Classroom Management is Strategic

A foundational mistake many teachers make, and the cause of ineffective teaching, is the misunderstanding between classroom management and discipline. Suffice it to say, the first action of any effective teacher at the beginning of the school year is to create a climate conducive to student learning.

I recall my first week of teaching, and the statement I made at the end of the week to a colleague, “my four years of undergraduate work did not prepare me for this week”. I believe this is one reason why many, many potentially qualified teachers fail their first year of teaching, because of not knowing the dynamics of classroom management vs. discipline. I survived because organization and attention to detail come naturally for me. So what about those who have to make this skill strength?

Let’s first understand discipline before we embark on how teachers can become effective classroom managers. Discipline, as we know deals with behavior in the classroom. It is usually negative consequences for inappropriate actions displayed by students. They misbehave in class due to several factors (we will get to these in another article), but the most crucial is one when a teacher is ineffective as a classroom manager.

So what does effective classroom management look like?

Classroom management is not the same for everyone. Teachers vary in their styles of teaching, personalities, and even attitudes. Most important, different student population and demographics impact classrooms and one strategy that may be effective for one teacher, may not work for another set of students. Once a teacher determines successful strategies and meets the needs of her students, teaching is less stressful, and ensures students have appropriate learning tools. Not to mention, successful classroom management provides a calm learning environment, and lets the teacher teach because it saves instructional time. Classroom management is based on three principles and helps teachers, especially new to the field gain respect of their students and exude confidence:

Teaching of expected behavior in class; preventative measures as opposed to intervention Delivering learning expectations such as a syllabus for secondary students and class expectations for primary grades

Establishing routines and procedures for smooth running of classroom

It is a necessity of procedures because it helps both, the teacher and students stay organized and focused on the learning. When students are aware of the expectations, the actions contribute to their independence and self-direction. This is the bottom - line.

Read on LinkedIn