The Importance of Routines in Classroom Settings

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Classrooms -- particularly those with young children -- need to have routines. These routines help you maintain order and also help the kids stay calm. If there is a set activity for every part of the day, you will be able to focus more on your teaching and less on giving instructions and generally controlling the class. This is just one of many reasons routines are important for teachers.

1 Guesswork

Making things up as you go can be extremely exhausting. Routines take away the need to do this as often as you would without them. Rather than think up an activity for students to do when, for example, they first come in, you can simply direct them to their routine and let them manage themselves for a few minutes. Using routines doesn't completely eliminate guesswork and the capacity for you to improvise. It does, however, allow you to focus more energy into the times you do need to guess and improvise, which makes your teaching more effective.

2 Behavior Management

Students often misbehave to fill a stimulation gap. If there is nothing going on around them, some students will make their own activity by messing with another student or by talking out of turn. Routines help to minimize this behavior by constantly giving students something to do. If students know what is expected of them at certain times of the day, they will follow through with these tasks rather than invent their own less-constructive activities.

3 Fun

Routines can be fun, too. If, for example, you have students clean up their desks every day before lunch, you can make it a game by playing a song with a set length. When they hear the song, they need to clean up their desks as fast as they can. By having this as part of their regular routine, they start to enjoy school and the routine it provides rather than seeing routine as a chore.

4 Responsibility

If you have a set routine, you can have your students carry out daily tasks that require a high level of responsibility. They may not perfect it the first or even second time, but doing something every day is a surefire way to become proficient at it. Added responsibility also improves student self-esteem. This helps their social intelligence and makes school something they look forward.

Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.