Classroom management is the key to any successful school year. There are so many different techniques and strategies that can be found online, on Pinterest, or YouTube that it seems no one should have a rambunctious class, however each teacher has to do what works best for them and figure out what works with their class. I’ve found that some things that worked one year may have to be tweaked or changed the next year because of the scholars I have, each class and year is different. I have been working with brand new teachers (student teachers and mentors) and I always advise them to not overlook the small procedures (i.e. pencils, turning in work, etc.). These are the procedures easily missed because we focus on lining up, hallway procedures, attention chants, etc. But we can’t miss these because they will quickly turn into a bigger issue.
Your goal is to make sure that students always know what to do if something happens. Here are some procedures you want to make sure you have in place:
- What do they do if their pencil breaks while you are teaching? (although I have a signal I will still have students who try to sit and not work)
- What do they do if they need tissue?
- How do they pass in or pass out assignments
- What is the procedure for entering the classroom?
- Where do they put supplies?
- How do they know what to get out for class?
- How do they ask to go to the restroom? Can they go anytime example while you’re teaching?
These are just a few to think about when preparing for the school year and throughout the year adjusting as needed, but depending on your school you may have some that you didn’t know you would have to need a procedure for until school started. One school that I taught I had to have a restroom monitor because the bathroom was so far away and there were some students I couldn’t trust to go alone. Last year, I could have a pencil person but this year the students can’t handle it so I just give away pencils.
Also, be consistent! Nothing derails classroom management like inconsistencies. You wouldn’t believe it but scholars feel inconsistency is like lying so it is imperative to stay consistent. Even your scholars who are your biggest behavior issues look for your consistency and routine that gives them comfort, and act worse when things change. If you feel like something isn’t working include your scholars in on the changes, you would be surprised at how helpful they are (sometimes they are tougher than you are) it also helps with keeping them accountable because they were apart of the decision process. And, they start holding each other accountable, I love that part because sometimes you may not have to say much. They will remind each other of the expectations.
In my class I use hand signals to help with staying consistent and keep my class running smoothly. You can grab my classroom management packet here it has hand signals, a voice level poster, and other tools to make classroom management easy. Click here or photo below.
Sometimes there may be a little trial and error but having a plan for the small procedures and staying consistent is a great start to having great classroom management.
I would love to hear what are some the small procedures you use in your classroom?