Classroom/Behavior Management Tips for Teachers
"You may be having behavior management and/or classroom management difficulties if . . ."
Students are allowed to enter your classroom without settling down as they enter your door.
TIP: Greet students in a cordial manner to get attention.
You do NOT have something for the students to begin as soon as they enter your classroom.
TIP: Agenda on the board, routine of opening their notebooks and copying the agenda settles the class and prepares them for learning. (Anticipatory Set)
You do NOT verbally communicate the objective or agenda for the day.
TIP: Students need to know what they are to learn or do that day.
You have unrealistic expectations of the students.
TIP: Find where the students are and bring them up in the time you have with them. Some students are going to fail this year; you can NOT make a child learn.
You battle for power in your classroom, and try to win arguments with students.
TIP: What you expect and what is proper in a classroom is not up for debate. You are losing when you argue with students, and lose your composure with them.
Your anger about something OUTSIDE your classroom is taken out on the students.
TIP: Problems independent of the task in your classroom should be dealt with at the appropriate time in the appropriate manner.
You allow students to get up from their seats to do various tasks without your permission. (throwing away paper, come to your desk, visiting others, answering the door, etc.)
TIP: Students' desks should be warm to the touch because of 50 minutes of sitting. The more they get up the greater the opportunity for behavior problems.
You have no standard or consistent rules or routines in your class to dictate the way things are done.
TIP: If students know what to expect from you each day, they are more likely to give you what you want if there are fair consequences.
You do NOT like to call parents, or you do not think that you have the time to call them.
TIP: Be consistent in letting parents know when a child is misbehaving, but also when a child is doing well. The word will get around that you will make contact with parents.
The only way that you know to solve a problem is writing a disciplinary report.
TIP: Trust your own ability to solve some problems; you do not want to communicate that you have no authority in your own classroom.
The pace of your lesson and activities are such that students have time to get involved in "socializing" with others or otherwise off task.
TIP: Your routine needs to be such that there is no time to do any other activity that is not germane to the lesson. One learning activity immediately follows another. (smooth transition)
Your entire lesson is all lecture and/or teacher directed.
TIP: This generation of students is accustomed to constant stimulus change. Varying your activity in each lesson addresses different learning styles and individual differences.
TIP: You would be amazed what you can accomplish through cooperative learning. (Ask Bonner, Johnston, and Adams.)
You do NOT model the behavior you want your students to exhibit.
TIP: It is okay to be cordial and respectful to children; it shows the kind of communication you expect from them to you and their classmates.
You forget that you are the adult.
TIP: You can NOT be the adult figure, and talk to the students as if you are one of their peers. (getting into their business and making inappropriate comments)
You spend too much time on one activity and they become bored.
TIP: Read your audience and vary your activities.
There are no incentives to do well in your classroom.
TIP: For many students, the inherent motivation to learn is not there. We have to find ways to motivate and build self esteem to succeed. When students succeed in your classroom, they want to come to your room, and you are their favorite teacher.
Students bolt out of your classroom when the bell rings.
TIP: The bell is to communicate when it is time for the next class, but the teacher dismisses the students.
Students are bored in your class.
TIP: Teachers are not hired to entertain, but learning can be fun.
Add variety and interest to your lessons. (interesting to them may not necessarily be interesting to an adult)
TIP: Students can have some say in their learning-within reason.
You feel that you must address every mistake to the fullest degree of punishment.
TIP: Some inappropriate behaviors can be ignored, if you simply continue with the lesson or simply look at the child.
You have so many rules that it is easy to break several in one class period.
TIP: The more rules you have the more opportunities for infractions.
You tend to overreact to every behavior, thus lose control.
TIP: When students find that you have a volatile behavior, it becomes a game to get you out of control. They win!