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How To Effectively Manage A Classroom
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In the hopes of becoming and excellent teacher, there are a few things which a person can do to operate and create an effective learning environment. Strong teachers often manage a classroom using techniques which will keep students engaged and attentive to instruction. Over several years, I have had the pleasure of observing excellent teachers. As a teacher myself, I have also had the satisfaction of identifying techniques and good practices which contribute to student achievement inside and outside of the classroom. After spending many hours observing great teachers and implementing some of my own wisdom, I have determined that there are a few techniques which new teachers can apply to become excellent teachers.

Work The Room. While instructing and checking work, always move around, especially in between desks. This way you cover the classroom like a warm blanket.

Keep The Questions Coming. The more you ask, the more you get an idea of where they are at academically. Also, remember that any question is a good one, even if it easy. Questions equal participation. The objective should be to build up their confidence, even if the answers they give are off the wall, and believe it, some will be.

Never Turn Your Back. It’s not that kids aren’t trust worthy...but let’s face it, they’re kids. Learn to write on the board facing the students, use an overhead, or put sentences up ahead of time. It only takes one little rascal to do something outlandish when you’re not looking. Don’t put yourself in a position to have that theory tested.

Positive Praise. Develop a habit of complimenting behaviors that you want others to see and do. For example, you might start off your sentence with, “I like the way…Mathew is sitting quietly at his desk, his book is out and open, his pencil is at the top of his desk, his eyes are on me, and he is doing an excellent job of showing me that he is in a learning position.”

Time Fly’s. Always check your time. This is a good habit. Always check to see where you are and adjust your lesson accordingly. Unless you are on time…then don’t. Have a clock, watch, or even a timer in your classroom.

Procedures. If it requires the student to follow steps, even if it is simple steps make a procedure for it. Break it down to its simplest form so the kids, especially the lower ones can understand the objective. Whether it’s a procedure for going to the bathroom, lining up, entering the room, or raising your hand to answer a question, make sure you have detailed procedures for it. It will save you time and possibly one day…your life.

Attitude Control. Let’s face it; kids have excellent days and they have days that are tougher. If a child takes up attitude or has some sort of complaint, I always start off by saying, “I understand,” and I say it in a sincere manner. I say this because when students have off days, they sometimes tend to pull those around them into an argument or what I refer to as a “Great Debate,” scheme. When a student pulls out the “Great Debate,” tactic to lure you into an argument, I always start by saying, “I understand, but what I need you to do is make the good choice to….” The bottom line is this, you are letting the student know, that indeed, you really do understand and even care. But, the bottom line is they still need to follow tasks and procedures to reach a common goal as individuals and classmates. Students might not like it, but almost always, they respect it and you as the teacher.

Model Your Lesson. In my opinion, “modeling your lesson” is the single most important thing a teacher should make a habit of getting good at. If you want your students to learn it, then show them and be thorough. This means YOU, the teacher, need to demonstrate by physically showing your students how it’s done. If you can’t do this, then it can’t be a teaching priority. For example, if the kids need to see how a math equation gets solved, then by all means, break it down and show them step by step. If the students need to see how to enter the room properly, put backpacks away, and get out the items to start the day, then it is your responsibility to show them. You as the teacher set the expectation. If you model every learning opportunity, then you hold a high standard of academics and behaviors. MODEL, MODEL, MODEL!!!

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