It is important that teachers communicate their classroom management expectations to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. Ambiguous policies can make things messy for both you and in turn the students and their parents.
Here are some common mistakes you need to avoid to ensure proper classroom management:
1. Not Communicating Expectations Clearly
A lot of times teachers do not convey their classroom management expectations to students in a clear way or early enough. Since every teacher has their own unique set of traits and style of teaching, it is difficult for students to gauge how they should adapt. Important things such as rules of behavior in class, rules of engagement, consequences of bad behavior, and others should be communicated by a teacher in the first interaction itself.
For example, if you are very strict with respect to pre-reading by students before a class, you should communicate this very clearly on the first day when school starts. Not every teacher is strict about getting students to read before class. It is also something that doesn’t come naturally to them. The students should know what happens when they don’t read up before class. Will they be given a chance to read, or will they get punished or will they have to do a remedial task. Having enough information beforehand will help you maintain proper classroom management.
2. Being Inconsistent
Students are good observers of how you behave. If they see that you are strict with some and lenient with others, they will take it in a negative way. Even when you have your reasons, the students will think you are biased and it may create a negative impression about you.
Being consistent with rules will help you build trust in the classroom, and help you drive the appropriate behavior among your students.
3. Not Creating an Action Plan
Not all students have the same learning speed or style. In a class of students, it can be tough to teach in a personalized manner. As a teacher however you can easily get to know which student is lacking. Take out some time to interact with such students and help them create an action plan. The action plan should clearly describe expectations, the steps that the student needs to take, and how you will measure the progress. Without a clear action plan, such students will feel lost and eventually lose all interest in their studies.
4. Not Establishing Relationships
Building good relationships with students is the most effective way for teachers to manage their classes properly. When students have a good relationship with their teacher, they're less likely to cause trouble as they feel a sense of obligation towards you and the class as a whole. You can do this by taking out time to talk with them and meeting with them one-on-one. Find out what's going on in their lives and see if you can help with problems they might be facing. Building good relationships with your students will go a long way in making your classroom a community for students.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can set yourself up for a happy and healthy school environment. Such an environment in turn will allow you to focus on improving the student learning outcomes in your classroom.
We have also published an in-depth guide on classroom management techniques here. Do check it out if you wish to learn more about classroom management.
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