"Don't smile until Christmas." Famous classroom management advice for every new teacher. This was never an option for me, since I love to laugh and smile with my students everyday. How do I keep order in my classroom while still leaving room for FUN?
Tips for Classroom Management:
1. Organize your room to promote order. A controlled flow of students, materials and paperwork keeps things "under control." Kids feel comfortable when they know how a classroom functions and their role in keeping the classroom organized.
2. Discuss classroom procedures regularly. A rookie mistake is is to make class rules and procedures a one-shot-deal. Talking about how the class can function smoothly on a daily basis is important and will remind kids that you mean business!
3. Plan, plan, plan really great lessons. (Oh and also be ready with a backup so that you can change gears in an instant.) Something I've noticed after 14 years in the middle school classroom, is that engaged, active learners who are excited about the lesson rarely misbehave.
4. Be ready to deal with the small percentage of kids who will still misbehave no matter how awesome your lesson is. Know in advance what and how you plan to say and/or do in response to poor behavior. You'll be less likely to let your mood impact your response if you are prepared. Remember...keep your cool and NEVER let your class see you sweat!
5. This probably should have been # 1, because it is what I consider to be the BEST way to manage a class. Go out of your way to connect on a personal level with every single student. This takes a lot of effort, especially when you have a curriculum that seems mapped to the minute. Children behave well when they know that you care about them and that you are genuinely interested in their success.
Wishing you all a great start to the new school year!