1. Use hand signals and other non-verbal communication
Holding one hand in the air, and making eye contact
with students is a great way to quiet the class and get their attention on you. It takes a while for students
to get used to this as a routine, but it works wonderfully. Have them raise their hand along with you until all are up. Then lower yours and talk.
Flicking the lights off and on once to get the attention is an oldie but goodie. It could also be something you do routinely to let them know they have three minutes to finish an assignment
or clean up, etc.With younger students, try clapping
your hands three times and teaching the children to quickly clap back twice. This is a fun and active way to get their attention
and all eyes on you.
2. Address behaviour issues quickly and wisely
Be sure to address an issue between you and a student or between two students as quickly as possible. Bad feelings on your part or the students can so quickly grow from molehills into mountains. Now, for handling those conflicts
wisely, you and the student should step away from the other students, just in the doorway of the classroom perhaps. Wait until after instruction if possible, avoiding interruption of the lesson
. Ask naive questions such as, “How might I help you?” Don’t accuse the child of anything. Act as if you do care, even if you have the opposite feeling at that moment.
The student will usually become disarmed because she might be expecting you to be angry and confrontational And, if you must address bad behaviour during your instruction, always take a positive approach. Say, “It looks like you have a question” rather than, “Why are you off task and talking?”When students have conflicts with each other, arrange for the students to meet with you at lunch, after or before school. Use neutral language as you act as a mediator, helping them resolve the problem peacefully, or at least reach an agreeable truce.
3. Always have a well-designed, engaging lesson
This tip is most important of all. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, if you don’t have a plan for them, they’ll have one for you. Always over plan. It’s better to run out of time than to run short on a lesson
.From my own first-hand experience and after many classrooms observations, something that I know for sure: Bored students equal trouble! If the lesson is poorly planned, there is often way too much talking and telling from the teacher
and not enough hands-on learning and discovery by the students. We all know engaging lessons take both serious mind and time to plan. And they are certainly worth it for many reasons. Share with us your classroom
management experiences. What specific challenges are you having? What strategies have worked well for you and your students? Please share in the comment section below.