Keeping an organized classroom is integral to your students’ academic success. Teachers face a lot of obstacles when it comes to classroom management. However, bad behavior, distracted students, learning disabilities, and more can make it difficult to adhere to the academic tasks at hand.
The following vital classroom management techniques can help overcome those challenges and lead to happier students and teachers. Take a look at these suggestions to keep your classroom operating at its best.
The Right Preparation
If you start out a day, week, or school year behind the proverbial eight ball, your students will know it. The classroom expectation is that the teacher controls the show with input and direction from the students. Take the time to prepare for every lesson, from worksheets to online activities, even if you expect some deviation.
Outline exactly what is expected of your students so that they know what they are working to accomplish. This is true of assignment due dates and daily in-class activities. A few weeks into the school year, your students should have a good idea of what they need to do when they are in their seats as well as outside of the classroom walls.
Preparation and routine are necessary for a smoothly functioning classroom, but teachers should expect the unexpected (good and bad). If it’s a challenge helping your students master a concept in the time frame you had predicted, slow down and take that extra time to reach comprehension. Or, if you find yourself not quite ready to teach the next item, find a fun activity to fill that time before you dive into the new material.
How a teacher applies discipline in his or her classroom varies, but one thing is universal for success: consistency. If you give behavior points and factor them into grades, let students know the expectations and enforce them at all times. On the flip side, if you give rewards to students who go above and beyond, make sure you hand those out every time they are warranted. Most current research shows the positive impact of keeping kids in classrooms, rather than removing them for behavior issues, but teachers should use the method they find works best.
A Clean Classroom
It may seem like an oversimplification, but keeping your classroom tidy can improve your students’ performance. Studies have found that people who feel they are surrounded by clutter or unfinished projects have a higher level of the stress hormone, cortisol, which makes it more difficult to focus. Set the example by keeping your desk clutter-free and organized. Ask your students to keep their own desks neat and to help tidy up the classroom at the end of each activity and day. Whenever possible, reduce paper assignments and send completed work home with students so that it doesn’t stack up in your classroom. Without clutter or other messes to distract you and your students, you can all focus more on academics.
Teachers set the mood of the classroom. Smiling is not a sign of weakness in a teacher, but a welcoming gesture to students that indicates warmth. When you smile, it encourages your students to do the same. Negative energy is contagious, but so is positivity. Set an optimistic, encouraging environment for your classroom by smiling often.