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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Dos and Don'ts of Classroom Management: Your 25 Best Tips

The Dos and Don'ts of Classroom Management: Your 25 Best Tips

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Classroom management is a delicate balancing act often learned through experience and trial-and-error experimentation. Whether you're a new or experienced teacher, having strategies for effective classroom management is essential for creating positive, successful learning spaces (and staying sane!). In this guide you’ll find 25 tips for managing your classroom. You can view the presentation here:

The Dos and Don'ts of Classroom Management

These tips were contributed by educators from Edutopia’s community in response to a discussion by blogger Larry Ferlazzo asking users to share their most valuable classroom management advice. You can find the original discussion here:

https://www.edutopia.org/groups/classroom-management/8278

Each classroom is different, so please come back and share what you've learned and what works for you! 

NOTE: If you're having trouble viewing the presentation on this forum, click here to view it directly. You can also save the presentation as a .pdf file by selecting the gear in the bottom left-hand corner and clicking "Download as PDF." 

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TiffanyG's picture

I liked the slide about consistency. This is something that seems so simple but sometimes when a problem is arising it is difficult to remain consistent. I am working on this!

Neka Mayes's picture

These tips are helpful for the novice to the expert. Even as a veteran teacher, there are many elements I can take with me and keep at the forefront of my mind. I've always thought I had a good hand on classroom management, but as I read through the slide show I was able to take note of improvements I could make to have a more productive classroom and use of instruction time. Thanks!

(1)
Lisa Walker's picture

Like these tips. I would add: "Extend" grace rather than requiring it to be earned/deserved. Doing this can often diffuse the issue & keeps "the main thing, the main thing."

karencameron's picture

I teach at-risk high schoolers and one of the best management tools I have is silence. When a student is being extremely disruptive I stop, stare and say nothing. This prompts the student to feel extremely uncomfortable and for other students to diffuse the situation for me. And, if they start back up again, I repeat. Doesn't take long and the behavior is gone. Just remember, "you say the most when you say nothing at all."

Asma's picture
Asma
ICT Teacher

Hi Karencameron, I do apply the same strategy with my students and it is working, thanks for sharing.

Asma's picture
Asma
ICT Teacher

Great tips.. thanks all
I believe that working on developing a trusting and honest relationship with the students is the most important thing to start and at the beginning of every year I remind my students about my lab rules and my rewarding systems for individuals or groups and that helps to manage my class.
I want to share two of my own tips:
1. In my computer lab I use classdojo app, it helps me a lot in managing my students behaviour, it suit the elementary level and students just love it.
2. I made also a "golden time" chart for every class I teach, the students collect starts each under her name (they got it at the end of the class if they follow lab rules) and by the end of the month each star= free 5 minutes of internet access, they compete to collect their stars.

(1)
Lina Raffaelli's picture
Lina Raffaelli
Former Community Engagement Intern at Edutopia

Thanks everyone for your feedback! @Neka, I'm glad to hear that these tips are evergreen and still relevant for veteran teachers. That's one of the wonderful and unique aspects of the teaching profession: you never stop learning!

Lina Raffaelli's picture
Lina Raffaelli
Former Community Engagement Intern at Edutopia

@Karen, that's an interesting technique. The practice of staying silent and waiting for students to refocus must take an immense amount of patience and composure on your part!

@Asma, honesty and trust is SO essential. Also I've heard loads of recommendations from teachers about Classdojo for classroom management. Sounds like a great tool! Your "golden time" chart seems like a very effective way to incentivize students.

Ms.Bush's picture

There are some wonderful tips in the slide show! I am currently a kindergarten para (seeking a teaching position) and I believe it is important to have classroom rules and that students know them as well as their consequences. I have worked in a classroom where the teacher didn't have a set of rules and student's behavior was basically all over the place. The students pretty much acted how they wanted to and knew they could get away with it. There wasn't even a behavior log that went home to parents! I believe it is important to have those class rules and some sort of communication that will go home to parents so they will be aware of their child's behavior. This is very important in kindergarten because many students have never attended school and should learn the way to behave in the classroom and school.

Asma's picture
Asma
ICT Teacher

Great tips.. thanks all
I believe that working on developing a trusting and honest relationship with the students is the most important thing to start and at the beginning of every year I remind my students about my lab rules and my rewarding systems for individuals or groups and that helps to manage my class.
I want to share two of my own tips:
1. In my computer lab I use classdojo app, it helps me a lot in managing my students behaviour, it suit the elementary level and students just love it.
2. I made also a "golden time" chart for every class I teach, the students collect starts each under her name (they got it at the end of the class if they follow lab rules) and by the end of the month each star= free 5 minutes of internet access, they compete to collect their stars.

(1)
Neka Mayes's picture

These tips are helpful for the novice to the expert. Even as a veteran teacher, there are many elements I can take with me and keep at the forefront of my mind. I've always thought I had a good hand on classroom management, but as I read through the slide show I was able to take note of improvements I could make to have a more productive classroom and use of instruction time. Thanks!

(1)
Jim Heckman's picture

This was a very helpful presentation on classroom management. I have spent much of my time teaching and counseling on the middle school level and have found that classroom management has a good deal to do with how we relate to our students. If our students truly know that we care about them as people, and not just as names in the role book, behavior issues can be kept to a minimum. For example, I would often ask disruptive students to have lunch with me. In taking the time at lunch to talk to them and get to know their personal stories and struggles, as well as taking time to share my perspectives of their behavior in the classroom, we would come to a mutual understanding of each others unique perspectives. Once a student knew that I was making the effort to understand them, they would find it more difficult to want to misbehave in the classroom. As stated in the presentation, developing rapport and empathy for students is a major ingredient in classroom management.

(1)
Lina Raffaelli's picture
Lina Raffaelli
Former Community Engagement Intern at Edutopia

Thanks so much Mrsdoos, glad you found this helpful! Don't thank us, thank the awesome members of Edutopia's community for their contributions. I'd agree, I think the "Golden Rule" is of the most important things on that list to remember. Simply boils down to practicing respect & kindness in the classroom.

On a side note, here's a really cool site for creating quote posters if you're interested :)
http://recitethis.com/

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Mrsdoos's picture

Absolutely LOVE this! Especially the teacher's "Golden Rule". I'm going to make that into a poster and put it next to our classroom expectations. Edutopia is AWESOME! Thank you!!!

(1)
Dale newton's picture
Dale newton
High School Home Economics Teacher

Excellent tips whether you are a novice teacher or has been teaching for many years like myself. Every class has it's challenges, and can happen on any day of the week. Thank you for sharing. Will put into practice as I begin this school year.

(2)
Brian Sztabnik's picture
Brian Sztabnik
AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY
Blogger

I coach basketball, and in many sports you hear the axiom that a good defense can be a team's best offense. I love how this slide show reflects that. The best classroom management does not result from handling infractions, its is about creating a culture in which infractions do not occur. For example, "get students engaged and involved the lesson to prevent disruptions" is a great strategy. It reinforces what my first principal told me, which was, the best classroom management tool is interesting and engaging lesson. Thanks so much for sharing this Lina.

(2)
Rusul Alrubail's picture
Rusul Alrubail
Professor of English composition and literature

I love this Lina, very helpful tips and I especially love that it was curated by the community! Very helpful tips. I am a strong advocate of student autonomy in the classroom and believe that classroom "management" is all about building rapport with your students. I find that when students have a choice, are respected and are part of the learning process, managing the classroom becomes less like a battle and more like building a relationship: takes time and effort, but overall well worth it.

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