Students misbehaving can interrupt learning and frustrate teachers, yet it occurs daily. Teachers react to bad behavior in different ways, using different disciplinary actions, directing attention elsewhere, or even ignoring the behavior. Whatever the reaction, the question remains, “How can I manage misbehavior in my classroom?” You can find dozens of tips for effective classroom management, but we wanted to share five general strategies:
- Assume the best: Assume students want to learn and participate. Assume they want to be there. Assume they want to learn good behavior and take advantage of opportunities to teach such behavior. “Assuming the best is an underlying orientation that enables us to treat both our students and ourselves with respect and dignity.” Eventually, student behavior begins to reflect positive assumptions from their teachers.
- Teach students how to better manage themselves: When students become self-regulated learners, they are more likely to stay focused and less likely to provide distractions for other students. Taking time to teach skills like listening and focusing can help students become more disciplined and self-regulated.
- Provide a safe, structured classroom: “A structured classroom often translates to a safe classroom, one where students can enjoy themselves and focus on learning.” Start on day one with clear rules and expectations. Set expectations high but keep goals attainable. Hold students accountable for their actions and be sure to hold yourself to the same standard.
- Provide effective consequences: To increase the effectiveness of consequences, it may help to wait until emotions have settled, and you’ve had time to think of a creative consequence. Be sure to follow-up with the consequence, but do it privately and with empathy.
- Offer all students equal opportunity to learn: If students aren’t able to hear what’s being taught, they can become disengaged and distracted. Installing Classroom Audio Systems and reducing environmental noise gives all students the opportunity to hear and learn.
We’d like to hear from you. Have you tried any of these techniques? What’s a strategy you’ve found works well in your classroom?