Everything you need to know about managing a classroom
Why is effective classroom management crucial?
Classroom management is vital to effective teaching practices because, at its core, it’s about creating an environment in which pupils can learn effectively.
That means your classroom isn’t seen as a boring or unsettling place to be but is seen as an intellectually stimulating, challenging, and supportive environment. When your classroom is somewhere your pupils want to be, they are more likely to engage and more likely to achieve their potential. Better still, they are more likely to enjoy their learning; and as the research shows, happy pupils learn more.
Two essential components of good classroom management are strong communication and simple, non-distracting admin. That’s why in this blog, we’ll explore a few strategies and digital tools that can help teachers stay focused on what really matters in the classroom: engaging their students.
What is classroom communication?
To be effective, classroom management requires good classroom communication. But classroom communication doesn’t refer to all the communication within a classroom, it specifically refers to the communication that takes place between the teacher and their class.
What is communication in the classroom? Well, it can be both verbal and nonverbal, but what matters is that what’s being communicated is clear. This is important because if pupils don’t understand what a staff member is trying to say they can’t respond accordingly. If this lack of response doesn’t lead to clearer communication (i.e., a staff member getting frustrated or angry), it can lead to a communication breakdown and disrupt the process of classroom management.
How to connect and communicate with kids
- Establish boundaries
Clear boundaries are useful for both pupils and teachers. If pupils know what they can and cannot do within a classroom, there are no grey areas if they break those rules. This is useful for teachers because this means they can establish consequences and restore order when they need to.
- Set a good tone
This can be as simple as welcoming your pupils as they enter. Let them know you know who they are and what they’re interested in, ask them about their interests, engage them from before the lesson even begins and start on a high.
- Encourage involvement
Learning isn’t a passive activity. When was the last time you sat and listened to someone describe something and then intimately understood it? That doesn’t mean some passive information transfer can’t be part of the lesson, but for that transfer to become learning your pupils need to interact with it, whether that’s through discussion (young people have plenty of opinions!) or activity.
- Show your pupils respect
It’s a tale as old as time but respect goes both ways. If you want your class to respect you, you need to respect them. That means understanding that they are all different, that they have things they want to say, that they have various needs that may need to be met, and that their questions are valid.
Classroom management strategies
So, we’ve established how to aid better communication, but what other steps can teachers put in place to aid better classroom management?
- Be consistent
Set up a routine for your lessons so your class know what to expect and when to expect it. This doesn’t mean you should lack flexibility when problems arise, but it means that pupils can relax and learn in your lessons because they equally understand what’s expected of them. Using our Attendance Tracking Software can help you simply and easily track attendance, manage authorisation, send alerts, and connect with other teachers and parents, without taking your attention away from your class.
- Stay calm
Remaining calm in the face of tricky situations and disruptive students is as beneficial for your class as it is for you. It makes it less enjoyable for those pupils to act out, making it easier for them and everyone else to pay attention.
- Have a laugh
Finding the moments when it’s appropriate to laugh with your class is a great way create a balance between work and fun. Lessons can’t be all fun or nothing would get done, but no one can work solidly without breaks. Finding moments for laughter can give your students permission to enjoy your lessons and can be an especially powerful tool for keeping calm when things go wrong.
- Lead by example
Never expect your pupils to do something that you don’t model. If you want them to put their phones away, you need to do the same. If you want them to be attentive and lesson, then you need to do the same when they’re speaking.
- Explain your rules
You might think it’s obvious why you have certain standards and boundaries in place, but to children and teenagers, it might not be. If you want them to respect certain rules, it can be helpful to explain why you’ve created them in the first place. For example, if there are certain parts of the lesson during which you need them to just listen, explain that that’s because there’s something specific you need them to understand because they might be tested on it at some point.
How can our services enhance your classroom management strategy?
At ReachMoreParents, we have a range of tools you can use to aid effective communication and classroom management in your school which can all be included as part of our ReachMoreParents Platform.
For example, our Meal Manager helps keep lunchtimes calm, our Attendance Tracking Software reduces the administrative burden on staff, allowing them to focus on supporting their pupils, and our Homework App and Parent App help to bridge the gap between school and home.
In addition, our ReachMoreParents platform is designed to strengthen the lines of communication between parents and teachers by making it easy to share communications from the classroom. Whether by sharing successes, activities, test scores, or concerns seamlessly with parents, with ReachMoreParents schools can create an environment that deals with issues proactively and rewards good behaviour and achievements.
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