School Policies and Classroom Rules
Begin planning for classroom management by becoming familiar with school policies regarding student behavior and discipline. From there, write a short list of rules that can be posted in the classroom where everyone can see them.
If you're teaching a classroom of pre-reading students, list each rule in simple words on a wall and recite the rules with your students for the first week and as needed thereafter to teach them what is expected of them within the classroom. Without over-explaining, discuss each rule and why it is important.
Firm and Consistent Discipline
While establishing the classroom rules and expectations, be certain to make clear the consequences for not following the rules. The severity of the consequences should match the severity of the infractions. Second chances are a good idea only if they are not followed by third and forth chances, which undermine successful classroom management.
When managing a classroom of young students, it is easier to start out more firm and then relax as the school year unfolds. For students of any age, it is more difficult to go from relaxed to firm discipline, as precedence has already been set. Getting more strict as the year moves along may also cause students to lose respect for you as a teacher.
Especially for early childhood educators, keeping the attention of your young learners is dependent on the structure you create for them within the classroom. Some students are very sensitive to a change in routine, while some are quite adaptable. A few may get bored with the routine, but overall, having a dependable structure and progression of the day makes everyone feel more settled.
One example is meeting the children at the door each morning and welcoming them to the classroom, akin to the Waldorf philosophy. Looking each student in the eye and shaking hands provides valuable information about what kind of day the teacher can expect.
Excess Lesson Planning
In order to effectively manage your classroom, you never want to run out of lesson material. It may sometimes be difficult to gauge the amount of time a lesson will take, and therefore, a good rule of thumb is to always have more material than you think you will need. Extra material can consist of simple games or a quiz that summarizes the subject material you are teaching. It isn't really important whether you use it or not, but that you have something to focus your students' attention should you cover the lesson plan in record time.
In order to create the best learning and teaching environment for your classroom, establish a plan for classroom management that teaches the students what is expected of them and what they can expect of you as their teacher. Clear, simple rules, consistent discipline, a classroom routine and extra lesson materials are the basics for effective classroom management.
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Article Added on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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