5 MUST-HAVE TEACHING PRACTICES
Whether you are a panicking first year teacher or a fifth year teacher hoping to finally gain that 100% confidence and joy in the classroom, these effortless tips will give you the strategies, inspiration and mindset to improve your classroom management once and for all.
1. Remain emotionally constant:
Children like structure and predictability. No matter what happens, remember that you are the adult in charge: Never act frustrated, flustered or upset. Show students through your unwavering calm that you will unconditionally support their learning no matter how they test boundaries. If you do not know how to react to an outburst, simply pause and address the student, “We will discuss this later.”
2. Assume the best:
NEVER take anything personally ever and never make assumptions. Treat every single student like your very best student who is having a very bad day.
3. Be consistent:
Be consistent with expectations! Articulate expected behaviors and appropriate consequences. Then stay alert and organized to consistently uphold expectations 100% of the time. How? Jot down (or have a trustworthy student do so) off-task behaviors, warnings and consequences on a clipboard because you will forget “who did what” later. Then ALWAYS follow up with consequences. Negative and positive parent phone calls are a great way to encourage positive behaviors!
4. Don’t start with a consequence:
Follow the least invasive approach to address off-task behavior:
- Make eye contact
- Give a whole class anonymous correction or positive reminder
- Tap the student’s desk
- Say student’s name (non-aggressive tone)
- THEN privately tell the student to change a specific behavior or there will be a consequence
- THEN (an only then) give a consequence PRIVATELY.
If this least invasive continuum seems impossible and you cannot privately address a disruptive student or give them a second chance THEN postpone the specifics. For example, say, “Jack, that is the third time I had to stop instruction because of your behavior. We will discuss your consequence after class.” This lets the class know behavior is unacceptable while avoiding a power struggle.
5. Demand 100% attention:
Whenever you talk, make sure 100% of students are focused. If one student is staring out the window, stop and wait. If two kids are whispering or making faces, stop and wait. Don’t get angry, make threats or say, “I’ll wait.” JUST WAIT.
If you demand 100% attention, you must make every word count. Script your classes so every word is necessary and every direction is clear. Do not ramble or repeat yourself because students will learn to ignore you. Instead of repeating yourself, cold-call students to repeat your direction or definition in their own words.
Still struggling with a a particularly challenging student?