When dealing with a classroom full of students, sometimes the hardest obstacle that a teacher faces is how to keep all of their students engaged and interested in the lesson. Classroom sizes have steadily increased as the amount of aides that a teacher may have in a classroom have steadily decreased. Teachers are having to teach more, with fewer resources. They are expected to maintain or increase test scores in order to meet school and state goals. Delivering efficient lessons in a classroom is not only used to measure student achievement, but also an important measure used to gauge the effectiveness of the teachers themselves. Therefore, the importance of being able to deliver effective lessons is two-fold. There are many ways that a person can learn and some catch the attention of students, more than others. If a teacher is lecturing, how do they keep the students who learn visually from losing interest in the lesson? How do teachers keep themselves from sounding like a Charlie Brown episode, where all that the student hears is ‘Wa Wa … wa wa wa wa’. How can you prevent your students from tuning you out and keep them listening? Better yet, wanting to cling to your every word, your every lesson? To be an effective teacher, you have to be an effective manager. Learn tricks and techniques to help you effectively manage your classroom by enrolling in our Classroom Management Essentials course.
Not much can be done to change the situation that a teacher will face in the classroom on a daily basis, but teachers can change the way that they teach in a classroom on a daily basis. If you’re a teacher who is struggling with your classroom management skills, odds are that you have come across a teacher who just seems like a natural in the classroom. They mesmerize their students and keep their lessons exciting, as well as have some of the best grade point averages and test scores in the school. Here are some classroom management tricks that can help you to become a highly effective teacher as well.
One Thing At a Time
Don’t overwhelm your students by trying to have them do too much at once. Streamline your lesson plans and focus on one concept at a time. Our Reasonable Teaching course will help you to develop and master the concept of exceptional teaching by demonstrating strategies you can use to help your students grasp one concept, before moving on to the next.
Stop Running the Same Wheel
If you feel exhausted after each period that goes by, you may be exercising your mouth, more than your students are exercising their brains. Take a step back and observe your classroom. Are your students sitting back and checking out while you’re lecturing? Are you having them interact during the lesson, or are they allowed to be passive throughout more than half of the period. Do you have the same group of students who have a hard time following along and grasping the concept? If so, it’s time to change up how you teach and have your students say, see and do, instead of just listen and ask. Change your lesson structure to allow your students to actively engage with you throughout the lesson instead of only calling on them once the lesson has been completed.
Do What You Say
It’s important when dealing with different personalities as you do in a classroom to stand by your word. There will be students who want to push the limits and test the boundaries of your patience by disrupting the classroom whenever given an opportunity. Discipline every student, the same way, every time. This way your students will know what to expect if they don’t abide by your classroom rules. Don’t favor a student, or punish one student more harshly than another, treat them all the same and discipline them all the same. The same holds true for accolades. If students do well, reward them and give them the credit that they deserve. Student will know what to expect when they step into your classroom, the good and the bad. Teach them that accountability will help them get more out of school and life. The Power of One is an awesome course that will offer you more insight and skills to change your results through accountability. It would be a good idea to enroll in the course and pass on the skills that you learn to your students. Isn’t it always a good idea to practice what you preach!
Every Minute Counts
It takes a typical classroom between 5 and 7 minutes to settle in and get on task once class has officially begun. Once students have settled in and are ready to get on task, it may take a teacher 5 minutes to transition between lessons. That adds up to between 10 and 12 minutes of classroom instructional time that is wasted for each period during the school day. Over the course of a week, that adds up to about 50 – 60 minutes. A whole period of instructional time wasted over the course of just one week. Students will waste as much time as they are allowed to waste, they have no vested interest moving through a lesson quickly since they know that as soon as one ends, a new one will begin. Teach your students to be prepared and on task the second they enter the classroom. Make them buy in and be responsible for each and every second that is spent learning. As a teacher, you should also feel responsible for the amount of time that it takes you to transition your lessons. Find ways to minimize transition time and increase instructional time. Our Leaders Guide to Time Management will display ways that you can maximize your time by teaching you how to integrate effective time management skills into your daily practice.
Parents can be amongst your biggest and best allies. They can give you an insight into your students’ lives that you may not have otherwise. They also want their child to succeed and are usually willing to be involved and active in the process. Begin each school year by letting parents and students know what will be expected of them throughout the school year and how they can make the most our of their time in your classroom. Let students and parents know what the rules of the classroom are as well as what is expected out of each student. What are your goals for the year, how will you set achievement milestones for students? Have parents tell you what the best way to communicate with them is in case their student is failing, or at risk of falling behind. Let students know that you will communicate if there is an issue so that they know that they are being held accountable not only in the classroom, but at home as well. The trickiest part of communicating, is doing it effectively with parents. If you approach them in a way that makes them feel as though they aren’t doing enough for their students, they may shut down. Communicate openly and assure them that you have the same desire to see their kids succeed that they do. If you spend all day talking to students and need to brush up on how you speak to parents, our Effective Communication course will give you the tools necessary to communicate clearly and effectively.