Behavior management is among the most important parts of having a successful classroom. A teacher can truly know their material, be a genius, be a hard worker, and have a passion for students, but if you lack behavior management skills, that teacher risks leaving the profession due to burn out.
There is no “right” way to manage a classroom, and after years of experience I can tell you that different behavior management plans work better with different types of students and different school cultures.
Start with the basics… a great teacher realizes that they need to teach students what the expectations are daily and practice routines often. Just as students don’t learn to read over night, they will become perfect students overnight either… practice, maturity, age, environment, lessons, and experience all work together to help students learn to manage themselves (and others) in the classroom.
A great teacher has many different plans all happening at the same time.
First be deligent and straight forward about practicing classroom rules & routines. It is best to have them posted in your classroom. Having a picture with the rules reinforces it better… and if you can practice it with a hand action, even better.
1. Listen to the speaker.
a. Stop turn my eyes and ear to the speaker so that I may hear.
2. Respect and obey my teacher and my friends.
a. Do what I’m told to do the first time quickly.
3. Have fun.
4. Keep my friends safe.
5. Keep myself safe.
6. Be a good steward
a. Take of my schools property, my classrooms property, my teachers property, my own property, and my parents property.
7. Use inside voices and walking feet.
8. Keep your Dear Teachers Happy
It is also helpful to have some type of signial to quiet your classroom to get them to focus. I personally use the whole brain teaching technique of "Class=yes"or "Hands & eyes". For class yes, I say "class" and they respond "yes". However I say "Class" they way "yes" (example: "classity-class" is "yessity-yes"). When I need their eyes on me during a visual lesson I will say "Hands and Eyes"... this commands reminds them they will need to see with their eyes and get ready to follow my new directions or get ready to learn something new that they will be teaching to their partners in a couple of minutes.
I also use the same points game she uses with her classroom... my categories are "cool" and "not cool". In this game it is me agains the class... if they work as a team to follow directions they win and we will get some type of activity, if I win, we will spend extra time reviewing the rules or a skill we are working on.