Finding it Hard to Manage

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Finding it Hard to Manage?

As school creeps around the corner, I see more and more social media posts about how to manage your classroom. Classroom management isn’t complicated on paper, in fact, telling you what to do is extremely easy. Just like parenting however, it is the execution of management, not the theory that is most important. So with that in mind, I will touch on some of the ideas I believe are most important.

1. Somewhere inside, no matter how crazy they might make you, you have to like your kids. Short of brilliant acting, kids can tell when you don’t like them. If you want your students to respect you, like you, and most importantly respond to you, you must show them you care about them. Here are a few simple things you can do to show them you care:
Learn about something that interests them!
Remember important events in their lives.
Look at them when they talk, and do not let others interrupt.
Compliment them to other people, especially if they are in earshot.
Praise publicly, discipline privately.
And one of my favorites to start a new year… Make a positive phone call to their parents!  Nothing gets a student and their parents more excites then when a teacher calls and talks about how great a child is doing.
I known it seems silly, but many teachers forget this stuff as the year gets going. Again, its the practice that actually makes you successful. Make a list of 5 things you want to incorporate in the first month of school that will show students you care.
2. The next and perhaps equally inportant task for classroom management is to teach students the appropriate behaviors you expect.
As a teacher, when you expect a student to present you with demonstration of some skill ( for example multiplication), you would teach them how to multiply first! You don’t test Kindergartners on tgeir ability to read before teaching them the prerquisite skills, right?  So why would you expect students to know what you expect for behavior without teaching them?  Instead, spend time teaching them how to behave, give them the opportunity to get involved in the how and why of the classroom’s appropriate behaviors.  Most kids know what they are supposed to do in isolation, but doing it is not always easy. Having them hash out why the behavior is important will help the action set in.
3. Expect the right behavior all the time!  Lots of people use check lists, stop lights, and otger visual aides to let students know they are not following rules. What are you really saying however, when you use these methods? What you are saying is that I do not expect you to behave the first two times, but by that third time you better get it right!  A quck reminder of the rules is all that it should take, if disruptive behavior continues, then whatever the agreed upon consequences are, they need to ensue but respectfully!  Discipline needs to be done without anger, calmly and fairly!
4. Fair is not equal. Remind students that fair only means that each student is getting exactly what they need to learn.  That is not the same for each student.
5. Be yourself!  Don’t waste your time being pertending to be anyone else, kids can see through you. If you like something you have seen someone else doing, make it yours.  Do not try to do anything how someone else would. You can never be someone else as well as you can yourself!
Remember, there are a lit of great concepts for classroom management, many of which are effective. The key is to remember to use them. Put the ideas on your calendar if you have to, but do not let them get swept aside as the hustle of the year sets in!
Thanks for reading!

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