Welcome back for the newest installment of An Interesting Perspective. Today, we will discuss the importance of classroom management within a science classroom, and give out a few tips and tricks to keep your classroom from entering a state of chaos.
Picture this: you walk into a classroom as a student, and the teacher makes you sit in rows, makes you only face forward, doesn’t let you talk, and gives no freedom within the classroom. Thinking back, I had a few classes like this and this method of classroom management proved to be ineffective, mostly because it inhibited my ability to learn in a productive classroom environment.
On the contrary, though, picture this: you walk into a classroom as a student and there is no order. Everything is crazy, and there is very little structure or control shown by the teacher. Though this is the complete opposite from the scenario above, it is just as ineffective. I, again, have first hand experience of this type of classroom environment.
So, how do you find that perfect balance between strict and lax? Here are a few tips and tricks to help get the job done.
Love your students, but have high expectations for them. Letting your students know that you truly care about them is extremely important for managing a classroom. It makes them feel at home. However, it is important to have high expectations for them so they can continue to strive not only to succeed, but also to continually better themselves and those around them.
2 things I tell new teachers to keep in mind for effective classroom management:
1) Remember that everything you say and do, either undermines or enhances your authority. There’s nothing in between.
2) Handle anything that is unacceptable to you, immediately and decisively.
— Danny Steele (@SteeleThoughts) April 13, 2018
Have an engaging classroom. This allows students to be active in the learning, and not active doing other things in your class. Keeping students engaged allows them to stay focused on the learning that is going on, and not other things, like Fortnite mobile.
Have your classroom set up before the students get there. This is especially true for lab days. Setting up a classroom while trying to maintain order is a tall task to ask. Having stations within lab also lets you manage and be in control of the classroom much more effectively than having things scattered throughout the room.
Create a safety contract and give both written and oral instructions. Making the students sign a safety contract shows them that they are responsible for following the posted rules and procedures within that contract. It holds them accountable, and makes your job just a little easier. Giving both written and oral instruction is also helpful for managing a classroom. It lets the students know what is expected in two different manners.
The bottom line of the matter is that you need to find the ways of managing your classroom that are most effective for your style of teaching, as well as the environment of your classroom. You need to make sure that you are the one driving the metaphorical bus. If you’re not driving the bus, it is likely your students are. If that’s the case, they will almost always run you over. So, remember to drive the bus. Don’t get hit by it.