Tips for Effective Classroom Management

According to Fred Jones' Positive Classroom Discipline, "The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag."

It's also probably the least effective.

How can you avoid making that technique your own and create a "climate for learning"? This week, Education World looks to the experts -- teachers who've "been there, done that" and found a better way -- for answers.

Howard Miller, Associate Professor of Education at Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Missouri) suggests 12 steps teachers can take at the beginning of the year to promote effective classroom management.

  1. Develop a set of written expectation you can live with and enforce.
  2. Be consistent. Be consistent. Be consistent.
  3. Be patient with yourself and with your students.
  4. Make parents your allies. Call early and often. Use the word "concerned." When communicating a concern, be specific and descriptive.
  5. Don't talk too much. Use the first 15 minutes of class for lectures or presentations, then get the kids working.
  6. Break the class period into two or three different activities. Be sure each activity segues smoothly into the next.
  7. Begin at the very beginning of each class period and end at the very end.
  8. Don't roll call. Take the roll with your seating chart while students are working.
  9. Keep all students actively involved. For example, while a student does a presentation, involve the other students in evaluating it.
  10. Discipline individual students quietly and privately. Never engage in a disciplinary conversation across the room.
  11. Keep your sense of perspective and your sense of humor.
  12. Know when to ask for help.

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