Who is a teacher? A short definition states — it is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence, or virtue. When we think of teaching, we usually focus on subjects and disciplines. This frame of thought is a typical consequence of higher education programs that do not pay enough attention to classroom management. A teacher is also a manager responsible for the control and organization of the learning environment.
An effective and successful learning environment combines educational approaches with a comfortable setting and appropriate cultural contexts. Our seven tips on classroom management and discipline will help you develop the best teaching practices and put them into practice.
7 Tips Every Teacher Must Know
- Clear and Effective Communication
Classroom communication is not only about the delivery of knowledge and information from a teacher to students. It is an exchange of ideas, a dialogue built on mutual respect, and the best platform for cooperation. Listen to your students, ask for their feedback on some important aspects of school life, tolerate questions, and encourage them to share ideas.
It is also essential to inspire communication within the class. Let students develop friendly relationships inside the group — this will help you to avoid problems with bullying and discipline.
- Be a Friend, but Stay Assertive
A good teacher is both an ally and a leader. Students should trust you as they would trust a friend, but also follow your instructions without any hesitation. Because once a teacher loses control of the classroom, it becomes challenging to get it back. To help you build the discipline, create a list of fair classroom rules. You can encourage the students to participate in the process. Let them write their own rules, explain their importance, and vote for the most appropriate ones. Add these rules to the general list of classroom regulations and print them out and hang them on the wall. Students should see the document every day. If someone breaks a rule and gets appropriately punished, you won’t get asked why.
Fair and transparent rules always help you develop trust and discipline.
- Prevent Bad Behavior
You have to know your students, their backgrounds, problems, and triggers that provoke misconduct. Try to predict possible conflicts and avoid them delicately. You can even develop an emergency plan based on your observations and experience of your colleagues. This list of does and don’ts can help you work with each student and the class smoother and more effectively. But sometimes, even if you are the best teacher in the world, students will misbehave. Address misconduct instantly! Talk to the student who acted up in private. Identify the problem and try to understand the reason while keeping the class busy.
Stay positive. Remember, students often copy the behavior of their mentors, be a model to follow.
- Encourage Initiative
By granting your students a more active role in the classroom, you increase their feeling of responsibility and satisfaction. Offer them exciting open-ended projects that do not demand one specific solution. Let them demonstrate their creativity and develop problem-solving skills. Projects of this type can also encourage students to collaborate and build new connections within their class.
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- Praise Good Performance and Discipline
Research shows that praise is more effective than restriction. Be specific for what you are praising your students. Notice their progress in studies, behavior, or extra-curricular activities.
- Talk to Your Students
Do not wait for something to go wrong. Instead, build your relationships with each student. Some of them might need more attention, others — just a short chat once a month. Interview them and learn what they like, what helps them focus, what in-class activities they prefer. You can also ask about the things they would like to change or improve in the class environment. Collect as much feedback as possible. It will help you avoid teacher-student conflicts and, at the same time, develop trust and mutual understanding.
Feel free to share some of your own school stories; let the class see your true self. Your memories, real-life anecdotes of success, and failure can teach them more than the best pedagogical presentation. Do not be afraid to become their friend. This type of relationship is not about losing control but combining authority with sincerity.
- All Work and No Play…
Students love having fun, and one of the reasons why they misbehave is the desire to amuse themselves. Let them play, but according to your rules. They need to know that from time to time, something new and exciting will take place in their classroom. Organize fun competitions or performances, celebrate holidays, and don’t forget about the parties! In the relaxed atmosphere of games and conversation, you can learn more about your students, solve some behavioral problems, and take your class chemistry to the next level. Remember, shared memories of joy and fun always facilitates successful work.
Effective classroom management is key to a thriving learning environment, which is the primary goal of every teacher. It includes high-quality educational methods, a positive attitude, clear communication, mutual respect, and good teacher-student relations. These seven tips will help you prevent negative student attitudes and handle the discipline. Do not hesitate to use them in your classroom. Adjust these tips to your school challenges and remember — a teacher is the class manager. Students replicate your behavior, so stay strong and positive.