Behavior Management is a challenge that every new teacher faces. Unfortunately, teachers cannot be 100% prepared on how to effectively manage an entire classroom in their credential program alone. It is something that we have to put into practice and figure out as we go! It involves trial and error, and every teacher has to discover what works for them in their own classroom. So often first year teachers are overwhelmed and feel unprepared for managing classroom behavior.
So for elementary teachers that would like a little extra guidance, here are my various tips and methods for maintaining control of the classroom. Although I can’t say I’m the leading expert on behavior management and have been in the field for 15+ years, I can promise you that I’ve taught preschool for years and that is ALL BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT! With young children having less than 5 minute attention spans, you are constantly redirecting and refocusing. You have eyes in the back of your head and in all four corners of the room. Teachers really do have superpowers. 😉
1. Physical Activities – Physical movement is beneficial for so many reasons. Not only is it good for overall health but it can break up the strenuous mental tasks in the classroom. With YouTube, it makes it so easy to just put on an educational song and do a quick stretch or warm up!
2. Don’t let them see you sweat – If students are becoming out of your control, do not let them see they are getting you upset. You don’t want them to see that they have control of your emotions. Take a deep breath and try to think with your logical brain rather than your emotional one. Picture yourself an observer. You walk in the classroom and you see a flustered teacher with screaming students. What advice would you give him or her? What could they do in that moment to correct the situation? Do you have behavior management tools in the classroom? Utilize them.
3. Rewards and Incentives – What rewards and incentives does your class implement? What do your students get excited about and what would they work hard to earn? Do you use reward bucks, coupons, stickers, marble jar, or maybe a prize box? See what works for you in your classroom! Check out this free guide to an awesome prize box!
13. Keep Calm – No matter what happens, it’s important for them to feel like they are in a safe learning environment. They need an adult who is in charge and can handle any situation that arises.
14. Don’t negotiate with them – This is a quick way to lose your authority as the classroom teacher. Whatever you say goes. If you say, “The next student that talks when I’m talking is moving down on the clip chart” and that doesn’t happen, your students will be skeptical of what you say in the future.