I’m happy to be able team up with some experienced educators and participate in Seasoned Sages Sunday Blog Hop. Thanks to Lizzie at The Big Kids’ Hall for organizing this.
Let’s face it, you can have some of the best lessons to teach, but without classroom management very little learning is actually going to happen. As a past School Psychologist and current Special Education Coordinator, I’m constantly consulted about classroom management strategies. I have observed hundreds of classrooms and seen wonderful classroom management and classrooms that are literally out of control.
After analyzing each of these cases, the common factor I’ve found with teachers that have a controlled and managed class is the CONNECTIONS they have made with their students. They have built trusting relationships, especially with the most difficult children. Making connections with challenging students can be very difficult when they know which buttons to push and how to engage in a power struggles with teachers.
The first step in making a connection is learning about student backgrounds. In one school I worked, the principal bused all the teachers around the community prior to school starting to show them where the kids live. This was eye-opening to many teachers. This was a rather rural school district and the conditions of some of the homes was deplorable….some without running water and up to 13 family members in a single wide trailer. Needless to say, this created empathy in many teachers…knowing where their students live and what conditions they come home to everyday.
The following illustrations helps demonstrates some different backgrounds you could encounter along the way.
Building connections is also about letting students know about you and showing them you truly care about them. Once you have made a connection with your students this will solve most management issues; however their typically is still that one or two students who need an extra boost. Finding out what motivates these students will be invaluable. Some teachers will argue they cannot find anything that the student “cares” about, but everyone is motivated by something and it just may take a little longer to find out what that one thing is with some students. Take the time to find out what they care about and what they will “work” for. Once you find out what motivates a student, you can use this to reward good behavior and build all types of individual behavior plans.
One last tip is to rely on the support from your counselor, school psychologist, behavior interventionist (if you have one) and social worker to help out with those particularly challenging students. These individuals may be able to identify a strategy that will work and provide you additional tips and support along the way!!
Checkout my freebie’s at the top of the blog….there are alot of behavior interventions that you can download for free! Interest Inventories and Reward Menus may also provide you will some additional ideas.