I’ve been reading a lot of posts and blogs about classroom management problems and
A lot depends on your principal, the other teachers and the expectations of
parents and the community. It’s left to you to make decisions in your classroom
how to fulfill those expectations and keep students engaged and learning. How
to do this? As I read some of the posts and problems, I came to
understand that there are several contributing factors that create a
“gap” in a teacher’s abilities in classroom management. One is that
developing classroom management skills isn’t necessarily one of the top
priorities of Music Education programs, or education programs in general. Two,
classroom management skills come naturally to some people. Three; life
experience, personality and desire all contribute to “successful”
are a multitude of situations that might make it seem difficult for teachers to
have or implement classroom management skills:
you’re a first year teacher trying to keep her head above water with lesson
plans and curriculum?
you’re burned out?
you’re teaching students who live in a different socio-economic or even
culturally different environment than your personal experience?
you have students this year who present challenges like you’ve never had
you just don’t know what to do?
your teaching situation has changed dramatically–you’re teaching on a stage, a
hallway, or more students than ever?
you are unprepared for the task of creating a good classroom management plan?
are a lot of reasons that classroom management
techniques and skills may fall through the cracks. Most
all, I think teachers need to be true to themselves and be comfortable with
whatever plan they implement.
While this may be true…it doesn’t have to stick–YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE!
So here are 5 GENERAL IDEAS I’ve come up with
that I think will work with pretty much any “plan” or
BE FAIR-make rules that are specific and easy to understand. “Be Quiet” is nice, but does it mean all the time? “Line up Quietly” works better.
BE FIRM-Not rigid, but stick to your consequences and apply them to all. Yes, even that cute 3rd grade girl who always does everything right. If students blurt out and shout and the consequence is to write about it-then make them do it.
BE COOL- Keep calm, be true to your best self. When a 6th grader says, “and who gives you the authority to tell me what to do?” and begins to leave the classroom–don’t holler, panic–get the rest of the class sitting down quietly and get to the phone for help. Confronting this student probably won’t solve the problem.
BE CLEAR-students need specific goals and directions. As adults we’ve conquered the skills we’re asking students to learn. Begin with 2 note composition before students right a whole song.
BE KIND-I think we can be kind when we stick to our consequences. We don’t need to be angry or bothered.
These are tough things to do daily–when we’re tired, or sick ourselves, but if we are consistent in our actions we gain the respect we need for good classroom management.
I think the best advice I can give is this; Be true to who you are, accept your limitations and embrace new ideas-take a risk and try something new.
The more I teach the more I believe that games and activities contribute to great classroom management. Here are a couple of products that I’ve made that work for any classroom:
Get ready for the next school year with this jam packed resource of lessons, decor, planner, songs, games, activities to set up your classroom.