Classroom management is not often part of any course in college as you prepare yourself to become a teacher. It is more of a sink or swim moment as you begin your teaching career. You either figure it out or your students (and many times their parents) will walk all over you as pure chaos erupts.
Classroom management is definitely not easy and don’t let the title of this article mislead you. It is a difficult thing to grasp as there are about a million different personalities you will encounter during your teaching career. But if you are prepared just a little bit, you stand a good chance of coming out victorious with a well-managed classroom and behaving students that will make you the envy of all your fellow educators.
Whatever rules you have in the classroom (hopefully fully displayed on the wall for everyone to see at all times), you must remain consistent on enforcing them. If they are not enforced fully, students will start asking you why little Jimmy was able to talk to his neighbor over and over without getting in trouble but they weren’t. You must hand out punishment without playing favorites. But, also, on the other hand, have more leniency with a first-time offender than you would with a student that consistently breaks the rules.
Take the Time to Explain What the Problem Is
Many times a teacher will just issue a punishment without explaining in full what the child was doing wrong in the first place. Take the time to sit down with the kid, it might have to be after class or during recess time, and explain what issues you are having with their behavior. Speaking one on one is easier as you can both remain calm and there is no audience to interfere with decision making. Sometimes the student will actually have a good suggestion on how to curb their behavior better.
Don’t Let the Hard Feelings Carry Over Day to Day
In the classroom, just like in life, it is often tough to forgive and move on. But you have to remember that these are only kids. Should you really hold a grudge for the entire school year if the student misbehaves a few times? We know as educators that there are certain students that just have the skill of getting under your skin, however, if you let it go (thank you, Frozen) you will feel much better and perhaps the student and you can move on.
Playing Both Bad Cop and Good Cop Is Hard to Do
We always see in the buddy cop movies two police officers playing the roles of good cop and bad cop. Having to play both roles as an educator can be confusing, but it is needed. We have to be both a shoulder to cry on and a disciplinarian as well. It is not always easy, but nobody ever said teaching a classroom of 30 students was going to be simple.
If you feel you need a bit more help in classroom management, iAchieve can be of assistance! We offer workshops on many topics that you will find helpful in the classroom. If you feel you have weaknesses in the classroom that you would like to turn into strengths, it is never too late to improve!
Written by Ryan Crawley