Top 10 Classroom Management Strategies

Strong fundamentals are a sure-fire way to ensure classroom management strategies work to put you in the best possible position to succeed. Ensuring that you emphasize what you want in the classroom will allow you to provide an excellent educational experience to your class.

Our 10 favorite Classroom management strategies include creating a specific seating arrangement, all the way to showing your personality in the classroom to really show who you are to your students. 

This blog post will include ideas for pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19.

When I was at school, I didn’t consider what teachers went through when dealing with classroom situations. Still, as I sit here now, I realize that how strategized the classroom was, masterful it seemed, as an educator myself in adulthood, it has taken a long time to implement in my teaching.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections With Your Students

Welcome students at the door

Teaching is all about having a social connection with the children you teach, and starting as you aim to go on allows you to build social interaction.

Having a focused classroom depends on making a great initial reaction with your students to make the difference. This could be as a handshake, fist bump, head nod, whatever it takes to show you are engaged, which allows you to set the tone for the upcoming lesson.

Define your classroom expectations

Top 10 Classroom Management Strategies Remember, you are the teacher; it is your responsibility to define how you want your classroom to look and feel is a key classroom management strategy to try.

Every student should have the ability to have the opportunity to learn, so make sure to identify any kids who are the troublemakers and make sure to call them out specifically.

One idea that works well is sitting down with the students and talking through what they define expectations as what they want to achieve from the lesson or time in school. Maybe you look at their future objectives and then work with them to create a plan about attaining this.

Another way of creating an effective classroom is to ask students to make their own expectations and break them into what should happen.

Create a specific seating arrangement

Children working in class
Photo by CDC from Pexels

I think we can all agree that when we allow kids to pick their seats it never ends well. They usually choose seats near their friends, and even worse when just chat the whole lesson.

One of the interesting alternatives though (which ironically states the opposite to the above statement) is what happens when the choice is given to kids to pick their own spaces.

There is evidence that shows that children can feel empowered by having the ability to wield their own choices in the classroom. This freedom, along with expectations set, can achieve a much more comfortable and productive classroom environment. You can also consider maybe changing the orientation of the seating arrangement, couches, comfy chairs, to give a different vibe can make a real behavior change. 

Also, try to make your students comfortable in their seats and have enough storage space for their stuff. Having some form of storage solution on their chairs, like Seatsack is a great way to allow them to be comfortable and focused and not worried about where their equipment is.

Show your personality

You are the leader of the classroom and making sure your personality shines through is crucial for a strong and conducive learning environment.

Related: Building the Learning Environment: Climate Conducive to Learning

Why do we say this?

Children like to make connections and can do this effectively with teachers based on each personality they encounter. Teachers may be humorous, strict, to the point, judgy, perceiving, etc, but as long as you promote your persona, then this gives something for kids to latch onto. Don’t try to oversell it though, if you typically run a strict classroom and then suddenly try and be funny, students will see right through this. Be honest with yourselves and your students and don’t insult you’re their intelligence.

Sprinkle in some humor

Humor can go a long, long way in engaging your students and allowing you and them to interact on numerous levels.

2 of the key attributes for teachers is to be enthusiastic in your delivery and inject humor when it is necessary.

Add in humorous quotes, add funny elements to assessments, implement a jokey jumper day, and remember, laugh at yourself as this will endear you with your students and you can display the human element between you and the children.

Use positive reinforcement

In the classroom, we always keep a focus on kids who display negative behavior and misbehave, but as we all know, giving positive energy towards those children who act in a good manner can sometimes transform a classroom into a more collaborative environment.

Now we are not saying that you should ignore bad behavior from students, and there are times you need to give punishment when it continues, making sure you congratulate good behavior can be a powerful symbol.

If certain students put the effort in to succeed, then make sure to congratulate them and let them know their efforts are noticed by you as the teacher.

Positive reinforcement is a good way to build strong classroom management strategies by giving confidence to your students when they have demonstrated positive behavior.

Praise your students, focus on their strengths, tell them what you believe they can do. Then watch quickly they reach their full potential!

Set boundaries fairly

Teacher pointing at blackboard
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Putting in place boundaries is important to have a controlled classroom environment. If you have anyone showing unruly behavior, then you have to make sure you have policies in place to deal with it.

One of the biggest things to consider is if you do enact boundaries and punishments, make sure to consistently follow through on them. If you do not keep this constant, it will add confusion to the class.

We will talk about routine further down this blog, but routine is a key metric for children, and keeping a routine by setting classroom boundaries fairly and transparently that is received and understood by your class.

Related: The Necessity of Boundaries

Apply rules the right way

We all know that setting rules in the classroom are really important, a classroom without relevant rules has the potential to cause anarchy, but how you apply those rules are of the utmost importance.

One of the most crucial parts of settings rules id to have an outline, be transparent, and practice what you preach. If you want to see a certain level of behavior, then you must lead by example.

For example, if a student is late to a class after you have told him/her the day before about being tardy and then they walk in late today and maybe tomorrow as well, you know what, it’s time to enact a warning and punishment to follow through to create an understanding between you and your class about consequences.

Provide a routine, kids can get behind

A routine in the classroom is something that will always bring positive results. Having no routine, or an unbalanced one is something which is confusing for students as they cannot see where boundaries and familiarity exist.

Also, routines come in all shapes and sizes, where some can be implemented and understood very easily, others can take a long time for the class to comprehend properly.

Maybe one routine you have is every morning kids talk about what they did the night before as an icebreaker. If one day you do not do this activity it may lead children to believe that they can do less in the evenings because their teacher isn’t that bothered anymore.

Keep up with all routines, enforce them, but be transparent about the reasons for them and how they will help your students.

Make it a fun experience

Statistics and studies tell us providing students fun experiences is paramount to stronger learning outcomes.

What kind of activities can we do to make learning fun though?

Related: Top 10 teaching strategies to keep class interesting

One way to engage kids is to get them out of their seats. This works across all ages and gets the adrenaline pumping and also asks students to think critically about the subject matter.

Another sure-fire way is to conduct group work but try something different, but people who typically

don’t work together in the same group and sure to get every member of each group to present back to the wider class. This means everyone gets the opportunity to participate and present back to the wider class who can then give constructive criticism for future development.

Lastly, create team-work tactics so that they engage in social (with peers) learning first before they ask you as the teacher for the answer. If someone asks you the answer, you ask someone else in the group if they know, if they do, get them to work with the rest of the group to work out the answer. If they don’t know, then work with them more to attain the correct answer.

Conclusion

If as teachers, we include these techniques into our classroom experiences, we can change how we manage our classes and how our classroom management strategies can increase learning outcomes with our students.

Take onboard what you already know, try to implement these ideas in your classes and you should have a successful time giving your students the best experience possible.

Classroom management strategies come in all shapes and sizes, and these are just a few to enable you to provide the best learning experiences for your students. The other part of this is not all of these may fit into how you run your classroom currently, but if you can integrate some, you should have a more positive learning environment.

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