Classroom Behaviour Management Tips
Every teacher has been in the same situation: trying to maintain the noise level of a classroom without losing patience. Class discussion is always encouraged – when on topic – but trying to get pupils to return their attention to their work can sometimes be a challenge.
Everyone remembers the (genius) story last year of a Belgian maths teacher quieting his classroom by writing the names of the characters axed in the third season of Game of Thrones.
Instead of pulling a George R.R. Martin, take a look at the tips World Class Teachers offers secondary school teachers for managing classroom behaviour.
1. Co-create rules with students
While you as the teacher have to maintain the rules set upon by the school, you can co-create other classroom rules with your students.
You create a community by developing these rules together, and the responsibilities for certain actions are agreed upon by all parties.
2. Student behaviour contracts
Take it one step further and have your repeat offender pupils sign a contract detailing which aspects of their behaviour they will work on.
By creating the contract together, you help make the student aware of their actions, and having it signed by a guardian will seem less daunting for them.
3. Be consistent
If the classroom rules dictate what to do when a student or entire class grows unruly, stick to it. This way, everyone knows what will happen if they misbehave and there will be no sense of favouritism.
4. Low key responses
Think back to when you misbehaved in school: what is the one thing you remember your teaching doing that quieted you and the entire class?
More often than not, it is not your teacher raising their voice.
Instead, master the not so subtle look that sends a clear message to the student that is misbehaving to cease immediately. Utilise this tool before a student takes it too far, or other pupils join in.
Move around the classroom
Similarly, you can move around the classroom and stand near the misbehaving students. Either they will sense your message on their own, or the looks of surrounding pupils will do it for them.
5. Reward good behaviour
Use a similar look to let behaving students know that their actions are appropriate and appreciated.
Remember, when a student acts out in class often, there may be an underlying issue that has yet to be addressed.