Discipline often comes to mind at the mention of classroom management, but the crucial component of teaching is much more. Classroom management creates a set of expectations used in an organized classroom environment. It includes routines, rules and consequences. Effective classroom management paves the way for the teacher to engage the students in learning.
A disorganized classroom without routines and expectations makes it difficult for the teacher to do her job. Students don't know what to do, so they might get off task or cause disruptions. When the teacher is constantly redirecting students or handling behavior problems, she loses crucial teaching time. Classroom management strategies help create an organized classroom environment that's conducive to teaching. Kids know the expectations in different types of learning situations. For example, kids would know that when working in small groups, they talk in quiet voices and take turns talking. They might each have a specific job within the group.
Efficient Use of Time
Taking time before school starts to create routines and procedures saves you time in the long run. When the children know what to do, it becomes a natural part of the routine. After a few weeks, you don't need to tell them what to do. The students know they get their planners out, write in homework assignments and gather all of their materials at the end of the day, for example. You can get your kids out the door faster at the end of the day. When you train them how to do each part of the school day, you don't spend as much time giving directions.
A teacher with strong classroom management skills creates consistency for his students. The kids know what to expect every day when it comes to the routine activities. Your students may fare better when you're gone if you have set expectations for everyday tasks. They know how the classroom runs so they are able to help the substitute run the classroom. For example, if the kids know they're supposed to enter the room and start working on a math problem on the board, a substitute doesn't have to spend his time corralling the kids or trying to keep them occupied while everyone arrives. You can also create consistency throughout the school by aligning your management strategies with the schoolwide standards. If your school focuses on respect and responsibility, incorporate them into your classroom management techniques. The students will hear those words throughout the school and know that the expectations are the same anywhere in the building.
Fewer Behavior Problems
The main goal of classroom management is to reduce misbehavior in the classroom. Effective classroom management gives the students little time to misbehave. Because the expectations are clearly explained, the students know what they need to do. Transitions in particular are easier to control when a teacher has strong classroom management skills. For example, if you have dots on the floor for lining up and call one group at a time, the students know to listen for their groups and stand on a dot when called. Kids aren't bunched up since the dots help space them out. They won't rush and push if you only call a few students at a time. The expectations for behaviors that are part of a classroom management plan give students boundaries, as well as consequences.
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