Whether you're a first-year teacher or a seasoned pro, effective classroom management is a critical piece of any successful classroom. Share what works.

How prepared were you to manage students by your degree program?

Debbie Kea 12th grade English teacher from Atlanta, Ga

I'm doing research about how poorly most teachers were educated about classroom management by their college/university education programs. I'd love to hear from you. Did you actually have a class that addressed managing students? I give a workshop for new teachers, and I would like to use some comments from you all.

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I agree that teachers are not

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I agree that teachers are not prepared for classroom management. I am a mentor to new teachers because of this. I remember being thrown into a classroom. A veteran teacher told me that the most important thing in the room was my attendance/grade book. He was right, but I had never used one before. My very first year of teaching was substitute teaching. It was the perfect experience. I learned a lot from being in other teachers' classrooms, and I could walk away from my mistakes at the end of the day. Personally, I think every new teacher should spend a year subbing. I consider myself one of the pros in classroom management, but it took me several years of on-the-job training to get it down to a fine art. Above all - respect your students and earn their respect at the same time.

I, like many other readers

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I, like many other readers that responded to this post, had little education on classroom management. During my undergraduate degree, I had one course devoted to classroom management and it was only an 8 week night course. Mrs. W's comment really jumped at me: "It's hard to learn classroom management without experiencing it. That is the problem in education programs is until you are in a classroom and use the strategies you can't get a full grasp on them." I think what Mrs. W said is so true. No amount of information from a textbook can prepare you for the real world classroom. Yes, you can learn strategies, but some are not realistic. I learned the most about classroom management during my field experiences and student teaching where I could actually observe and exercise classroom management strategies. Classroom management has so many variables. Two teachers can have the same strategy, but the way it is implemented can lead to either success or failure. Also, every class will be different. Some strategies and techniques can work for one class but may not work for another class. Adapting is another skill that teachers need because strategies will need to be edited or changed based on the composition of the students and the classroom environment. As the author mentioned, the consensus seems to be that there is little to no time devoted to classroom management. It also seems that many agree that no amount of textbook/theories can prepare you for the real classroom and it all comes down to time and personal experience in the classroom, so is that the reason why there is so few time devoted to teaching classroom management? Also, should there be more courses focused on first-hand experiences in the classroom? That way everyone can have more time to learn about classroom management in a real setting and be able to practice the strategies.

After reading these other

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After reading these other responses, I feel lucky to have had a Classroom Management course as an undergraduate and again in my M.Ed. course. While my undergrad management class prepared me to correctly write rules/consequences and design a classroom management system, I didn't feel prepared for many of the classroom management issues I was presented with my first year, particularly with some of the students I taught that had major behavioral and emotional disabilities. After three years I began to feel much more comfortable with my teacher persona and cultivating a businesslike but warm approach to my students. I think I had developed a good rapport with my classes but still struggle with how to manage different behaviors while also overwhelmed with so many other responsibilities. I think that's a major stumbling block for new teachers -- it just feels like there is SO much to learn and practice, and sometimes it feels like all you do is manage and discipline rather than teach.

Professor of Teacher Education

Still a major problem!

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I just came across this old post and it still resonated with me b/c this lack of training always has been and continues to be a major problem. As someone who specializes in classroom management, it dives me crazy that classroom management is consistently cited as the number one concern for beginning teachers and yet nothing seems to change during teacher education (traditional or alternate route programs). I recently took matters into my own hands and created a new app for trying to fill this void.

Professor of Teacher Education

Still a major problem!

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I just came across this old post and it still resonated with me b/c this lack of training always has been and continues to be a major problem. As someone who specializes in classroom management, it dives me crazy that classroom management continues to be cited as the number one concern for beginning teachers yet both traditional and alternate route teacher education programs are not including course with an explicit focus on this topic. I just created an app for the iPad and iPhone in an attempt to fill this void.

Listening to an educated

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Listening to an educated individual lecture about classroom management is one thing, but being able to implement it effectively is a totally new ball game. Even if I took four years of only classroom management courses, I would still be struggling.

Professor of Teacher Education

I completely agree! That is

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I completely agree! That is why an effective course should incorporate lecture, video clips, case studies, role plays and, most importantly, field based experiences so the techniques can be observed and practiced. I can hear the frustration in your post and know that there are lots of others feeling the same way. Hang in there and keep looking for resources to help. Taking advantage of this forum is a great idea.

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