teaching to handle a disruptive student, then this distracts students who genuinely want to learn. Additionally, this wastes time, since it takes a few moments for you to get all the students, and yourself, back on track with the lesson you are trying to deliver.
As well, there may be times when you have been instructing a class only to notice that your students start to drift away from the lesson. If you have had this type of experience, you may know that the method of asking a student a question that requires an answer is effective in this situation as well.
During the lesson, you can bring back the attention of your students by directly addressing an individual with a question which demands an answer. For instance, you can say, “Do you understand Peter?” or “Mary, do you see how this works?” or ask a specific question about the content of the lesson. This method is not a trick to puzzle the student but to only bring their attention back to the class. Once you use this technique in your classroom, you will find that the rest of the students will pay attention also, because they don’t want to be caught off guard.
By establishing high expectations for your students and making classroom learning the primary focus of your lessons, you will be better able to deal with small disturbances and keep your students on track.
Reflect back and determine what you have achieved in your classroom? Classroom management accomplishments are an integral part of writing your teacher resume. If you are thinking of a job search, really think about the environment you created for the students and the impact on learning.