We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
I find that one of my classes that is the most challenging is my smallest class. I have 16 kids but they seem to think that it makes it okay to yell across the class at each other and the rules that apply to large classes do not apply to them. I don't think reducing class size does anything to help management. My best behaved classes are my fullest (31 students).
I believe that if students are truly engaged in what they are learning, they will not want to be off task or causing other problems in the classroom.
Definitely! I agree building relationships is the first step to a respectful environment. When mutual respect is demonstrated a classroom can act as a community of learners who 'manage' themselves. This of course takes a leader (teacher) who models this respect and has clear expectations (for themselves and the students).
45 in a class is unacceptable...I really don't think I can do anything but keep them off the walls...I am so frustrated...My room is l00plus in the shade.. the kids fight over the one fan I brought in ...it lasted one day....Not having a text didn't help...but now that I do, I can't make myself heard...
I have taught for 30 years and I just don't understand the policy of sending students to school...by a judge, but not allowing them or challenging them to achieve...just be there....
The reading level is very poor...and mixed... some read well, others can barely read a sentence...So that is a large urban size class.
Any suggestions would be great.. oh, yes, I have to keep them all...as there is "no place else to put them".
The most effective classroom management needs to have a foundation of teacher/student relationship first. This is done through a variety of ways, from learning all their names quickly and consistenly to taking interest in the things they care about. Many teachers that I have worked with spend a lot of time talking about themselves and not enough about the students success and interests. Do you ever take a few minutes to ask students how they feel about current issues or things that are happening on campus. If you do share a personal story, share it in a way that pertains to the lesson or something they are going through. Don't try to give advice when they don't ask for it. Sometimes they need to hear themselves and know that you hear them. Many times it can be a "Did I just say that" moment for them. Also when you begin forming a relationship with them that fosters mutual respect, what you teach them becomes more meaningful. The bottom line is that whatever system you develop for your class will only work well if it is built on the student knowledge that you care about them and want them to succeed. Now , don't tell me that you don't have time - you can weave it into your lessons. It needs to become who you are as a teacher and a caring human being.
Having just finished my first year of teaching, I was challenged with the amount of time I spent on classroom management. After reading the following responses on how to reduce the time spent on classroom management, I am motivated to focus my time and energy towards enhancing student learning. I truly feel that if students feel respected and motivated to learn, less time is needed to handle classroom management. It is when students become distracted or disengaged that they begin to misbehave. I want to spend more time preparing lessons this upcoming year that are very engaging.
Hello from Longview Washington.
I believe there are a lot of good ideas here in the article and from your posts. Things have certainly changed since I was in elementary school and class size was usually 32+ but I don't remember a lot of behavior issues. The world has become a much tougher place, and the comments on lack of administrative backing, parental involvement, and overcrowding reach my open ears. I don't know if I could run a courtroom-type operation like this - I really hope to concentrate on littler kids and use preventive measures of risk management and teaching of life skills and communication with each other (that they might not get at home) but by making this "classroom harmony" a big deal in the beginning and referring to our Golden Rule list, we will be keeping an eye out for each other's good behavior and calling attention to it with stickers on a banner by their name - the stickers are for many different types of positive things, from showing creativity to giving something their best try even when it's hard for them. I like the idea of positive reinforcers, direct communication with the students and regular discussions about how we are getting along. One new (to me) idea I just learned that I plan to include was the value of addressing what just happened at recess immediately afterward in a structured way that includes room for learning better communication, examining responsiblity for our actions, etc.
In order to reduce time spent on classroom management I think we need to make learning as engaging and fun as possible. It is important to teach to all learning styles and to try to make learning relevant. We need to allow our students to be involved in their own learning. We also need to be positive role models for our students. I agree that it takes multiple strategies to create a classroom that is not focused on classroom management but rather on engaging learning.
I love how you just write yourself a little note and then address it when the students are working independently. This strategy must really help keep your classroom flowing. I have a bad habit about addressing the issue right away and then the other students suffer. I will definitely try this strategy!
I agree that consistent parent communication is an important key to classroom management. It takes a lot of time, at first, to follow through on the calls and notes to parents, but it decreases as the students see that you mean business. It's worth the time you have to put into it at first. Sometimes, I will make a quick note about the misbehavior while I'm teaching instead of interrupting my lesson. I tell the student that I will deal with them later and say "Try not to worry about it, right now". The suspense of the consequence makes them very nervous. The disruptive behavior usually stops very quickly. Later in the day, when I have time, I make sure that I deal with the situation and consequence. Also, it really helps to have a stern administrator that knows how to handle disruptive students. The support of the parents and administrator make a huge difference.