Have you ever noticed a group of middle or high school students who change classes, and in one teacher’s class they are well behaved, but in another teacher’s class they are terrors? Could it be that the former teacher has detour signs in place to steer students around potential behavior problems that the second teacher does not?
Even in the 21st century, with all the societal challenges that students have to face, there are still exceptional classroom managers! The research tells us that effective managers do not necessarily possess a magic bag of tricks that other teachers do not. Instead, they have planned for their students in ways that keep classroom management problems from happening in the first place. In other words, they are proactive and not reactive.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing blogs that are organized into the five detour signs that every teacher should be putting up to help eliminate behavior problems in the classroom before they even occur. Those detour signs are as follows:
- Get to know each student.
- Create a physical environment conducive to learning.
- Engage the brains of your students.
- Develop a proactive management plan.
- Deal proactively with challenging behavior.
When teachers are reactive, rather than proactive, behavior problems may truly upset them because they have not anticipated the problems and are not equipped with possible solutions. This stress or frustration may result in increased use of sarcasm, random punishments, and even shouting or yelling. But Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites. (For instructional strategies that do grow dendrites, read my previous blog posts by visiting my homepage.)
In fact, consider this simile. It has been said that shouting to manage students is like blowing the horn to steer a car. After all, excessive blowing of horns escalates road rage just like excessive shouting at students escalates power struggles. In my observations, teachers who yell at students can have students who yell back, causing the teacher to yell even louder and the vicious cycle to continue.
Proactive classroom managers steer students around possible danger with the five detour signs I will be delineating on my blog. They develop relationships with all students; they arrange their classrooms to create a calming state for learning; they engage the brains of all students with relevant, interactive lessons; they put in place a proactive management plan that provides structure for each day; and they get assistance with the most challenging students.