The best classroom management strategies are easy for teachers to implement and for students to understand. They focus on creating a positive culture that acknowledges and celebrates students who are meeting or exceeding classroom expectations.
When a student is struggling to meet expectations, clearly restating the expectation before moving to a consequence based approach can often produce the desired behavior. In order to be proactive in addressing student needs and preventing misbehaviors, a classroom management plan should be developed.
Strong classroom management plans begin by creating clear, developmentally appropriate expectations that positively state desired behaviors and are explicitly modeled for students. All classroom management systems and procedures should align with these expectations.
When planning systems and procedures, the goal is to prevent undesired behaviors by clearly outlining for students what is required of them in the classroom. This strategy applies to the full range of systems from passing out papers to more complex procedures like partner or group work.
If a student is still unable to meet expectations, consequences should be developed that begin with redirecting a student by restating the expectation and get progressively more serious to address the severity of the behavior. Calming strategies, such as a cooldown spaces, check-in buddies, and other therapeutic tools should be included in the plan to prevent escalation of behavior and consequences.
Fostering respect in the classroom establishes a safe and healthy culture that allows students to focus on learning. To foster respect, it is important to be aware of and responsive to student needs. Building a culture of active listening between all classroom stakeholders is imperative to a culture of respect. Additionally, when a strong classroom management plan is implemented consistently and effectively, students respect the teacher and classroom culture because they understand what is expected of them, feel successful, and are able to engage in higher levels of learning.
Classroom rules, or expectations, are simple, observable, and enforceable. Good classroom rules positively state desired behaviors. If the rules are not immediately understandable and meaningful to students, then students will be less likely to adhere to them. When creating good classroom rules, first consider the most common misbehaviors exhibited by past students. If new to teaching, collaborate with other teachers who have worked with the same age group.
"Kickboard has made a huge difference. We reduced disciplines by 44% in just 18 weeks. If I go to another campus and come back to ours, I can see and hear the difference. It’s so positive here and that’s changing the culture of our school. This not only improves students’ behavior but it improves their academic performance as well."– Kasie Jackson, Assistant Principal - Dallas ISD
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