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Classroom Management Plans: What are These for?
Whether you are teaching elementary pupils, middle school, or high school students, there is always the possibility of encountering classroom settings that are challenging to manage. And having weak or nonexistent classroom management will not only severely affect your students, but it will also change your life as their educator.
All those counterproductive methods you usually carry out whenever your students misbehave have not been effective all this time. Aside from its ineffectuality, such methods are not helpful in the development of a quality of teacher-student relationships.
A classroom management plan is an essential tool for educators as it provides them the guidelines on how they should handle everything that flows and goes during their classes. This kind of management plan is a tool that enables teachers to prevent any unwanted behaviors in their class by setting rules and regulations. It also incorporates the administrative policies of the school, making it more authoritative.
What Makes Classroom Management Plans Important?
The absence of a proper classroom management plan also creates room for harmful disciplinary actions that result in a rocky teacher-student relationship. Also, in the lack of this plan, teachers are blamed for any rowdy student behavior in class. Even if students are accountable for their actions, the blame always seems to be on the teachers. It has been reported that many beginning teachers find classroom management their top concern that it lands as second as their main reason for leaving the teaching profession. But with a carefully thought-out classroom management plan, both parties will be held responsible.
For sure, you expect your students to heed to all the rules set to foster an environment that is conducive for learning. That is why the details of these rules should also be disseminated to the students so that they would be aware of their accountability and responsibility. If they know what these rules are, they will understand that they need to cooperate with their educators by behaving accordingly for them actually to get insights out from their class discussions.
What Should You Consider When Crafting a Classroom Management Plan?
Before you get too focused on planning what to teach your students, you also need to create an environment that does not impede learning. However, before you can craft an effective classroom management plan framework, there are some things that you need to consider. Check some of these considerations below.
Classroom Management Strategies and Techniques
Classroom environments are constantly changing. Every school year, waves of educators, students from different generations, and even innovations emerge. This also means that management strategies and techniques are also changing. To keep your classroom management plan up-to-date with these continuous changes, you need to know what works these days.
That said, know some of the strategies and techniques that can help you formulate a classroom management plan that works in the present time.
Teach With Enthusiastic Disposition
Even in the classroom setting, it pays to be enthusiastic. However, enthusiasm does not only mean smiling at your students even if they are misbehaving―you are merely encouraging them to keep on doing their unfavorable behavior at this point. Being an enthusiastic educator means that you need to present yourself in class with confidence and energy that would also influence the students’ behavior during lessons, especially in their learning progress.
Preparation is Always the Key
Benjamin Franklin once said that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The first strategy mentioned would not work if you come into class without preparing anything because enthusiasm can only be possible if you know where things are going. Being unprepared means heading toward the frontline of a battle without any armor and weapon in hand. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be in front of the class.
Encourage Collaboration and Initiative
Collaboration and initiative among students are essential to ensure their engagement in class. The active involvement of students is crucial to continuously make them feel that they are responsible for their growth as students and as an individual. Also, they will most likely take action on it. By encouraging collaboration, your students will learn that two or more heads are better than one. They will also acquire other values that they can’t learn when working alone. By encouraging initiative, your students will make an effort to find ways for them to learn more on their own (but with your assistance, of course).
Always Remember: Respect Begets Respect
Sure, you know that you are an authoritative figure. You also want to be respected at the same time. But for that to happen, you must also give the same amount of respect that you wish to receive from your students. By doing these, it will be easy for you to gain their trust and make them heed to your words. In return, you can produce students who are happy with their learning progress and process, knowing that their classroom is an avenue where they are respected.
Achieve the Perfect Balance between Work and Play
You already know what happened to Jack when he was all work and play and vice versa. An American Psychological Association 2014 survey revealed that, on a 10-point scale, the stress levels of what teenagers experience in school was at 5.8 while adults achieved a 5.1. Achieving a balance between the two can be as simple as injecting arts and creativity during substantial academic activities. In the process, the students are also learning while having fun and not stressing out.
Limit Unnecessary Tech Access During Class Hours
The advancements in technology are undeniably helpful in improving the quality of education. However, if it is used for unnecessary usage such as the use of personal cellphones during class hours for leisure purposes, then technology here is a distraction. Technology is an advantage rather than a disadvantage if utilizing it is done the right way. You can use smart televisions to connect to the internet and show informative videos. You can use tablets to create class projects. Gadgets and other devices may be one of the typical modern distractions nowadays. But with conscientious usage, technology can be a great teaching aid.
How Do You Develop an Effective Classroom Management Plan?
As a teacher, do you tend to wait for something to happen, and you would only figure out solutions on the spot? Well, that is certainly not an excellent way to manage your classes. What if something unfavorable happens and you wouldn’t know right there and then on what to do? You will not only fail to deal with any situation, but you will also harm your credibility as their educator and, at the same time, their second parent.
If you have finally decided to come in class prepared to not only teach your students but also to manage them, then you need to start developing a management plan that will provide you and your students the right classroom guidelines. With this kind of management plan, you create a structure that makes every class period a breeze. That said, take note of the following guide that can help you how to make a classroom management plan.
1. Know Your Management Goals Beforehand
Even if you can come up with a classroom management plan, it will be of no use if it was created without having the right management goals in mind. Goals are crucial in the making of classroom management plans since it creates a sense of direction not only for you but for your students as well.
On a separate sheet, list down everything that you want to achieve out of your classroom management plan. If you want to create a plan that is geared toward behavior management, think of the possible methods that are not counterproductive. Consider promising rewards or imposing consequences. Consider taking notes of your students’ actual behavior in class. Are these worth rewarding? Or are these not worth tolerating at all?
2. Rules: Create, Impose, and Make it Known to All
After creating rules and regulations, do not just leave it in the dark―impose these and post this where everyone will know about it. Once everyone knows about it, it will then be easy for your students to follow. Your students will be conscious of their behaviors since they are already aware of their accountability and the consequences of defiance. By straightforwardly imposing this, your students will know you mean business with the implementation of your classroom management plan.
As much as possible, do not just give out their copies. Create a poster that contains the rules and regulations so that your students will not forget about it and use it as an alibi. Post it at an inconspicuous area in the classroom, such as the wall in front or near the door.
3. Come Up with Reasonable Consequences
If students are misbehaving and you still have not created a classroom management plan, you might carry out consequences without thinking whether it disciplines them or not. Also, it is crucial to come up with consequences that are reasonable enough. Avoid going overboard and carry out a heavy offense for a simple act of misbehavior committed once.
To ensure that the consequences are reasonable enough, you may consider creating a first offense consequence, a second, and a final warning. Be sure to think these out well, or else it will earn your resentment from your students and including their parents.
5. Handle Any Classroom Situation with Consistency
Put yourself in the shoes of your students―would you want to learn from an inconsistent teacher? Would you trust their word if their minds change within a blink of an eye? Obviously not. Any plan will be successful as long as it is consistently carried out. Consistency can manifest by merely following your rules all the time, without exceptions. By following through what you have set in your management plan, students will likely follow what you have written.
Skip any possible burnout and unnecessary heartaches and let a classroom management plan save you. Hold students accountable for their classroom behavior without having to lose your cool. With the guidance of a management plan, rest assured that you can make a conducive avenue for the engaging learning experience and create no room for any counterproductive methods for the sake of disciplining your students. Be sure to download any of the classroom management plan templates uploaded in this article to help you get started.