1. Give at least one warning.
They’re kids. Kids aren’t perfect. I call the name of the student who is disrupting the class, and I say, “That’s one.” Most of the time, that’s all the student needs to straighten up.
2. Don’t try and teach over the noise.
A lot of the student teachers I’ve had are guilty of this. I was guilty of this also when I first started teaching. You have a plan that you have to get through. You see a few students actually paying attention to you, so you don’t want to stop, even though you know the kids in the back are doing something other than listening to you. You can’t go on. You have to stop and either wait till you have all their attention or you have to deal with the students who are taking attention from you.
3. Don’t raise your voice. Stay in control.
When you yell at the students, you give up control, and the students win.
4. Don’t humiliate a student, especially in front of his/her friends.
It’s never a good idea to humiliate a student. Sometimes, when you call their name in front of the class for making noise, it becomes an embarrassing moment. Do your best to make it as short a moment as possible. Don’t go into a long lecture on proper behavior in front of the class. First of all, you may lose any hopes for future success with that student, and you might cause that student to become defensive and belligerent. Some students will risk everything to save face in front of their friends.
5. Spend time on your lesson plan.
My toughest days are when my plan is the weakest. A detailed lesson plan will go a long way to reduce your class disruptions. You can’t just “wing it,” and expect the class to run smoothly.
6. Be consistent.
If one day you give a consequence for poor behavior, and tomorrow you don’t, it’s sends a bad message.
7. Have a discipline ladder.
What is the consequence for the first offence? Second? Make sure the kids know what will happen at each level. Also, make it a short ladder. One = warning; Two = detention; Three = referral to the office, etc.
8. Forget yesterday’s poor behavior.
Make every day a new day, especially for those students who really made you mad yesterday.
9. Praise and remember good behavior.
It’s good to remind your students of how great they did yesterday or last week.
10. Don’t be afraid to contact parents.
Many times, the parents can help you reinforce your rules. Notice I didn’t say “All the times?” Some parents won’t do anything.
So there you go – my Top Ten Classroom Management Tips. I’ll add these to my new site: TipsForNewTeachers.com
I’d like to know what other tips you would offer new teachers who are dealing with classroom management issues. Please comment.