A Simple Way To Have Better Classroom Management Next Year

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There is a simple thing you can do right now to ensure better classroom management next school year.

It only takes a few minutes.

The way it works is to list the five most disruptive, annoying, and stressful misbehaviors you witnessed last school year.

Visualize what they looked like and try to relive how they made you feel. Also consider how they interfered with learning.

It’s okay to get perturbed thinking about it. In fact, it can help embolden you with the determination needed to be effective at classroom management.

Just below the misbehaviors, write out your classroom rules.

Now, draw a line from each misbehavior to the rule it breaks. If you can’t do this, then you need to create another rule.

This exercise alone is helpful because it ensures that your rules cover the most egregious misbehaviors. But the real power is when you model these same behaviors and what rule they break for your new students the first week of school.

You see, whatever misbehavior you model—as in how not to behave—you’re less likely to get from your students.

The reason, especially if you inject some exaggeration and fun into your lesson, is because it points out the absurdity of interrupting learning.

It communicates in a way students understand why such misbehavior is wrong and how it tramples on the rights of others. In fact, if modeled explicitly and followed by your promise to hold your students accountable, they’re loathe to repeat it.

The prospect of breaking rules in the same way the teacher all but made fun of is too embarrassing to consider. It frames the reality of what calling out in class or rushing to become first in line looks like from an outside perspective.

It’s an aha moment.

And because it comes at the beginning of the year, before they can engage in such behavior, they won’t be offended. You’re not poking fun at anyone personally. However, many will see themselves in the behavior.

Again, whatever you model in detail tends not to happen.

Once you’ve gone through the exercise making sure you have a rule for every misbehavior, it’s also helpful to add all misbehavior you’ve experienced in the last five years to make sure you have at least one rule that covers each.

You may have more than one rule that applies to a single misbehavior. This is normal. In this case, if it were to happen, you can choose which rule to use.

You won’t have time to model every misbehavior of the previous five years, but if you can be sure to mimic at least your top five most annoying, they’ll serve as examples for the rest.

You see, modeling points out the absurdity of all misbehavior.

Done right, and backed by your consistent follow through, you’re sure to have better behavior than last year.

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