Classroom Management Strategies

Why Principals Don’t Praise – Smart Classroom Management – Education Article

It’s not just you. Really, it isn’t. Many principals don’t praise anyone. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when you’re ignored or your good work goes unnoticed. Whether you’re a veteran or brand-new teacher, everyone appreciates well-earned recognition. Everyone appreciates positive feedback. After all, it lets you know if you’re on the right track. Oh sure, they expect you to do it. They want to hear you praise everything that moves. But for them, it’s as if they lose…

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How To Handle Students Who Complain – Education Article

You pour your heart into your job. You love your students, even when they’re not so lovable. You plan and create interesting lessons and deliver them with energy. So when a student complains, often within full earshot of the class, it can be infuriating. Few things get under a teacher’s skin as deeply. “Why do we have to do this?” “This is sooo boring.” “Oh no, not that again.” It can take willpower not to reply with a sharp, “Because…

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How To Stop Your Class From Calling Out – Education Article

Maybe you haven’t been as consistent lately. Maybe you’ve lost a bit of control. Whatever the reason, it can sneak up on you quickly. Before you know it, so many students are calling out without raising their hand that it becomes impossible to enforce. Now you’re struggling just to get through lessons, and their behavior is becoming more brazen and disrespectful. So how do you fix it? You break them of the habit. Here’s how: 1. Have a rule. If…

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Are Your Class Rules Enforceable? – Education Article

Last week, I shared a way to make sure your class rules cover every possible misbehavior. But if you did the exercise, you may have noticed something strange. Something you weren’t sure what to do with. Something left over. You see, the exercise was designed to reveal not only weaknesses in your classroom management plan, but also rules you don’t need. Some readers even discovered that none of their rules covered actual disruptions. How can this be? Well, it’s common…

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7 Reasons Your Students Dislike You – Education Article

Likability is a key principle of SCM—because it makes building rapport effortless. It causes students to want to listen to you, please you, and behave for you. It helps make your consequences matter. Being disliked, on the other hand, makes classroom management far more difficult. It’s the reason many teachers struggle year after year, why they find themselves pleading, arguing, and bribing just to get through the day. The problem with turning it around, however, is that it can be…

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Back to Basics in the Classroom – Education Article

After a fifteen-year hiatus from teaching musicianship classes (I typically teach undergraduate music theory core classes and graduate classes), I taught Musicianship 1 last semester which opened my eyes to the many challenges teachers face on a daily basis at my institution. It probably won’t come as a surprise, but I noticed immediately, as a whole, entering first-year students are not as prepared today to be music majors as when I first started my career more than 20 years ago.…

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The Best Time To Review Your Classroom Management Plan – Education Article

No, it’s not when your class has gone off the rails. It’s not after a chaotic lesson. And it’s not when your teacherly sense tells you you should. —Although these are all indeed good reasons to review your plan. No, the best time to review your classroom management plan is . . . When everything is going perfectly. Here’s why: It reinforces your students’ trust in you. By revisiting your behavior expectations out of the blue, as well as the…

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The Best Classroom Management Strategy For A Crazy Class – Education Article

No, your class isn’t terrible. They’re just silly, unfocused, excitable. In a word, crazy. It’s frustrating because you’ve been over your classroom management plan again and again. And they do get it. In fact, individually they’re great kids. It’s just, as a group they tend to get out of hand. They waste time and chat, and you struggle to get through lessons. This is a common scenario. You like your students, and at times they do really well—so you know…

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Should You Write Names On The Board To Keep Track Of Consequences? – Education Article

It’s a common practice. One teachers have been doing since time immemorial. A student breaks a class rule and you write their name on the board. Check marks follow any further transgression. It’s a simple way of keeping track of consequences that also acts as a visual reminder to students. So what, if anything, isn’t to like? Well, a lot. In fact, here at SCM we recommend you suspend the practice. Here’s why: 1. It’s humiliating. Having your name written…

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How To Fix A Talkative Class – Education Article

Unwanted talking is near the top of the list of teacher frustrations. Although not considered severe misbehavior, it can nonetheless severely disrupt learning. It can hijack listening, shatter concentration, and cause other students to join in as well. It’s a thorny issue—because it’s hard to know why it’s happening, what you’re doing wrong, and why none of the strategies you try seem to work. It can make you question whether stopping it is even possible. “Maybe I just have to…

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The Best Classical Music For The Classroom – Education Article

Classical music has many wonderful benefits for the classroom. Studies have shown that it can . . . reduce stress and anxiety improve memory increase productivity enhance concentration raise well-being spark creativity I like to put the music on as students are entering the classroom and carrying out their first routine of the day. It helps set the tone and puts them in the proper mindset for learning. It also has a strong calming effect and helps keep excitability at…

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6 Signs You’re A Pushover – Education Article

It’s common for teachers to have blind spots. —Areas they’re unaware of but have a negative impact on classroom management. Being perceived by students as a pushover is a prime example. They all know it. But the teacher doesn’t have a clue. This is a big problem because unless you’re aware of your weaknesses, you can’t address them. You’ll continue to struggle and not know why. Pushover-ism is especially insidious because it causes animosity and makes building influential relationships virtually…

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How To Eliminate The Gray Area From Your Class Rules – Education Article

The gray area occurs when you witness behavior you don’t like. —But are uncertain whether or not it breaks a class rule. The problems associated with gray areas are legion and profound. They . . . cause you to be inconsistent. compel you to question, remind, lecture, etc. increase your stress level. weaken your authority. lead to arguments, resentment, and hurt feelings. encourage more and more misbehavior. Here at SCM, we receive a lot of questions about gray areas and…

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How To Not Quit Teaching – Education Article

Four of every ten new teachers leave the profession within five years. That is a staggering number. It’s made all the more alarming given that teacher shortages in the US are expected to exceed 300,000 by 2020. Although low starting pay, large class sizes, and lack of autonomy are certainly factors . . . Most of the reasons for dissatisfaction are within the teacher’s control. That isn’t to say that it’s their fault. Teacher ed. programs do a terrible job…

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A Big Reason Why You May Be Struggling With Classroom Management – Education Article

There is a common trait among teachers who struggle with classroom management. Not every struggling teacher has it. The vast majority, however, do. I’ve mentioned this trait before and its effect on giving consequences. But the problems actually go much deeper. So deep, in fact, that they can infect everything from motivation to listening to how well your students enjoy being in your classroom. In most areas of life, it can be a wonderful trait—something you’d want in a best…

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Why Allowing Your Students To Talk Can Be An Effective Classroom Management Strategy – Education Article

It’s common to assume that allowing students to talk to whomever they want about whatever they want is a bad thing. That it wastes time. That it gets them off track. That it riles them up and causes misbehavior. But when you decide when and how it’s done, it’s nothing of the sort. In fact, giving students a few minutes to stand, stretch their legs, and chat with a friend can be an effective classroom management strategy. Here’s why: It…

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