As teachers, we want to see our students’ eyes brighten with new knowledge and enlightenment in a fun, disciplined classroom. Yet, many common classroom management mistakes happen and it may take you some time to learn how to achieve an efficient learning environment.
You might have spent days and nights planning lessons and activities, and sadly faced your worst nightmare: student misconduct. Your plan, therefore, changes and your class becomes less of a fun learning experience and more of pointing out misbehavior.
Have no fear! This all falls back on your classroom management style. As teachers, you have to learn how to manage, control and monitor the behaviors of your students in your classroom.
This does not mean you have to force your students into a required code of conduct. It is much simpler than that with a guaranteed dose of fun!
Here are the top 7 effective ways to manage your classroom and student conduct:
Develop rules together
Teachers, this is a hands-down effective way to encourage your students in participating and feeling included. By developing a joint agreement with your students on the class rules, you are both reflecting fairness and responsibility among the students.
How? Have the students collaborate by brainstorming a set of rules that they would like to apply in class. Involve them in deciding what the penalties would be should the rules be violated. Write down no more than 5 rules on a chart or on the board for everyone to see. Keep those rules until the end of the semester to enforce its validity. Some rules could be: no chattering, switch mobile phones on silent, no shouting out the answers, listen effectively, etc.
Reward positive behavior
Many teachers neglect their students by not recognizing their disciplined behavior or accomplishments. This is one of the biggest mistakes teachers can do. As teachers, you need to motivate your students and encourage their positive behavior. Verbal recognition is not enough.
One of the most successful ways to do so is by applying a reward system or a point evaluation system.
How? For each positive behavior a bonus point would be attained. At the end of each week, summarize the points collected for each student and promising a prize at the end of the semester or at the end of each month. Some of the prizes could be: a class field trip, tablets for the top five scores in class, etc.
Always include student activities
Theoretical teaching alone is past tense. Nowadays, education involves hands-on learning.
Modern twenty-first century education constantly encourages in and outside classroom activities.
Applying lessons in real-life is an effective way to amplify the students’ learning curves, and as teachers, you need to invigorate your students’ interests as much as you can. In addition, always make sure to incorporate character building activities that will encourage positive attitudes for their everyday life. Make sure to involve your students in class room discussions and presentations after each activity to motivate collaborative learning and team play.
Recap old lessons in the new
At the start of the class period, always recap the important points of the lesson before. This rejuvenates the students’ memories and helps highlight any missing points. Also, encourage students to ask questions or discuss what they thought of the previous lesson and what they learn. The students’ interests will surely be stimulated and kept the right track. It will also motivate them to pay attention to future lessons.
Be a positive example
Students look up to you, teachers. Make sure to model your behaviors and attitudes appropriately as this will reflect on your students. There are many positive examples that you can set for your students, including always being on time. If you expect your students to respect punctuality, then it starts with you. Also, dressing professionally. Representability is very significant as it reflects respect to one’s self and to others, hygiene, confidence, alertness, care, vitality, and credibility.
Imagine if you were to dress recklessly and look tired when teaching your students. The probability will fall on your students’ disinterest and might have a negative reflection on their attitudes as well. Conclusively, always be a positive example to those you teach.
Are you one of those teachers attached to the blackboards? Your students’ attention spans are very short and are usually stimulated by movement and engagement. Instructing from one spot might only catch the attention of those at the front row for some period of time, but for those at the back, they’ll probably pull out of tune right away. Practicing mobility is key to involve all students and avoid off-task behaviors. Some teachers arrange their class rooms in ways that make movement impossible. Make sure that the class room is mobile-friendly. Make eye contact with students as you move across the room while instructing. This will maintain the student’s focus and interest.
Structure, structure, structure
Routine can be dull at times. But when you want to apply structure, it is the key answer to induce positive behavior and focus among students. When structure fails to prevail in class rooms, students might more likely seize ‘downtime’ and provoke misbehavior. As teachers, the ball is in your court to control student conduct by applying class room structure.