As a teacher, your job is to help your students to learn as much as they can in school. A big part of that is setting up an environment that is conducive to learning, which is why having a solid classroom management plan in place is so important.
A good classroom management plan can make the difference between an engaged class and a disruptive class. If you don’t have one in place already, you should have.
In this post, we’re going to be showing you exactly how to create the perfect classroom management plan in 5 steps. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Set the Ground Rules
A good classroom management plan starts with a list of rules. Your classroom rules should layout your expectations as clearly as possible so that your students know exactly what behavior is acceptable, and what isn’t.
You can determine your own classroom rules depending on your teaching style, but here are some things you might want to include:
- Don’t speak while the teacher is speaking
- Raise your hand if you want to answer a question
- Follow instructions the first time
- Respect your classmates
- Always be on time to class
You might think that these kinds of rules should already be obvious, but you should outline them to your students anyway.
It's recommended to tell them to your students whenever you have your first lesson with a new class and then sticking them up on your classroom wall to refer back to. That way, they’re always visible, and your students have no excuses not to follow them.
Step 2: Establish Routines
Routines and rituals are the bread and butter of a good classroom management plan. Establishing regular procedures and routines, and sticking to them, helps you to keep your classroom orderly.
Different teachers have different routines. Some teachers like their classes to line up outside the classroom in silence. When you open the door, they know to take out their books, write the date and title, and read their school reading books until you start the class.
You should establish these routines early on and enforce them for the first couple of weeks of class. After a while, you won’t need to tell your students what to do, it will come naturally.
Step 3: Determine Sanctions
Even in the best classrooms, students occasionally behave inappropriately or break the classroom rules, whether that’s by refusing to do their work, continuously disrupting the class, or anything similar.
You need to have set sanctions in place to deal with these situations. How will you handle it when a student behaves poorly? And, if your first sanction fails to stop the disruptive behaviour, how will you escalate it?
Some schools have set ‘disciplinary policies’ in place that outline consequences for misbehavior that teachers should stick to. If not, it’s up to you to make your own. Here’s an example of a sanction policy:
- First sanction: Warning
- Second sanction: 5 minutes detention
- Third sanction: 15 minutes detention
- Fourth sanction: Student is sent out of class to the head teacher’s office
If the student continues to get sent out of class for several lessons, some teachers follow that up with a letter home to their parents.
Step 4: Put a Reward System in Place
It’s not all about discipline, though. It’s just as important to reward good behavior as it is to deter bad behavior. That’s why an important part of your classroom management plan is your reward system.
If you’re teaching younger students, your reward system might be something like a ‘star chart’, where students earn stars for excellent behavior and are rewarded at the end of the month.
You can find lots of different ideas for cool reward systems online. Get creative and think of something fun for your class.
Step 5: Create the Right Classroom Layout
One part of classroom management that teachers often overlook is the classroom layout. The way your students are seated can have a huge impact on how they behave in class.
For some lessons and classes, it might be better to seat students in groups, especially if you do a lot of group work in class. For others, rows of desks might be better.
Consider which students work well together and which don’t. Some teachers like to let students sit next to their friends, whereas others choose to keep them apart to prevent chatting in class.
Every class and teacher is different, so it’s really all about what works for you and your students. The important thing is to start thinking about it and plan your layout accordingly.
Classroom Management Plan for Online Teachers
All the tips we’ve talked about so far are for classroom teachers. However, things are a little different when you teach online with teach from home jobs.
You’ll usually be teaching students in 1-to-1 virtual classrooms, so managing behaviour tends a lot easier. If you’ve fallen out of love with classroom teaching, it might be worth looking into teaching online instead for a platform like the ones listed below:
Bonus Classroom Management Plan Tips
There you have it, 5 steps to creating an awesome classroom management plan. Before we wrap up, here are a few bonus classroom management tips:
- Classroom management isn’t just about the planning, it’s about the execution too. You need to be consistent with your sanctions and enforce the rules and rituals you’ve put in place. You might feel like the bad guy at first, but your students will learn more – and that’s what teaching is all about.
- Make sure to adapt your classroom management strategy as you learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s all part of growing as a teacher and educator.
- Be flexible with your classroom management plan and don’t be afraid to differentiate for different students if you feel that it’s necessary.
- Adopt the right teacher persona. Even with the best classroom management plan in the world, you still need to know how to interact with your students and foster a relationship of mutual respect with your class if you want to create the best possible learning environment.
That about covers it. Good luck teachers!