George Lucas Educational Foundation

New Teachers: Classroom-Management Fundamentals

Discover resources for new teachers about developing routines, fostering classroom community, managing disruptions, and building student relationships.
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Tips, Advice, and Strategies

For additional grade-specific guidance, here are resources for primary, middle, and secondary teachers.

Specific Tips for the Primary Grades

Specific Tips for Middle and Secondary Grades

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Establishing Effective Rules and Routines

Struggling with issues related to managing technology in your classroom? The following posts will help you tackle common issues:

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Managing Disruptive Behavior

No matter how engaging the lessons, every teacher is bound to encounter disruptive and off-task behavior in class from time to time, and it’s important to develop strategies and interventions to prevent learning from getting derailed. The following posts should help.

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Gaining and Keeping Student Attention

Strategies for gaining attention are an important part of any teacher’s classroom-management toolkit. The following resources include attention-grabbing ideas for elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms:

Once you have student attention, how do you keep it? For more resources on engaging students, explore a variety of resources on Edutopia's Student Engagement page; consider starting with Edutopia’s "Student Engagement: Resource Roundup."

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Building Relationships and Creating a Positive Climate for Learning

Fostering strong and consistent relationships with students can help new teachers build a solid foundation for other classroom-management strategies. Not sure where to start? The following articles and posts describe specific, concrete strategies that new teachers can implement:

Students learn best in environments where they feel respected, supported, and valued. To help students thrive in a safe, positive, and open classroom climate, consider the following tips from experienced educators:

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Words of Encouragement From Experienced Teachers

Whether you are a new or a more experienced teacher, know that if you’re experiencing challenges, you’re not alone. These posts offer some encouragement:

  1. For teachers who need a pep talk in advance of another day of performance, read Todd Finley’s "You're Gonna Hear Me Roar: Overcoming Classroom Stage Fright," full of useful tips for working through fear.
  2. After a rough day in the classroom, it might help to read "Don't Quit: 5 Strategies for Recovering After Your Worst Day Teaching."
  3. In the face of classroom-management challenges, it’s important to take a moment to regain perspective. In "Like a Wood Duck: Finding Peace in the Classroom," Ben Johnson offers some suggestions to help you regain your serenity.

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Looking for additional resources to support new teachers? Visit the "Resources Toolkit for New Teachers" for other curated guides, check out all of Edutopia’s content on the New Teachers page, and participate in discussions for new teachers in Edutopia’s community.

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Asikaa Cosgrove's picture
Asikaa Cosgrove
Faculty member at Drury University, Springfield, Missouri, USA

Marsha Creary: "It would be great if these online resources (including some of the actual books) were provided to teachers as they are preparing to start their new positions"

They _are_ provided with resources such as these (and much more, including opportunities to practice them in the school setting during practica and student teaching). At least, they are at Drury University, where I teach in the educator preparation program. More importantly, we equip pre-service teachers with the critical thinking and digital literacy skills so they can continue their own professional development using online sources such as this great collection from Edutopia.

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