Teachers’ classroom management success requires consistency in classroom procedures, discipline management, teaching style, and homework assignments.
There are various teaching methods you can use in the classroom, but one of the best teaching strategies you can apply is consistency. Reducing classroom disruptions should be one of your teaching goals.
Top Classroom Management Means Making a Discipline Plan
Teachers need to be fair, consequences need to be issued to the student immediately, and all students should be treated the same.
Some teachers tend to give in to students’ requests after only three attempts. Some stick it out for ten. Others are like a broken slot machine and pay out at different times depending on how they feel. The trouble is, if they give in at all, they are reinforcing the behavior they don’t want to see through their inconsistencies.
This will teach the students that as long as they keep pushing they will usually get what they want. They just need to push and push until the wall goes over. And they will repeat this same basic technique in all manner of ways. They know, from experience, as long as they keep battering away with the same request, the same behavior, the same action. Students will eventually get what they want in the form of a satisfied desire, or much-needed attention of some sort. Keep in mind not all students are like this, only a selected few.
Some teachers are very inflexible, while others are quite easygoing. These inconsistencies between staff members make school an unpredictable place. Students not only have to deal with differences between teachers; individual teachers give in at different rates depending on how they feel at the time.
Consistency is Critical to Teaching
Some teachers are not consistent, providing a great laugh one minute and then raising their voice shortly after. A few teachers may display inconsistencies in how they treat certain individuals differently – letting some students get away with certain behaviors and penalizing others.
An inconsistent teacher has very little chance of success simply because the students don’t know what is expected of them – the classroom has an unstable atmosphere.
They don’t know where the boundaries are from one day to the next. The feelings of insecurity and unfairness simply make them more inclined to push the boundaries next time and argue with you further.
One way to stop the disruptive behavior in your lessons is to be more consistent in everything you do in your teaching day. That means an essential part of being consistent is knowing in advance what you’re going to say and do in response to the things your students do and ask. Having a set of rules and sanctions in place that your students are familiar with is important. They must know what the exact consequence will be for their actions at any time.
Stick to Classroom Rules and Discipline Plan
Being consistent in your classroom is paramount to being successful as a teacher and obtaining respect from your students. If you have a collection of guidelines and rules, it is imperative that you stick to them and implement them with each student every day and with the same approach.
If you are not thorough with your approach and penalize a student for one thing, then pay no attention to a different student who does the same thing, it will not go unseen by your students. They will end up losing respect for you and you will end up losing control of your class.
Gaining Respect from Students in Your Classroom is Critical
There are a variety of ways to gain respect, but one of the main ways is consistency. This means treating every student equally, and if you don’t, you will get labeled as unfair.
Students will be less likely to follow the rules because they will think you are picking favorites. Even if the student misbehaving is one of the highest performing students academically or behaviorally, if they do something against the rules, they need to face consequences like any other student.
Students need to know there are good and bad consequences depending on the action. It is crucial the consequence is in direct correlation with the violation. Consistency in implementing consequences is vital to effective classroom management.
Lesser offenses deserve lesser consequences; greater infractions deserve greater punishment. If a student is caught daydreaming, they should not be sent to the principal’s office, just merely reminded they need to focus.
If a student hits another, do not tell them to refocus. Give them a timeout and contact parents. Remain consistent when handing out punishments – same crime earns the same punishment.
Communicate Instructions to Students in a Calm and Clear Manner
Students absolutely dislike teachers whose only strategy for dealing with challenging students is punishment and shouting. When we are pushed to our limits and our instructions are ignored, it’s easy to dig ourselves into a hole in an attempt to regain control and re-establish authority by issuing unwarranted, excessive punishments.
The best way to avoid this situation altogether is to ensure our instructions are given in a way to reinforce understanding and compliance. Consistency in the classroom will help to manage the classroom.
The instructions you give to your students are an essential part of any effective behavior plan. However, only some teachers are heard while others are ignored. So, what can you do to ensure that your instructions are followed? Perhaps the most important factor is how your instructions are delivered.
1. Classroom Instructions Must be Given in a Calm Manner
When you give your students instructions, they must be given in a calm, non-hostile manner, and they must be clear and specific. Kids need boundaries, but those boundaries need to be calmly communicated and stated without emotion.
Shouting and ranting virtually guarantees more conflict. Students dislike hostile teachers whose only strategy for dealing with a problem behavior is punishment and shouting. Even though you may be instilling fear, you will more likely be inciting hostility and resentment which can lead to acting out.
If we expect students to act responsibly, we need to model good communication and behavior for them to emulate. Your attitude must be one of support and fairness because this is the foundation on which effective classroom management and positive teacher-student relationships are formed.
2. Class Instructions Must be Clear and Precise
It also stands to reason that students will benefit from instructions that are easy to follow. Especially when we take into account the large numbers of students who have ADD/ADHD or are on the autistic spectrum, these children definitely need unambiguous, precise instructions. So, for instructions to be easy to follow, they must be simple and fully explained before your students begin the task.
When giving instructions steer away from ambiguous words like ‘quietly’ or ‘properly’. These types of directions aren’t accurate enough; words like these are left open to different interpretations and arguments.
This may mean over explaining a task to ensure that there are no grey areas. For instance, when students finish a task, you need to give them very specific instructions about what they should be doing to keep themselves occupied while they wait for others to finish.
This could include, handing in their assignment and taking a worksheet to complete, reading silently, or starting work on that night’s homework. None of these options include bothering the other students who are still working. So, when a student disobeys the instructions, they will understand that they are in the wrong.
3. Instructions Should be Backed Up by Fair and Consistent Consequences
When our instructions are repeatedly ignored, in our frustration it can be easy to dig ourselves into a hole in our attempt to regain control. Many times, by trying to re-establish our authority, we end up issuing unwarranted, excessive punishments. Major disruptions and confrontations, due to children not following instructions, are easily avoidable when you have fair consequences in place to turn the problem into a learning opportunity.
Having pre-arranged and consistent consequences will, together with your rules, form the basis of your behavior plan and will help you remain calm in challenging situations. Having pre-arranged consequences in place can also help you to avoid easily losing your temper. When we feel threatened or powerless we can lose our tempers. So, by having pre-arranged consequences in place that both you and your students are aware of, it will help you to keep control and remain calm in all situations.
Tips to Resolve Student Behavior Challenges
It is inevitable that no matter how great of a teacher you are, you will have to deal with problem behavior from time to time. This makes it important to be prepared when a challenging classroom situation arises.
Knowing how to manage a behavior crisis is paramount to job success and your sanity. Stay calm and professional when you handle these difficult situations to ensure that students are given the necessary support without compromising your professionalism.
Behavior Management Tips to Help you Get Through Difficult Situations
1. Nobody is Perfect
You can’t get everything right all the time. Even the best teachers make a mistake every now and again. We are only human. You can only do your best, but you can improve your best through the help of knowledgeable resources and ongoing experimentation. Although we will inevitably make mistakes, be comforted in knowing you can always learn more and improve for next time.
2. Create a Classroom Environment to Prove Your Efforts
The key to good behavior management is developing relationships with your students and gaining their respect and trust. And even though this will take time, you have control over how much time it will take. By putting in a concentrated effort to get to know your students and by showing a genuine interest in their learning, you will accomplish this feat much more quickly. All students want to feel valued and special, and it’s the teacher’s job to make this a reality. When a student feels this way, they won’t need to act out to get that validation they are seeking.
3. Student Behaviour
The purpose of behavior management is not to ‘make’ children behave, it is to train them and help them see the many benefits and intrinsic value of behaving responsibly. It creates the correct academic environment that encourages these proper behaviors to take place.
4. Keep a Positive Attitude
As soon as you dismiss your class as a lost cause, you will be in for a very long and painful school year. Students respond much more positively to a teacher who approaches them as people needing guidance and teaching as opposed to the teacher who approaches a class as if they are nothing but trouble. If you are willing to give them the time, effort, support, and guidance they need and respond accordingly.
When you follow rules regarding being consistent and fair in your classroom, you will find classroom management easier to implement and students are happier and engaged. Student engagement is critical to reducing classroom disruptions.
You can immediately benefit from learning how to create a productive, well-managed classroom. For more information visit the classroom management tips area of our blog or check out this up-to-date resource – 101 Classroom Management Tips.