The characteristics of a good classroom manager are common to virtually every good teacher and essential to student achievement. The teacher is responsible for orchestrating a classroom that runs like a well-oiled machine. Students should know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Establishing a routine in the classroom, implementing procedures for common tasks, and following a predictable pattern in applying consequences for non-compliance are essential to good classroom management and student achievement.
Preparation and Time Management
Two of the most important skills of a good classroom manager are being prepared and managing class time wisely. Preparation means not only having a lesson plan in place, but also preparing the classroom for the lesson. Supplies, equipment or handouts should be close at hand so no "down time" intrudes while the teacher looks for materials. Additionally, checking technology before the lesson, to be sure that everything is properly connected and in good working order, lessens the chance that plans will be interrupted and students distracted.
Outlines and Posts Expectations
Clearly outlining academic and behavioral expectations at the beginning of the first class makes a smooth ride in the classroom possible. If the teacher covers academic and behavioral expectations verbally and provides an opportunity for questions, students start out knowing what's expected and exactly what to do to succeed. Posting these expectations will serve as a daily reminder of what actions are required for success.
Outlines and Posts Consequences
Covering academic and behavioral expectations is effective only if the students know what consequences will follow failure to meet the standard. The effective classroom manager verbally covers the consequences of non-compliance and posts these consequences in the classroom. Posting daily reminders will help to guide students' actions while they are learning responsibility. These consequences may cover misbehavior in the classroom as well as evidence of a lack of work ethic.
An effective classroom manager is consistent. Students perform best in an educational environment in which they know the routine. Establishing consistent routines facilitates classroom management and student achievement. It results in less down time and fewer discipline problems. Additionally, students accept behavioral and academic consequences better when they see that the consequences are applied consistently.
Creating a well-thought-out curriculum plan is essential to an effectively managed classroom. Teachers need to devote every minute of class time to instruction. They should map the course curriculum so that it flows, building on previously learned concepts.
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