If there is one thing I have learned as a high school teacher it is that classroom management is vital to success. It is important as an educator to find a variety of strategies that assist one in overcoming the challenge that class management poses. Creating a strong relationship with students, having lessons that are student-centered, and establishing clear expectations of students all aid in constructing an effective classroom management structure.
In my experience as a teacher I have found that the in order to get respect from my students they first need to respect me. The teacher’s relationship with his or her students will make an impact in the students’ willingness to comply with classroom rules and expectations (Gregory & Ripski, 2008). This strategy for classroom management is defined as the behavioral approach (Gregory & Ripski, 2008). Teachers who implement the behavioral approach as a classroom management strategy spend time getting to know his or her students and creating positive and quality relationships.
Another strategy to improve classroom management is creating more student-centered lessons. In many secondary schools and colleges, the majority of instruction is lecture-based (Sezer, 2010). Research has shown that students are neither engaged nor is their learning enhanced using this lecture method of instruction (Sezer, 2010). Instead, students prefer lessons that are project and discovery based. Students also will be less disruptive during class if they are more engaged in their learning (Sezer, 2010).
As a secondary level mathematics teacher, I find that lecture-based lessons are all too frequent. I have decided that I need to create more meaning for my students through student-based learning opportunities. My students frequently ask me why they are learning math. I need to take responsibility for the lack of exploration in my classroom, and I need to make sure they discover real-life applications to their learning. My students will be more engaged in the lessons and therefore less likely to cause classroom management issues.
In order for teaching to be effective the classroom needs to be run in an efficient way, which means setting clear expectations of the students. “Effective teachers have learned that students are more likely to work hard and produce quality work when their teachers are organized, evaluate and return assignments quickly, and maintain consistent standards and expectations” (Pallumbo & Sanacore, 2007, p. 68). Students who have teachers that lay out clear expectations for them are more likely to obey these rules (Pallumbo & Sanacore, 2007).
As Suggested by Pullumbo and Sanacore (2207), the key to successful classroom management is consistency; the more consistent one is as a teacher the more the students get into the routine. During my first year of teaching I learned how important clear expectations are in relationship to classroom management. I did not begin the year with a clear outline of what I expected from my students. Therefore, I struggled the entire year with creating class norms.
After reflecting on this year I realized that my norms were not consistent, and therefore the students never knew what they were expected to do. After my first year of teaching I have improved greatly on creating class norms and expectations, I feel that my classroom runs much more smoothly now. However, there is always room for improvement in this area. I continuously strive to find the best routine for my classes.
In conclusion, classroom management is a challenge that all teachers face. Implementing effective strategies such as building quality relationships with students, making learning more student-based, and maintaining consistent classroom expectations helps one overcome this challenge. Making the decision to integrate these strategies in my own teaching will increase the day-to-day efficiency of my classroom and allow my students learning to become more deeply enriched.
Gregory A., Ripski M. (2008). Adolescent Trust in Teachers: Implications for Behavior in the High School Classroom. School Psychology Review, 37(3), 337-353. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org
Palumbo A., Sanacore J. (2007, November). Classroom Management: Help for the Beginning Secondary School Teacher. Clearing House, 81(2), 67-70. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org
Sezer, R. (2010). Pulling Out All The Stops. Education Spring, 130(3), 416-422. Retrieved November 27, 2010 from Teacher Reference Center. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org
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