A Simple Way To Get Better At Classroom Management
There is a simple way to get better at classroom management week after week.
It involves doing one small thing.
This one thing takes just minutes a day and isn’t a behavior strategy.
In fact, it’s something you do after your students leave for the day.
So what is it?
It’s to keep a record of every misbehavior. You see, the simple act of tracking is shown to improve performance no matter the field.
And it happens naturally, without you having to do anything other than a brief daily review.
The reason it works is because whatever we pay close attention to tends to get better. This is why food diaries are so effective in helping people lose weight.
According to research, keeping a journal of everything you eat results in greater weight loss. (One 1,700 person clinical trial at Kaiser Permanente showed twice as much weight loss as those who didn’t keep a journal.)
Keeping score, so to speak, sparks an intense desire to improve—even if you do nothing else but notice your numbers, regardless of whether they went up or down. It’s the same reason video game developers add a scoring component to every game.
It’s a powerful internal motivator that keeps people playing and craving improvement.
Practically, what keeping a record does for classroom management is cause you to be more consistent. It causes you to calmly rely on your classroom management plan and utilize the strategies we teach here at SCM.
They work. And seeing the numbers drop over time is deeply satisfying. It brings a level of peace and learning to your classroom that you’ll never want to lose.
I recommend keeping track of every rule broken, what the exact behavior was, and which consequence was given. Record the total number of misbehaviors for the day and circle it. Review your new entry at the end of each day and one more time before the next.
And that’s it.
Essentially, by maintaining an accurate record of misbehavior, you’re leveraging your natural, instinctive inclination to grow, learn, and improve.
It also helps shift your focus away from your students, and how their misbehavior annoys and frustrates you, and toward your ability to influence and change their behavior.
It opens your eyes and allows you to see the power of good, solid classroom management.
It shows you in a way you can’t deny that it’s not about your students. It’s about you and your own performance. You decide, not them, what kind of class you have.
And keeping the numbers will prove it to you.
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