Are you REALLY ready for another school year?
This is an exciting time of year…summer is coming to an end and a new school year is about to begin.
As teachers we are excited, anxious, and nervous…
What will our new class look like…what will my schedule look like…what will this new school year have in store for me?
Teachers around the country are gearing up for another year…getting their rooms set up…designing their lessons for the first weeks of school, making copies, getting in touch with parents etc…and all done with a great deal of excitement, energy, and enthusiasm!
Unfortunately, like every year, that energy starts to fade as the reality of teaching 130 students over 5 or 6 classes a day, every day starts to sink in…or, if you are an elementary teacher, the reality of having the same group of kids all day, every day, for 180 days.
Before you know it you are exhausted and so are your students…the honeymoon period of the first two weeks is over and students start to test the limits of your classroom.
Students start acting out, passing notes, talking when they’re not supposed to, even getting into fights…
At this point many teachers start to search out various reward & punishment systems…(putting students names on the board who misbehave, putting check marks next to their names if they continue to misbehave, threats of referrals and detentions, placing marbles in jar when students are good, giving out raffle tickets etc.)
These are mistakes…
These elaborate reward/punishment systems will yield only temporary solutions to ongoing problems. Teachers should be more interested in long-term results rather than short-term results. Worst of all, those who are receiving the rewards are now working for the reward only and those receiving punishment start to resent school. Furthermore, punishment often leads to students seeking revenge, lowering of self esteem, and may even lead to students giving up on school. Often times we’ll start to hear students say, “I hate school”
That’s the last thing teachers want students to say!
Fortunately it doesn’t have to be like this…
Instead of RE-acting to every disturbance teachers should be PRO-active and try to stop classroom disturbances BEFORE they start.
Teachers need to use strategies that increase student motivation, increase class participation, limit student confusion, and stop student procrastination. Basically teachers need to keep ALL of their students actively involved in ALL of their lessons.
This may sound like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be…not if you use the proactive approach to classroom management.
When teachers use simple teaching strategies to keep their students involved in the lesson they will see an immediate and definite decrease in classroom management problems.
Best of all, these classroom management issues will decrease naturally. Remember, classroom management is not about creating an elaborate system of rewards and punishments. Classroom management is about keeping your students actively involved in every one of your lessons.