The school year is well underway and there’s a good chance that you’ve had classroom management on your mind from time to time. Whether you’re teaching primary age learners, teenagers, or even adults, you will face challenges and have questions and doubts.
We asked you to share your top classroom management tips and we got a great response. Here is a selection of your top advice.
1. Establish clear rules and consequences
Anna J., who teaches children, teenagers and adults in Poland says “establish the rules together with the students.” This helps young students feel involved in the process and helps them better understand how they need to behave and why.
Linked to this, she says it’s also important to “be consistent when students break the rules.” This is key, because it stops students feeling that you are treating individuals differently, and establishes you as a fair leader – leading into her next point to “be the example to follow” – students need to see you as a role model in the classroom, so always be aware of how enthusiastic you are about activities and your students’ progress.
Anna also says to “allow for the age and level of your students” – we agree that it’s important not to be too hard on very young learners.
Juliana, who teaches primary learners in Brazil, concurs, saying “I suggest teachers work on an agreement with the students. The rules must be clear from day one.” She says you can negotiate rules and consequences with students.
2. Be an authority figure
As well as setting rules, it’s important to show students that they must listen to you. Silvia teaches adults in Argentina. She establishes authority and expectation in the classroom in a friendly, professional way: “Something I always say, especially in big, possibly noisy/talkative groups, is that ‘I love listening to what everyone has to say, so please make sure you do the same.’”
“Set the tone by telling them your major expectations and repeat, repeat, repeat for at least the first two weeks,” says Maura, who teaches Grade 8 learners in the USA. “But keep that list short. Basically, I review the school-wide student expectations – be respectful, be responsible, and be reliable.”
3. Build rapport with your class
A big part of maintaining control in the classroom is showing you care about your students as individuals. Katherine, who teaches across all levels in Colombia, says you should “learn names as soon as possible”.
RT, a teens teacher in Switzerland explains it’s essential that you “establish goals, respect, trust, as well as clear boundaries” from the very beginning of the course.
And Lacey, who teaches college students in Canada suggests being “very welcoming and prepared”. She says to “state the objectives clearly, do introductory activities, be open to diversity and willing to adapt to student needs”.
Alejandra, a university teacher in Chile says, “make the students feel comfortable; let them know that their needs are valid and that they shouldn’t feel ashamed about their lack of knowledge.”
4. Develop a routine
Juan, a teacher of adults in Spain, says “show them the way you’re going to work throughout the course. In my case, activities that involve standing up and walking around the classroom, work in pairs, change pairs, then work in groups.”
He goes on to say, “also, obvious as it may sound, speak only English in class, even (or especially) when they come to me at the end of the lesson to solve a query.”
More classroom tips from teachers around the world
If you found these tips helpful, see what other teachers had to say about these topics:
- Six things to consider when planning your first classes
- Five first day activities
- Eight reasons to enjoy the new school year
Do you have any classroom management tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!