One of the worst mistakes I made as a first year teacher (whew! that bring back any memories for you?!) is only thinking about classroom management in terms of classroom rules and consequences.
Let’s just say I learned quickly that I needed an actual classroom management philosophy and classroom management plan that still included rules and consequences, but other areas as well!
After five years in the classroom, I decided to deeply reflect on my classroom management practices and figure out what I wanted my philosophy to be!
My end result? Six categories related to classroom management.
1. Core Classroom Rules & Consequences
How can a classroom be properly managed without rules and consequences?!
Be careful though. You don’t want to have too many rules, and you don’t want to have rules that are wordy and long. This will make it hard for the students to remember.
A great rule of thumb is to have 5 or less CORE classroom rules. Now this may change based on your content area, but just remember to keep it simple!
Same with the consequences. Have at most 5 and make sure they are precise and easy to understand! More importantly, make sure you are consistent in enforcing both your rules and consequence and that you are tracking and recording incidents and parent contact!
2. Classroom Procedures & Systems
I firmly believe this is the most comprehensive area! Why? Well let’s consider the following:
- Entering the Room Procedures
What do you expect students to immediately do when they enter the classroom?
- During the Class Procedures
Things like getting out of seat, electronic devices, getting their attention, students getting your attention, getting supplies, no name papers, etc.
- Leaving the room Procedures
What will be your procedure for students asking to use the bathroom? What system will you have in place for students to leave the room and coming back?
- End of Class Procedures
Things like collecting papers, turning in papers, staying seated etc.
Depending on your content area, there are even more things you would have to consider!
For your class to run as smooth as possible, it is key that you have all of your procedures and systems mapped out and that they make sense and are easy for the students to follow!
3. Classroom & Teacher Organization
Disorganization is one of the quickest ways to sabotage classroom management. It is vital that BOTH the classroom and the teacher are organized!
When your classroom is organized, where things such as stations for supplies, sign-in and out sheets for leaving the room, book storage, and no-name papers, or even bins for graded work, turning in papers, and storing portfolios or picking up handouts, have their own designated spot, it can go a long way in supporting your rules, procedures and systems!
In conjunction with this, you also want to make sure you remain organized as well!
You need systems for yourself to make sure that you are on top of grades, storage for graded work, replying to e-mails, keeping track of parent contact or behavioral incidents, teacher reports, meetings, conferences… and a whole lot more!
Don’t forget to keep an organized desk as well!
4. Student Engagement & Rapport
In some ways I believe this category might be the most important because by focusing on engagement and rapport you are empowering your students. You are actively creating lessons that are interesting, thought provoking, informative, have an impact and are relatable. They will not only be engaged in the lesson, but also with you!
This goes a long way with building rapport in addition to treating the students with respect and showing them that you genuinely care about the exceeding. Empower your students and the management issues will dissipate.
5. Teacher Self-Care
You have to remember to take care of yourself! Teaching can be very stressful! You have to remember that if you are not at your best, it can impact your classroom!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, or like you need a break and can’t push it off anymore, TAKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY! This is vital!
Students can tell when we are off. This can impact the consistency of enforcing your rules, consequences and procedures without you even realizing it!
Consistency. Is. Key.
Being consistent in enforcing your core classroom rules, consequences, procedures and policies is a MUST! The more inconsistent you are, the less students will follow your rules.
This increases the likelihood that there will be behavior problems in your classroom.
Procedures are the oil that keeps that classroom machine running!
Without it, your students won’t know the expectations for entering the class, being in the class, leaving the room and ending the class.
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 strategies, it may seem overwhelming. When I went to reflect on my own classroom management practices after five years of teaching, I too felt overwhelmed.
That’s why I created this awesome online course where I outline in detail the 5 Step Process that helped me to transform my classroom management and allowed me to create all the resources discussed in this article!
Take a sneak peek of what’s included!
This course is packed with value and teaches you step-by-step how to create your own classroom management plan! It also includes a course workbook filled with tasks so that you can take action and apply what you are learning in the course! It also includes resources mentioned in this article and more!:
- How to strategically reflect on your classroom management practices.
- Detailed steps on how to create your own classroom management philosophy.
- 40 Essential Classroom Management Questions and how to brainstorm your own!
- My 30+ page Classroom Management Plan and a template for you to use to create and structure your own!
- My own Classroom Routines & Procedures Checklist and a template for you to use to create your own!
- Course Workbook filled charts, templates, guides and more to help you implement and apply what you are learning in the course!
The 5 Step Process in this course has been able to help many teachers transform their classroom management practices. It’s teacher tested and approved!