You must master this one concept: There are only two Classroom Management Theories that actually work.
Classroom Management Theories 101:
Students won’t learn from a boring teacher.
Without a doubt, a bored student is not exerting effort to master new material. They are asleep. They are daydreaming. They are wishing for the fun teacher across the hall. Boredom is a punishment. Boredom is the opposite of engagement. Boring a student is just like knocking the textbook off their desk while they’re trying to learn!
Classroom Management Theories 102:
Chaos prevents the possibility of learning.
That means the teacher better be prepared. You better control your class. Better know where every tool you need is at a moment’s notice. Better have a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C – and a Plan P which is how in the heck you are going to go to the bathroom.
The importance of implementing these classroom management theories cannot be overstressed. Good classroom management instills discipline in your students automatically. What is discipline? The word itself is a form of disciple—a student! So instilling discipline is training and teaching your classroom for success; turning them into good, effective students.
Classroom routines save time and stress for you and your kids
A school classroom requires smooth classroom routines that are understood and cooperatively implemented by the whole class – not just the teacher. You need effective behavior management strategies. Those are the techniques you use to handle the common disruptions in a school classroom. Then you need behavior management plans for those students who are more impulsive and disruptive to keep them a part of the class, a part of the team and engaged in learning up to and even surpass their potential. How can you get a child to go past their learning potential? By expanding their reach.
You need good, solid, tight classroom routines if you want to set up your classroom for success. Why? Every pause in the action, every transition, is a challenge to the class’s ability to wait quietly. It strains their cognitive resources.
If you waste three minutes looking for a worksheet, you are going to have to re-settle the class all over again.
Every teacher has some challenges with these two classroom management theories and for me it is organization. My ability to lose track of papers is so funny it isn’t funny. But I am an amazingly effective teacher. How to balance the two?
In every class I teach, I find the student who is a little OCD. This is the one who tells you there is only one minute of class left and they get bent out of shape if you have to switch their seats. When I’d have an important paper I’d wave it up in the air and say, “See this class – see Daniel? I am putting the tests right here in the first file of my (locking) cabinet. So Friday when you see I can’t find them, let me know.”
As much as they hate taking tests, they love feeling superior even more.
So what are your tricks and tools for staying entertaining and organized? Tell us about your classroom management theories in the comments.