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Section 2: Strategies for Classroom Management

Expectations...say them, repeat them and start the year with them. Be consistent and follow through. — Audrey Fisher

Discipline – something they don’t teach enough about in teacher preparation classes. Figuring out how you are going to handle discipline in your classroom ahead of time will put you ahead of the game. Rules are just like other instructional activities. They have to be taught, reviewed, and reinforced. Being consistent, learning from your mistakes and developing a rapport with your students is a longstanding goal of all teachers. There are a number of ways in which a teacher can promote good discipline in the classroom.

  • Treat students with the same respect you expect from them, keep confidences.
  • Get to know your students. Learn their names quickly and recognize his or her individual qualities.
  • All teachers have discipline problems. Effective teachers match their strategy to suit the problems.
  • Be fair, positive, and consistent. Be the kind of person young people can like and trust – firm, fair, friendly, courteous, enthusiastic, and confident. Admit your mistakes and keep your sense of humor.
  • Know your school discipline policies.
  • Let the students know you care. Determine jointly with the class what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of behavior and achievement.
  • Provide a list of expectations to parents and students. Make sure they are consistent with district and building policies. Limit your rules to no more than five. Post the rules in the classroom.
  • Begin class on time and in a businesslike manner. Have routines to follow each day as students enter and leave your room.
  • Don’t threaten or use sarcasm. Never use threats to enforce discipline. Never humiliate a child.
  • Avoid arguing with students. Discussions about classwork are invaluable, but arguments can become emotional encounters.
  • Be mobile. Walk around the room as students work or respond to instruction.
  • Minimize administrative referrals. Establishing your own classroom management will help. Ask your mentor or colleagues for help if needed.
  • Let each student start each day with a clean slate.

Want additional strategies and tips for effective classroom management?
Check out the online class offered through the WEA Professional Development Academy. Credit is available for the class. Information and sign-up directions are given at https://pdalearning.org.

Mentors – An Initial Educator’s Best Friend: There is help available if you or your district is in need of high quality, flexible mentor training that coincides with Wisconsin Educator Standards. For more information, contact Debra Berndt, Director of the WEA Professional Development Academy at berndtd@weac.org or check out the information provided at weac.org under the WEA Professional Development Academy.

Managing Your Time
Time can’t be saved; it is only spent. Although you can’t get any more hours from a day, you can develop habits that will make you more productive.

You may have already discovered that your teaching duties demand a great deal of time. You may feel that there’s no time left to manage after you schedule all your classes and assigned activities. Gaining control begins by discovering how you currently spend your time.

Determine which tasks must be accomplished early in the day when you have the most energy so you can avoid that frantic feeling throughout the day.

Procrastination is your number one enemy. Procrastination means performing low-priority activities rather than high-priority activities. It can result in more work, more pressure, the loss of self-esteem, and health problems.

Here are some coping strategies for each of the major reasons people procrastinate:

Dealing with an unpleasant task

  • Decide what to do and do it first.
  • Set a deadline.
  • Reward yourself after completing the task.

Dealing with difficult or overwhelming tasks

  • Use positive self-talk (focus on past accomplishments that turned out well).
  • Break the job into smaller tasks and complete those tasks each day.

Dealing with indecision (fear of failure)

  • Tell yours elf that nothing is perfect and that in the past your best has been pretty good.
  • Set up a schedule and a target date for project
    conclusion. Make your decision on that date.
  • Do the one thing you fear most and you will conquer your fear.

Learn to say NO

  • Your challenge is to make good choices in how you cope with the countless demands on your time.

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