Management Techniques for the Classroom

If a teacher loses control of his or her classroom, it can be extremely difficult to regain it. Furthermore, the time a teacher must take to correct the bad behaviors that result from poor classroom management lowers student engagement in learning. Any effective technique of classroom management must involve clear communication by the teacher of the students’ academic and behavioral expectations. If students don’t know what is expected of them, the chances of having a well-managed class drop.

Classroom management techniques can be the subject of hot debate among educators. Different teachers come from different backgrounds and use different styles. The rock bottom basics of classroom management techniques are...

the communication of classroom rules and consistent enforcement of those rules, with positive consequences when rules are followed and negative consequences when they are not. This sets the stage for expectations becoming reality.

Preventative classroom management involves developing mutual respect between teacher and students, where the student offers support for all students and lays down clear rules and consequences for breaking them. With the preventative classroom management technique, students are given frequent feedback in regards to their academic performance and their behavior. Teachers must be prepared to explain to students the specific skills they must demonstrate to earn various rewards. Consistency of rewards and consequences is the key to success with preventative classroom management.

The Discipline with Dignity classroom management program is championed by founders Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler and is a flexible approach to effective management in the classroom. Discipline with Dignity concentrates on development of personal responsibility as a means for improving student behavior. Also emphasized are cooperation, shared decision making, mutual respect, and responsible thinking on the part of the students.

Positive Classrooms is a classroom management system that was developed by Robert DiGiulio. It focuses on four main factors: how teachers regard their students, how the classroom is physically set up, how skillfully teachers are able to instruct, and how well they address student infractions.

There are numerous “packaged” classroom management programs, but some teachers regard simple time management as the key to having a successful and engaged class. For example, there should be time set aside for routine classroom procedures like taking attendance and making announcements. Instructional time is when the actual teaching and learning take place. Time spent “on task” is the time students spend actively participating in learning activities like completing exercises or asking and responding to questions. Ideally, when classroom time is managed well, the students actively participate in learning and receive feedback on their work, which can prepare them for class projects completed outside of class and with regular homework.

Two of the biggest mistakes teachers make in regards to classroom management are using one-size-fits-all intervention strategies with bad behavior and being inconsistent in terms of expectations and consequences. Teachers should also not forget that time outside the classroom can improve classroom management. Simply saying hello to students in the hall or when they encounter them in the community can make a real difference to a student. Congratulating a student who has made a notable accomplishment is beneficial. Students who know that the teacher knows them by name and actually cares about their success are much more likely to be engaged in the learning process.

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