Having only recently started on my journey into teaching middle school, there is so much for me to learn! At times I feel overwhelmed by everything I am expected to do and everything my mentor teachers want from me, but this steep learning curve is definitely rewarding.
In terms of classroom management in my first full week in a middle school, there are a few things I have picked up so far:
1) The students are not your enemies! You don't need to have tight control of them all the time. If they are really into a game (such as quizzing each other or using jeopardy boards to review a topic), let them get loud if they're into the activity.
2) Silence is key. Most students do in fact want to learn and listen to what you have to say. Pausing for a few seconds (even though it may feel like an eternity) will quiet everyone down. The few that won't stop talking will get shushed by their peers most of the time.
3) Having back-up plans and extra materials for those few disruptive students who don't want to participate is useful. That way, if you have too much time or the lesson isn't going as planned, you won't lose control of the class as you scramble looking for things for them to do.
This is only the start of my journey, so any tips on classroom management you can give to a newbie teacher are appreciated!
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