The objectives of classroom management are for students to gain behavioral, social and academic success in a structured environment that caters to tolerance, exemplary behavior and learning. Effective classroom management means implementing strategies that create a safe, fair and rule-based learning environment for children to flourish in. Prompting and assisting students to understand the procedures and expectations of the teacher and classroom through positive reinforcement, high expectations and discipline instills independence and enhances student growth.
The goal and result of a well-managed classroom is structure. Teachers provide structure through creating and staying on a schedule, planning curriculum and extension activities and exhibiting preparedness. Students model behavior and work after the teacher, so modeling responsibility, pride, appropriate language and high expectations helps students do the same. Classroom structure is maintained through rule-based procedures such as morning routines that focus kids on an academic task when first entering the classroom, center routines that promote moving from one center to the next when cued, lining up for lunch or recess, getting books out at the beginning of each class, cleaning the classroom, and packing bags before dismissal.
A goal of classroom management is a sound and rule-based environment that represents a setting where learning occurs. A system of rules and consequences that define and promote tolerance of classmates and teachers through respect and high standards for individual and group behavior results in a safe learning environment that students feel comfortable entering and participating within. Rules should be written, posted and implemented to exhibit positive discipline including specifics such as sharing materials, taking turns, raising hands, cleaning, using respectful language, and completing class work and homework within designated time limits. Reviewing the rules daily and referencing them to showcase or reward students who are obeying, or to discipline those who are disobeying with a warning, reprimand or consequence leads to consistency and establishes the teacher as the authority figure of the classroom.
Student academic achievement is an objective of classroom management. Teachers create student achievement through upholding high expectations by alerting students to the quality of behavior and work that is accepted within the classroom and school. This occurs through ongoing encouragement, positive peer pressure, adherence to rules and modeling. Conferencing with students and parents regularly provides communication and a forum in which to assert expectations. Class discussions on effort and using exemplary student work as proof of reaching and surpassing goals establishes students as role models, helping others aspire to gain attention for above-average work. Posting high-achieving work or behavior awards on bulletin boards builds self-esteem and pride in children, influencing them to continue exceeding expectations.
Classroom management achieves the goal of teachers catering to the individual student by providing different types of modalities for kids to gain and apply knowledge such as those in accordance with Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory (see Resources). Classrooms that engage students in learning and following procedures offer more opportunities for teachers to implement effective instruction through experiential learning activities and differentiated instruction to students on a one-on-one basis or in small groups. An educator can entrust a well-managed class to follow procedure and directions while she attends to varying student needs and ability levels.
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