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Classroom Management: Keys to Success

manageStruggling with classroom management will not only make a teacher absolutely miserable, but this issue will also keep students from learning.  Being a quality classroom manager is one of the keys to professional success.  Accomplished classroom managers provide these keys to help you keep your students engaged.

Always have a well-designed, engaging lesson. It sounds simple, but if you don’t have a plan for them, students will make plans of their own.  One key is to always overplan. It’s better to run out of time than to run short on a lesson.  When students are bored, you are certain to lose control.

Use a normal, natural voice. Some teachers think that raising their voices to get students’ attention is the first line of defense against a class who is beginning to stray.  Students will mirror your voice level, and raising your voice raises stress.  Make sure your voice level is declarative or matter-of-fact when providing directions.  Make sure your voice level is conversational and inviting when leading discussions or asking questions.

Speak only when students are quiet and ready. Wait time is key.  Your commitment to this practice will pay off.   Generally, students will do the majority of the work to get everyone quiet.  Make this practice non-negotiable.

Establish non-verbal quiet-down routines. You have to find a procedure that works for you and your students.  Here are a few suggestions.  Raise your hand, and students raise theirs until everyone is focused.  Turn the lights off and on to let students know they have two minutes to finish up.  Clap a pattern, and have students repeat that pattern.

Address behavior issues quickly and wisely.  When a disruption must be addressed during class, use a positive approach.  For example– “It seems you have a question for us.” rather than “I have asked you to stop talking; why do you continue to defy me?” When the problem can be handled after class or in the hall, you can preserve the dignity of the student.  Even one on one, stay calm and positive in order to ensure a better chance of reaching a constructive outcome.

To learn more, visit “5 Quick Classroom-Management Tips for Novice Teachers” by Rebecca Alber

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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