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Classroom management: What it is, why it’s important and how to get it right

18 August 2021

As a teacher, you’re so much more than an instructor. You’re also a coach, a confidant, and perhaps most importantly, a classroom manager. After all, effective teaching and learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom. But what exactly is classroom management? Why is classroom management so important? And how do you best manage K-12 groups from day one?

What is classroom management?

Classroom management refers to a wide variety of skills and techniques used by teachers to facilitate optimal conditions for learning. Classroom management involves preventing and intervening in disruptive behavior. But it’s also about creating the right environment, setting clear expectations, and thoughtfully choosing learning materials and activities.

Simply put, an effectively managed classroom is one that runs smoothly and where both students and teacher can be their best selves. It’s a structured space for learning, with minimal confusion and downtime. There are clear classroom norms as well as consequences that reduce behaviors that get in the way of learning. In this type of classroom, students are organized, focused, attentive, on-task, and productive. 

In short, classroom management:

  • establishes and sustains an orderly environment for your students
  • creates opportunities for meaningful academic learning and fosters social and emotional growth
  • reduces negative behaviors and increases the amount of time actually devoted to the lesson

 

Why do you need effective classroom management?

Regardless of your teaching style, classroom management is a critical skill that is as important to quality teaching as content knowledge. Why is that? It’s because teacher and student success ultimately depends on a classroom culture that encourages and supports learning. 

If your classroom is out of control, it won’t matter how passionate you are about your subject or how dedicated you are to your students. Bad classroom management means learning will be negatively impacted. And chaotic classroom environments not only get in the way of learning; it can also lead to high levels of stress or even burnout among teachers. 

Effective classroom management, on the other hand, positively impacts your ability to be a good educator and enjoy your work, and enhances your teaching outcomes. Good teaching and classroom management are, in other words, inextricably linked. 

When implemented well, classroom management strategies can work across all subject areas and all developmental levels to create an ideal environment for growth. They can promote students’ self-regulation, reduce the incidence of misbehavior, and increase productivity.

 

How to get classroom management right?

Every teacher’s goal is a happy classroom with focused, attentive, and on-task students. But getting there takes time, and even for seasoned teachers, things often change depending on the new mix of students they teach every year.

So how, then, can you get your classroom management right from day one?

  1. Before anything else, be sure to have a solid lesson plan as well as clear expectations in place. Also, think about ways you can incorporate routines into your teaching to create a safe, reliable, and productive space for your students to learn.
  2. Build relationships with your students: Get to know them, their strengths and challenges, their interests and dreams for the future. Investing in them as individuals builds trust, and that is the key to successful classroom management.
  3. Find ways to have a laugh instead of pulling your hair out. Kids will be kids, and even the best-prepared classroom managers will run into challenging situations every now and then. Jokes and kindness can help your students along.
  4. Stay cool and focus on teaching! Start every day with ease and keep your students on task with COOL as your classroom assistant. Curious about what COOL can do to improve classroom management at your school? Find out more or book a free demo:

 

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To learn more about mastering the art of classroom management…

 

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