The Best Classroom Management Advice I've Ever Received

I'm no expert, but I've learned a lot throughout my teaching journey.

Classroom management is a big deal, and it's NOT easy! 

Here's some of the best advice I've been given along the way:

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We often expect students to know how to behave when they enter our classroom in August, especially older grades.

We say things like  
"Third graders don't do that."
"You should know better than that."

...but, have you taught them? 
Have you explicitly modeled and practiced expected behavior?
Have you redirected until students have shown masterty?

We have to be explicit, and that's something that we often forget. 

If you have low expectations for your students, they'll meet them. 
If you have high expectations, they'll rise to the challenge and meet those, too. 

It's okay to have high expectations for students' behavior - you totally should! Students' behavior impacts the learning environment for you as the teacher and for other students. 

Give students the support they need and scaffold expectations if needed by weaning off the supports.

Consistency allows our students to know what to expect when they enter our classrooms each morning. When they know what to expect, it makes them feel safe. This helps build a strong classroom community and allows student to contribute more than they would if they didn't know what to expect. 

When it comes to behavior, but also classroom routines, be consistent.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

If you threaten a student with a consequence to a behavior, you HAVE to be able to follow through, even if it hurts your heart. If you don't follow through, they will never believe anything you say.

If you give a student an if/then situation, make sure students either complete the task correctly or receive the threatened consequence. The same goes for making empty promises. How are you building trust with your students?

"He's pushing my buttons."

You know what that means.

If you say "You're driving me crazy" or "That annoys me" or "That's bothers me," you're telling students exactly how they can push your buttons if and when they want to do so.

When your button is being pushed - because you know it will be! - try to keep a calm, blank face, and don't give students any idea that its bothering you, even if you're going crazy on the inside! 

Hide your button, and the undesirable behavior loses its appeal.

I know you've heard this over and over again.

Relationships built on respect will help any sort of management issue that you have. When students feel trusted and respected, they will feel safer and will therefore respect you more. 

Make sure that students get a clean slate every day. Even if the previous day didn't go or end so well, today is a new day. All students are on an equal playing field each morning. Let them try to rise to the occasion!

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What did I miss?

What's the best piece of advice you've received? Let me know by commenting on this post! 

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