Are You Proactive or Reactive when it comes to Classroom Management?
Written By: Amanda Rinehart
The school year is up and running, and you’re probably preparing for the first set of assessments for your class. By now, you’ve likely determined which students need extra…extra help on assignments, extra attention from you, extra activities to keep them challenged and, of course, EXTRA help with behavioral issues! And, then there’s the elusive kid who needs EXTRA of all of the above! So the question is, are you proactive or reactive with your classroom management?
What are you going to do with this knowledge?
The curriculum, as well as demands from administration, are probably requiring you to have a plan for the students who need extra academic support. They may also want you to have a plan for students who are mastering the content, rapidly. But, are you making a deliberate plan for your students who require extra assistance in controlling their behavior? The students themselves are certainly demonstrating that they need a plan of action, but have you taken heed?
Studies have shown that teachers who have a specific classroom management plan, have students who are far more successful than teachers who fly by the seat of their pants, handling each behavioral problem as it comes. Check out The Classroom Management Secret: And 45 Other Keys to a Well-Behaved Classroom.
Before overwhelming yourself with trying to understand why each student behaves the way they do, it is important to have an all-encompassing classroom management plan in place. This will act as the “Constitution ” of your classroom, which you can reference when everyday issues occur. Within the plan are rewards and consequences, saving you copious amounts of time in dealing with behavioral issues on a regular basis. Although you will likely need more specific modification plans for individual students, your classroom management plan will cover most of your daily issues.
What’s in an effective classroom management plan?
The research tells us that there are critical components that must be present, for a classroom management plan to be effective. They are as follows:
- High level of teacher-directed activity
- Physical arrangement minimizes distractions
- Expectations are posted, taught, reviewed, monitored and reinforced
- Active supervision
- Many opportunities to respond
What each of these components has in common, is that the teacher is actively involved in classroom management. Teachers must play a consistent role in the management of the classroom. Gone are the days of telling kids to do something once, then sitting at your desk to grade papers. So, to be effective, you need to practice the above components, robotically.
Kids have to be taught to self-regulate. This comes more naturally to some than to others. In the early years, teaching self-regulation is as frequent as teaching reading or math. Accepting that kids don’t necessarily come to school knowing what is expected of them, will put you in a much better position for making positive changes to lead to higher achievement.
In my seminars, I guide educators in developing effective classroom management plans that are specific to the needs of your classrooms. Each student is different and each class is different. Understanding what your class needs, in order to find success is a crucial part of the development of your plan. The most important thing to remember is that you must be prepared and proactive in approaching your classroom management.
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