Becoming an Effective Classroom Manager

Check out our list of tips for becoming an effective classroom manager.

You have two primary goals as an educator at the beginning of the year. Collaboration and superior achievement are your two expectations. You want your learners to cooperate to learn and perform at their highest ability level.

Make a class environment by developing a vision for your ideal working environment. It is easier to develop a class- room management plan if you have ideas and experiences to draw from.

Frame the class management plan around a  courteous,  caring, respect-filled vision. Learners who perceive that you care about them will perform better academically, are less likely to have behavior difficulties, and are more likely to be motivated. Take the vision, and transform it into guidelines.

Carry your class management plan simply. Creating a complicated management plan means that you will have to use an elaborate record system with consequences. You only need to record absences, unexcused absences and tardies.

Construct a caring, trusting relationship with your learners by talking to them and taking an interest in who they are. Once positive relationships are in place, resolving problems and maintaining a good working relationship are much easier. Some learners are easy to like and connect with, but others may fray your nerves. Regardless, show all learners that you care.

Before school, in the morning, stand near your class door and greet learners using their first names. This serves several purposes. First, you personally welcome learners to class. Second, you can add a kind word or ask a question such as, “Great art show. I really loved your drawing…” or “Did you get the message I sent to you about…” Lastly, you may be the initial grown-up who talks to them that morning. As the educator, you have just provided a short but meaningful interaction that tells students they are a part of your group and you are glad to see them.

Initiate activities and unique experiences in your class that build traditions. Learners talk about the activities and look forward to being in the class because they are a part of a tradition that encourages positive feelings and a sense of pride. For instance, create a “Wall of Pride” where pictures of learners are posted because they met a challenge in the class. Each year more teams of learners are added. In kindergarten, students could celebrate one hundred days of school by bringing one hundred items to school. In sixth grade, all students could be involved in a medieval parade through the halls prior to the end of the unit. In tenth grade, learners could participate in a Civil War reenactment. Learners will remember and talk about these experiences for years.

Find out that everything you do in the class—tone of voice, facial expression, body movements, and stance—sends a message to learners. Once you call a learner by their first name, respond with a “please” and “thank you,” or greet learners with a smile, you immediately send a positive message that this is a friendly, inviting environment.

Carry a current list (paper copy) of your learners,  parent/guardian names, addresses, and phone numbers. Put the list in a bright envelope, drawer, or cabinet for easy access in case of a fire or natural disaster. You are responsible for your group of learners. If you need a roll call, you will have names in hand.

Ask learners to bring only their books, pencils/pens, and paper to class to maximize space. If learners bring their backpacks, find a place away from the teaching area to place them during class. Cluttered rooms can cause learners to trip or be frustrated.

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