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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What's The Best Classroom Management Advice You've Gotten?

What's The Best Classroom Management Advice You've Gotten?

Related Tags: Classroom Management
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I thought it might be useful/interesting if people shared the best piece of classroom management advice they've gotten/read/heard... Mine comes from Marvin Marshall, who is my favorite (by far) writer/thinker on positive classroom management. He’s written a question that we as teachers might want to consider asking ourselves regularly. He wrote: Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating? Of course, we’re just human and all of this is far “easier said than done.” But it’s not a bad level to aspire towards…

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Ms.Jefferson's picture

I agree that it is very important to pick your battles and determine what issues are the most relevant to to your classroom mamnagemnt plan.
The best advice that I have gotten was to mke sure as educators we stay firm in our apporach to a situation and make sure you practice your managment skills all day, every day and throughout the year. I have a point system that works for weekly incentives as well. I make the students take ownerhsip of the classroom and give them jobs which gives them responsiblity.

hoosierboone's picture
hoosierboone
4th grade teacher

One of my college instructors said to not smile for the first 2 weeks of school - to be very strict - so the kids understand you mean what you say. Although I don't quite take this to the extreme of not smiling for 2 weeks, I do make sure to be more strict at the beginning of school so my students see that I am not going to budge on my rules and procedures. I don't start joking with them and really showing them my goofy side until I have shown them the difference between "fun time" and "serious time" and they have shown me they can handle transitioning between the two.

Bob Sullo's picture
Bob Sullo
author, educational consultant

I absolutely agree that it's crucial to establish rules and procedures. Still, I see no reason to be "more strict" at the beginning of the school year. What children most need is predictability and consistency. "easing off" as the school year goes on may be easier than "getting tougher," but both approaches are flawed because they compromise consistency. Just as importantly, I never want my students to perceive a difference between "fun time" and "serious time." In my classroom, we're always serious about our work while simultaneously having fun! Rigorous work and enjoyment are mutually supportive, not mutually exclusive. If you're interested in more information about how to create a joyful, inspiring classroom, I hope you'll check out my books. You can learn more at my website: www.internalmotivation.net

Lindsay's picture
Lindsay
First grade teacher

I 100% believe that the teachers attitude rubs off on their students each day. If you come into the classroom in the morning crabby because of something tha happened the night before or that morning, your students are going to pick up on it right away. As an educator, if we show our students we don't want to be at school, then they lose interest a lot faster than they usually would on a day that you are excited and happy about being there. I also think showing your students you care and are interested in their lives plays a huge part in your students respecting you. Getting to know each of my 1st graders on a more personal level is a goal that I have set for myself. As a child, it's nice to know that your teacher isn't only there to teach you things, but really cares about who you are as a person.

Bob Sullo's picture
Bob Sullo
author, educational consultant

Thanks, Lindsay, for this comment. I can't remember where I first heard this, but it has stuck with me for years: "They need to know that you care before they care what you know." Building a positive connection with kids and taking responsibility for how we choose to act in the classroom (bored, tired, engaged, excited, etc.) goes a long way in determining how successful (and enjoyable) an experience we will have.

Barbara Podbielski's picture
Barbara Podbielski
Curriculum Consultant K-12 Columbiana County Educational Service Center

It is absolutely true...basically everything that has been said. Teaching human being is an incredibly complex task that requires people who have a sense of efficacy. You have to believe that you are capable of dealing with the task or it follows the route of the molehill on its way to becoming a mountain. The best advice I received was to fill my teaching bag of tricks with as much as you possibly can in order to have the sense of efficacy that is required.

Marcia Humphrey's picture
Marcia Humphrey
English Language and Social Studies teacher

Here are some suggestions on improving classroom management
The time teacher spend handling disciplinary problems is time taken away from effective teaching and learning, resulting in poor academic performance of students. Students must know the teachers' expectation. Therefore, at the beginning of the school year the teacher needs to issue rules and policies and outline specific behaviors that will not be tolerated and let students know the consequences if rules are broken. Also establish attractive rewards system to encourage appropriate behavior.
Teachers need to develop and sustain positive relationship with the students. This can be done by showing genuine care and interest in students (Kottler, J. Zehm, J.& Kottler E. 2005). Spend time getting to know them, find out about their out of school interest for example their favorite television and radio programs, their favorite musical artists or sporting event. Also attend school events put on by students. Let them see you as a real person. Learn about their world and use it to enhance learning (Milner, H. & Tenore, F. 2010). Also let them know a little about you for example you hobbies. Your likes and dislikes. This will help to cement the relationship between you and them. If you have a good student-teacher relationship, then the students will more readily accept your rules and procedures and disciplinary actions. They will be anxious to please you if they know you care about them. Also identify class leaders and gain their respect. They can help you to control the class.
Students must be kept busy with meaningful activities so that they will have very little time to idle and misbehave. In spite of the many techniques of classroom control that one may apply, the most effective ways of maintain class control are earning the respect of the students and making the teaching learning situation so interesting that they have little or no inclination to cause trouble.
References
Kottler, J. A.,Zehm, S. J.,Kottler, E.(2005).On being a teacher: The human dimension 3rd ed) Thousand Oaks CA: Corwin Press.
Milner, H. R. , Tenore, F. B. (2010) Classroom management in Diverse classroom.Urban Education 45(5) 560-603

Angel Parker's picture

I believe the most effectcive way to manage a classroom is to be the example. I must show my students what I want them to do and how I want it done. Most children learn by what they see. They hear what I say but they will most likely remember what I do. I constantly model the behavior that I want to be displayed. I am their living example. Students are raised in different homes with different rules. What works in my class may not work somewhere else. Modeling and demonstrating the rules and procedures is an effective way to manage discipline.

Angel Parker's picture

I believe the most effectcive way to manage a classroom is to be the example. I must show my students what I want them to do and how I want it done. Most children learn by what they see. They hear what I say but they will most likely remember what I do. I constantly model the behavior that I want to be displayed. I am their living example. Students are raised in different homes with different rules. What works in my class may not work somewhere else. Modeling and demonstrating the rules and procedures is an effective way to manage discipline.

randy koval's picture
randy koval
Founder of NW Teachers' Learning Center

We offer a wonderful distance learning course in understanding how to empower students through decision making models rather than through control models via behaviorism (rewards/praise/punishments/consequences etc.). Discipline comes from within rather than something we do to students or for students. It's the humane way to work with students treating them as real people with dignity and respect as we model for them what we want them to do. Check us out at nwteacherslearningcenter.com where we have several course on this subject.

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