It only takes one day of teaching to realize that classroom management encompasses more than rules, consequences and procedures. Classroom management can become even more complex when you realize the strategies you use in one class, won’t work for your other classes.
So, what can you do? Well, after teaching high school ELA for five years, I found myself needing to reevaluate my classroom practices. I needed to create a solid classroom management plan. I felt like I was constantly trying new classroom management strategies, searching for that perfect combination. I realized I needed to review what I had been using, to create something more structured and solid.
1. Reflect on Your Classroom Management Practices
The first step in strengthening your classroom management, is to reflect on your practices in the classroom to determine what areas you excel in, and possible areas that need improvement. This is also a great opportunity to review any formal observations conducted by your administration and or department chair to see their comments on your classroom management. You could also ask colleagues to come in your classroom and observe you as well!
The goal here is to gather as much data as you can on how you approach classroom management, to determine the classroom management strategies you need to focus on.
Once you have the data collected, you can record it in a number of ways:
- Set up a chart with the categories: areas you are excelling in, need to approach differently, and need to improve on.
- Set up the same chart but also organize it based on your own observation as well as observations from others (your students, administration, department chair, other colleagues, etc.)
2. Establish Your Classroom Management Philosophy
Once you reflect on your classroom management practices, you have a starting point on how to build your classroom management philosophy! Why is this important? Your classroom management philosophy is a statement of personal belief of the most important topics or categories you believe falls under classroom management. It defines what you believe is vital to the running of a classroom for both the students and you as the teacher.
Use the notes from your reflection where you determined what you excel in and what you need to improve upon when it comes to your management practices, to help you determine what you consider falls under classroom management
Once you do this, note any patterns you see or even categories you can create for what you believe can be considered related to classroom management. Of course, there are universal things that fall under management such as rules, consequences, student behavior, policies, procedures, systems etc., but think outside of the traditional box Truly consider what you need to have in place for your classroom to run like a well-oiled machine and for your students to succeed.
After completing step one and two, I was able to create my own classroom management philosophy that contains the most important things I believe need to be focused on to have a smooth-running classroom. To organize my philosophy, I broke it down into different categories.
Check out my classroom management philosophy below:
3.Create Essential Classroom Management Questions
Ask yourself important questions to determine the strategies, procedures, policies and tools you believe you need to have in place for effective classroom management
Once you have a solid classroom management philosophy, it’s time to ask some important questions:
- What policies, procedures and systems are essential to have/implement for you to have effective classroom management?
- What strategies and tools will you use to help keep your classroom running smoothly?
- What will your classroom rules and consequences be?
- What tools and strategies will you use for classroom organization?
- What strategies will you use to ensure you remain consistent with implementing all of the above?
These are just SOME of the questions you would ask yourself (when I did this myself, I had 40 questions related to how I wanted to structure my classroom management) and they will vary depending on what your classroom management philosophy is. Essentially you would map your questions around your philosophy to help you create a comprehensive classroom management plan.
4. Synthesize and Create Your Personalized Classroom Management Plan
Once you have your list of questions to map out your classroom management plan, ANSWER THEM! As you answer each one, you are forming your classroom management plan. Take those answers and make it into a more organized and cohesive document.
For example, you can review the answers, structure/organize/order it in a way that makes sense to your teaching style and the needs of your classroom. This could be through booklet, binder, word or pdf document, poster etc. By doing this you are creating a tangible resource that can be changed throughout the years as your classroom management practices grow!
For me, I chose to create a pdf document breaking my plan down into different categories. Once I had my categories organized, I went through each one and detailed the exact tools I needed to bring my plan to life and implement it into my classroom.
Check out sample pages below! Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it!
5. Create a Classroom Management Checklist
Once you have fully written out your classroom management plan, use it to create a checklist of actions to complete at the beginning of the school year! This is a great way to organize everything you need to do before school starts to make sure you are implementing your classroom management plan! Look below for a sample from the checklist I made after I created my own classroom management plan!
Want the Checklist?
Classroom Management encompasses many different areas. It is important to consider them all when trying to establish your classroom climate, procedures, polices and routines!
As you sit to go through each of these actions steps to plan out your classroom management, it may seem overwhelming. That’s why I created this awesome Core Classroom Management Plan for Secondary Teachers.
This comprehensive resource contains:
- A 30-page Classroom Management Plan!
- Classroom Routines and Procedures Checklist!
- 40 Essential Classroom Management Questions you NEED to have the answers to!
I want you to ask yourself two very important questions:
- How will your classroom change by having comprehensive classroom management plan in place?
- Why spend hours trying to create your own management plan when you can use mine and adapt it to your own classroom?!
For less than $6 you can have this comprehensive 40+ page Classroom Management Bundle today!