Effective Classroom Management

Copyright 2005 Adam Waxler I often have teachers ask me what is the best approach to classroom management? As a veteran teacher I have seen far too many teachers fail because of classroom management problems. (Remember, classroom management and student achievement are directly related.) And, all too often I see teachers resort to all types of crazy classroom management plans trying to get a handle on student behavior. Unfortunately, many of these classroom management plans involve elaborate systems of rewards and punishment. For example, writing students names on the board with check marks added next to the name for each inappropriate behavior. Not only is this degrading, but the effectiveness of this classroom management plan is short-lived at best. In fact, often times this classroom management plan can have the exact opposite effect on student behavior. Likewise, rewarding students for behavior that is expected of them sends the absolutely wrong message. Teachers should not reward a student for acting appropriately in class. Rewarding appropriate behavior is not effective classroom management, it is bribery and the students will come to expect it. Don't get me wrong, I am not speaking about a pizza party or movie after a week in which the students worked well in class. That type of reward is fine as long as it is unexpected. The type of rewards that are bad are the ones in which the teacher promises upfront that if "you behave today, I will give you a piece of candy." No, the student should behave in class because that is what's expected. Little Johnny will not throw his pencil across the room, because it disrupts the learning of the other students and can be dangerous, not because he will get candy! So, if teachers do not give rewards or punishments as a classroom management plan, then how do teachers effectively manage student behavior? Easy, the key to classroom management is keeping students actively involved in the entire lesson. This is done with just a handful of simple teaching strategies. Here are five effective classroom management tips you can use in any classroom regardless of subject or content area. These classroom management tips will keep all students actively involved in all classroom lessons. (Remember, keeping students involved in the lesson is the most effective classroom management plan.) 1. All-Write: Instead of having students raise their hand to respond to a question aloud, have all the students write down an answer to the teacher's question.