Whether you want to start the year off right, ward off the winter slump or end the year strong, classroom management can be tough! First year teachers and veteran teachers can use these behavior management tips and instructional strategies to prevent teacher burn out! Use these effortless tips and enjoy a joyful classroom culture!
Classroom Management Tip
Be emotionally constant. Never act frustrated, flustered or upset. No matter what your students are doing, you maintain your authority if you remain calm and composed.
Your body language is a big part of emotional constancy: Keep your tone flat, your eyes soft, and your hands behind your back or folded in front of your waist. Speak slowly, stand tall, keep your legs straight, and face the student(s) in question.
If the entire class is off-task, simply wait without using any words until the class settles down. You can always write a note on the board and then silently face the class until they are silent. Once students are 100% silent and focused, wait several more moments before speaking. Do not immediately launch into a lecture or a consequence. This will likely start the outburst again. Instead say, “Thank you for getting silent and tracking me. Those of you who were on-task all period will get a positive phone call (email, note, etc.) home. Those of you who were off-task have the reminder of class to show improvement. At the end of class, I will inform you if you have earned a consequence.” Silence and calm are more powerful tools than shouting and threats.
If one student is acting out, simply pause and address the student in a calm voice, “We will discuss this later.” This avoids a power struggle over specifics while letting the class know you do not tolerate misbehavior.
When teachers are transparent, students are more engaged. A simple instructional strategy is to always post the class agenda with time stamps on the board so students know what to expect. At the start of class, explain how the day’s lesson builds on previous lessons and matters for longterm goals. You can also incentivize student engagement by framing focus and cooperation as a fun challenge:
- “If we can copy these 5 new concepts in 5 minutes, then we will have time for 15 minutes of partner work.”
- “If we all remain 100% on-task and focused for the next five minutes while I introduce the new unit, I will know I can trust you to work in groups instead of independently on the independent practice activity.”
If you are overwhelmed with lesson-planning, find tons of free and low-cost CCSS-aligned ELA activities, lessons, unit plans, projects and behavior solutions perfect for the end of the year at my TpT store.
CCSS-Aligned Video Activity
Play the “Like a Girl” video and either provide a half sheet prompt or ask students to copy the following prompt into their notebooks: “When and why did doing something like a girl become a bad thing?” OR “What advice do YOU have for a girl when someone tells her they do something like a girl?”
Inspirational Bell Ringer: Have Students Paraphrase a Quote
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” Herman Hesse
Work Life Balance
Don’t make your commute stressful, make it a sacred time to relax! Here are some ways you can make the most of your commute:
- Listen to an enlightening or interesting podcast
- Listen to a book on tape
- Get excited: Write down personal, finance, and travel goals.