My classroom management strategies are very simple.
1. Know your stuff (which essentially means have confidence, know what you are teaching about, prove you know it). Come up with strong ideas, "no fail" projects that can have results at all skill levels, that will engage students to want to learn. Build lessons one on top of the other. Students will 'get it', and start to feel confident about what they are doing and be more responsive to you and the 'art studio'.
2. Know your students (which essetially means remember and understand what it is to be an adolescent, the pressures, the risk taking, the lemming mentality, the loneliness).
3. Have a sense of humor (use it to diffuse situations).
4. Don't sweat the small stuff (be aware of the overall, and not the minute. Be thrilled when the biggest pain in the class works through a whole period, and the only thing he/she does that may annoy you is forget their pencil).
5. Be fair and tough. (Life is not fair, and if you are the first one they have met that sticks to your guns, and mean what you say, so be it).
6. Don't let them see you sweat (or conversely, "they don't eat their own kind"). After about 3 years of teaching in one school you will have a reputation. If you are having discipline problems consistantly ask yourself "hmmmm, what are the kids saying to one another about me?" You don't want to be known as the teacher who accepts anything, and who allows the class to run amok.
7. How you get to 1-5 is up to your personality. I don't assign seats, I don't have after school detention, and I don't have problems. I have eyes in the back of my head and radar hearing. I diffuse, confuse, and am on top of every living thing in my room, without leaning over each kid while they draw. It is akin to spinning plates in a circus.
8. Get involved with school activities. See students in a different context and let them see YOU in a different context as well.
1. Have the class make up the rules with you on the first day. Post them, and remind them that "we decided on" if someone transgresses.
2. Use afterschool detention as a learning experience for the student about who YOU are. When they come afterschool, spend one on one time explaining why you are keeping them afterschool (and hopefully you have cooled down by then). Help them to realize that the action that prompted you to keep them afterschool was inappropriate because.....(you fill in the blank).
3. Remember we are all keys to life. Some of our keys will open students eyes and hearts. Sometimes even with a bit of juggling our keys won't fit certain students. Not to worry and don't take it personally, someone else's (another teacher perhaps) key will open the students eyes.
> Hi all!
> What are some of your favourite classroom management
> strategies? Especially for Middle/High School?
> ~Melissa Drysdale
> Montreal, Quebec