How can teachers maintain control in their class when choosing classroom management over discipline?

While completing coursework to become an educator, many undergraduates envision nurturing pure, young minds and preparing students for adulthood. Once in the field and assigned to a class, many teachers find that education involves a lot more than simply teaching. Every child is different and, at times, behavior must be corrected to maintain the quality of education inside the classroom.

While children learn behavior at home and in the world, teachers have the ability to be a life-changing positive force in the eyes of a student. In “THE Classroom Management Book,” Harry and Rosemary Wong reveal, “Classroom management consists of the practices and procedures a teacher uses to maintain an environment in which instruction and learning can take place.” The Wongs distinguish between management and discipline by explaining that the former involves procedures and the latter is based in behavior. Teachers must plan effective class management and choose this method over discipline – it does not simply happen.

To become an early influencer for a student, a teacher must choose the role they want to play: manager or disciplinarian. Implement the following procedures to set a tone in which classroom management is favored over discipline.

Classroom ManagementMake Every Morning Bright

Each day, as students enter the classroom, say hello to each individual and greet them by name. Through vocalizing and setting an example of showing they are important, students are more likely to return the favor by being respectful of their teacher, fellow students, and the overall classroom environment. Repeating this action each morning instills in students a feeling of consistency to the start of the day, thereby easing a teacher’s classroom management process.

Let Them Teach You

Remembering  the smaller details of 25 to 30 people (or up to 120 at the middle and high school level) can be difficult, but as mentioned in the point above, showing care and concern for students can greatly promote classroom management. Try to learn about a hobby and interest for each student and engage them about these topics. Simply asking about a new comic book release, sporting event, or dance recital could have a great impact. It’s important to not favor a few particular students. For this method to effectively promote quality classroom management, every student in the class must feel valued.

Perform Extra Credit

Set aside quiet time to brainstorm regarding unique approaches to have students begin working as soon as they are inside the classroom. Many adults remember the daily “Do Now” or “Objective” posted to the blackboard each day. By posting the day’s work before the start of class, teachers reveal the direction in which the lesson will head. As students enter the classroom, they will see an assignment on which they must begin working immediately, leaving no time for behavioral issues to arise and hinder classroom management.

Mix It Up!

Classroom ManagementTeachers who implement successful classroom management often become the most memorable and are recalled fondly for the unique, enriching experience they provided. One such teacher would create four to six groups of five students and arrange a schedule on the blackboard. Next to the name of each group, the teacher listed different activities – such as playing chess or other strategic games, navigating technology, or free reading –  for every day of the week. The schedule would change weekly, which reduced the possibility of students becoming bored and added an element of excitement each Monday. Students in the groups would perform the designated activity for a specific time, allowing students to have their own unique experience for part of their day.

Be Like the Earth

Rotate and revolve! Proximity is one of the easiest ways to manage student behavior. Instead of standing at the board and delivering your lesson for the entire class period, walk around the classroom and among the students to ensure that they are on-task and engaged. The simple knowledge that you could be walking by their desk at any moment is enough to prevent most students from engaging in negative behaviors. If a student is misbehaving, stand next to them and touch their desk to let them know that you are there and aware of what they are doing. This classroom management strategy is typically sufficient to end the behavior – without you ever raising your voice or drawing more attention to the student’s misbehavior.

Implementing classroom management allows teachers to engage with students on a level that promotes learning and mutual respect. Teachers don’t want to be the disciplinarian and students don’t want to feel like they’re always in trouble. Choose classroom management and students will follow by fulfilling their duty as students.

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