Do you wonder why your colleagues don’t spend their time complaining about the little things?
Do you look into their classrooms and wonder why they got the perfect class AGAIN?
If you asked your colleagues they would probably tell you that they work hard from the first day of school to set the tone and structure of their classes.
One of the most important part of any classroom management plan is building professional student-teacher relationships. Many teachers fall into the trap of wanting to be the “cool” teacher or “best friends” with their students. Students need adults in their lives they can depend on, not another friend.
At the start of the year, allow students to give input into classroom rules and expectations. I give students time to share what they think makes a good classroom learning environment – stressing the “learning environment” as the key focus.
Meet each student at the door as they walk in the room. I often say hello and remind them of what materials they need. This is a positive way to start class. I try to notice when a student has something different and complement them a haircut, pencil case, shoes etc.
Walk around the room as the students are working to check on their progress, but also to ask them questions about their lives. Many tweens and teens love to chat about their hobbies, interests and jobs.
Another key component of classroom management is organization, not only of the physical classroom space, but of daily lessons.
Write on your chalkboard or use a digital template (i.e. Google Slides) to share the daily lesson schedule with students. This saves answering the question “What are we doing today?” thirty different times.
Keep lessons organized using a binder or digital method. This allows absence students to easily get caught up as well as assisting students who need additional organizational support.
The easiest way to collect papers from students is to assign each student a number that aligns with their location on the class list. I assign these numbers to students during the first week of school so that they get used to writing their number on every paper that I collect. This also helps with accountability and organization during fire drill attendance. During fire drills once all the students are outside I have them quickly line up alphabetically to make attendance a faster process.
Keeping parents informed about classroom curriculum, success and challenges is another important component to classroom management.
In this blog post, learn about strategies for positive and negative communication and how best to involve students in this process. From phone calls and letters to technology and social media, find out what other middle school and high school ELA teachers are doing to improve parent communication in the classroom.
In this blog post, read about quality ed tech tools to assist with parent communication. This is a very important part of classroom life that can benefit from the integration of technology.
Finally, don’t discount the importance of seating plans. See how I use these effectively in my classroom.
By investing time and energy into your classroom management positive things will happen in your classroom. Looking for more classroom management advice? Check out what other middle and high school teachers are doing in their classrooms.