As a student studying to be a teacher, one of my biggest worries is how I am going to manage my class.  I know that there are hundreds of classroom management tools out there but I was wondering if there are any specific things that anyone has used that seem to be very effective?

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Hi Kelly,


Classroom Management is one of those things that is so hard to "box".  There is no "one way" to maintain 'control' of a class.  Additionally, circumstances change from day to day depending on student's whims, experiences, emotions on any given day. 


My solution to classroom management is 1-Cover Behavioral Expectations on Day ONE and 2- to be crystal clear about the material we are working on and to present new units/projects in a way that draws them in and ties in with what they already know.  Student work should be compelling and tied to clear, attainable goals and objectives.  If a tool is required, demonstrate it and/or have a student demonstrate with you. Giving students some degree of ownership is key in the classroom...Any perception of you as "Sage on the Stage" could backfire. 


Ultimately, you will have to feel your way. It's about building a Culture in the classroom of mutual respect and responsibility. I appeal to student's sense of right/wrong/dignity/respect/fairness.


That said, some students come with tough skin and a goal to throw teachers off-task. Simply don't tolerate it-redirect-but always reprimand in private, if you must. Give full attention to the behaviors you want to see. The behaviors you get in the classroom will always be the ones you 'award' the most attention. Best of luck!

I would suggest that you read Robert Marzano's Classroom Management that Works. We've used it with new teachers for several years in our district. If you want specific strategies, I have tons of those, too. I would be glad to share anything with you as you begin your journey.
I will look into reading that thank you! I would love a few specific strategies if you don't mind.  For example, I noticed that in one classroom I was observing in, one student would not do the task that he was assigned to.  When the teacher told him to start working he said no.  What do I do if I have a student who consistantly says he/she will not do the work assigned and does not seem to care about consequences?
Kelly, I would let that moment go. Engaging with the student in front of the class, will just lead to a power struggle and you will lose.  Pull that student aside after class. Find out what's going on. How is he feeling. Why doesn't he want to do the work?  What would help him?  Are there issues going on at home? Does he have a learning disability?  Is the task too hard.? Or too boring? Would assistive technology be useful?  Would using his iphone to record his answer work? Could he represent his learning in other ways? Could you scribe for him?  Could he draw a picture/mindmap to show his learning.  There is a way through to this kind of student, it starts with caring and communication.
I concur with Heidi. Pulling the student aside will help your glean much more valuable information and will not set up a power struggle. In our district, failure to do what a teacher asks is insubordination (I teach at the high school level.); however, following through with the office is the LAST choice I make.
Those are all great questions to ask myself when put in a tough situation.  I wrote all of them down :) I am realizing that there are so many possible solutions to a problem, you just have to find the one that fits for each student.

I don't have a management system, but I do have some suggestions. Here's my blogpost on what I've learned over the years about managing behaviour. I hope it helps.
Went to your blog. Loved it! Commented there as well!!

Thank you all so much!! This is very helpful information and a lot of it I have never thought about before not having that much experience myself.  I love all of these ideas and will have to try to mesh them all and see what works for me when I get a chance. I appreciate all of your help!

Also, I always stand by my classroom door and great students as they enter, calling them by name. Building a relationship with them (an appropriate relationship) goes a long way in the classroom. Just another tidbit... :0)
This is something that I will most definitely do! I agree that building appropriate relationships with students can be very powerful.  This was stressed by one of my professors in college.  It's good to hear that it is indeed effective from another professional educator thank you!



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