Strategies from K-12 schools, districts, and programs that are dramatically improving the learning process. We share evidence- and practitioner-based learning strategies that empower you to improve K-12 education. This article is adapted from Larry's new book, Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation. My general answer is that you can never have too many positive, not punitive, classroom management strategies in your toolbox. Obviously, there are serious student transgressions, including violence, where some kind of punishment is an appropriate response. Community organizers try to help people understand the difference between public and private relationships (I was an organizer for 19 years prior to becoming a teacher). Here is another example: I have spent time over the years working with many organizations, including religious congregations, organizing for community improvements. And we carried this distinction over to how members needed to act in the context of the organization -- at our meetings, with the media, and whenever they were in the public eye. I apply this concept in the classroom by helping students understand the difference between public behavior and private behavior. I sometimes will have done it enough times with a student that when I go over, he or she will recite all of the lines.
These kinds of inappropriate comments seem to decrease as the school year goes on, because at least some students gain a greater understanding of the differences between public and private, an understanding that should serve them well for years to come.
Educator and positive classroom management consultant Marvin Marshall recommends a simple strategy of asking a disruptive student a simple question, either in the moment or afterward: "What would be the long-term effect of doing that?" As he suggests, asking can be far more effective than telling.
A paper airplane, ball of paper, or pencil flies through the air, or somebody makes an obnoxious noise.
It's not uncommon for teachers to first yell something like, "Who threw it?" No one admits to it, and then the teacher will punish the entire group. Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups.
This kind of misbehavior does not happen that often in my classes, thankfully, but it certainly does occur. I asked them both to come outside with me, and I explained that I was disappointed that one of them was not keeping their word. So in other words, the second step, when necessary, is to ask students to consider the impact their actions have on others, and ask them to try to work out problems among themselves. Of course, one of the most common situations where the specter of collective punishment is raised is after a difficult time with a substitute teacher. This can be a very effective strategy to reduce teacher temptation to inflict collective punishment on a class, enhance the likelihood of a class with a sub being somewhat productive, and dramatically reduce stress for the sub.
After a class has shown that it understands and respects the expected behavior, a teacher can experiment with not using the grading rubric and explaining to students that he or she trusts that they will act appropriately.
In Part Two of this excerpt, I'll offer additional positive classroom management strategies. One of the most important things I've learned (and teach) about classroom management is the teacher's attitude.
I'm seeing a great system being implemented at an elementary school that uses a positive behavior color chart school-wide. The key is to not use it for punishment, but instead as a teaching tool or a self-awareness tool for students. Almost always students are noisier, unmotivated to work, and even ruder sometimes when there's a substitute teacher around.
Your Attitude and Behavior with a Substitute Teacher grading rubric sounds like a good idea. I was doing a long term sub job last year and sent a positive note home with a student for his father.
I’d like to know what other tips you would offer new teachers who are dealing with classroom management issues.
How to Have Amazing Classroom Management Without Building RelationshipsIt's a book of BLANK pages! How to Nail the Teacher InterviewWhiteboard MagnetLet your kids know that they have someone in their corner - You. Brainstorm solutions to the problems you encounter even if you can’t implement them so you have a full arsenal of strategies when you get your first classroom. Looking back, I actually wouldn’t change my student teaching placements for the world.
Of course, that’s why most new teachers go into shock when they get their first classroom and suddenly have to handle so many things by themselves all at once! When the kids do something they shouldn’t, say their name softly, look them dead in the eye, and shake your head. IA also think it’s an excellent idea to talk directly to the classroom teacher about management issues. You might notice that whenever the kids have a question or need something, they tend to go to the classroom teacher first instead of you. Though having a student teacher is often very rewarding for the cooperating teacher, it’s also a lot of extra work.
That said, most mentor teachers will be happy to have you in their room and you’ll be able to learn a lot from them. Of course, it does take awhile to figure out who exactly you are as a teacher, and your style will evolve over time. Student teaching will allow you to observe different teachers in different teaching scenarios: you can take the bits and pieces that resonate with you and leave the rest. A new blog post is up with tips and tricks from other educators on having a great student teaching experience! Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach.
My first day student teaching, my lead teacher told me if I could teach those students at that school, I could teach anywhere. I am more than halfway through my ST and I am so happy that I came across this article, as I am experiencing some of the difficulties listed here.

Smarties:I give out Smarties before assessments or any other time extra brain power is needed!
The following resources may be used instead of detention or given to students once they show up for detention!
Below you will find many necessary resources that will be needed for the start of the school year! It includes student information forms, sample syllabus, syllabus templates and more!
FACS student information card and photo release form-cards work even better when printed on cardstock.
However, in many other instances, punishment may work only temporarily, may not work at all, or may only make the problem worse. Often, those in power will try to blur that division when it suits their purposes (for example, politicians kissing babies). The political decision makers with whom we would have to negotiate for those neighborhood changes were sometimes members of those congregations, and they would often try to privately influence pastors or congregation leaders to take a different public position.
The object is probably aimed at another student, and it may or may not hit the intended target. It's frustrating because that kind of behavior does not contribute to a learning community.
The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. What I usually do is go over to the area where I suspect the noise or projectile originated and quietly explain that I don't feel respected when this kind of thing happens.
In my teaching career, this has almost always resulted in stopping the inappropriate behavior and, I hope, students gaining some added maturity. One preventative strategy is the use of something like the Attitude and Behavior With A Substitute Teacher grading rubric. Students need to know that it's okay not to love, or even like, everything they do in school. One of my major challenges is classroom management because I usually just come and go after a day or two or a week of sub teaching for a homeroom teacher. They know that it's a different set up as compared to when their homeroom teacher is present.
I like the way you handle Johnny when he said something inappropriate in class, and I would always remember to try that in my classroom. The student was elated to get something positive and he told me that his dad would be so happy to get that note.
However, the problem starts when we are positive, open and want to communicate and the one of our students is cheeky and impudent, moreover - egoistic and somehow antisocial. I teach 8th graders, so classroom management is something that I’ve had to work on if I wanted to survive. Sometimes, when you call their name in front of the class for making noise, it becomes an embarrassing moment.
I don’t know too much about the elementary grades, so this is a good tip for those teachers who teach the lower grades.
It was a third grade placement and I thought it would be a piece of cake compared to corralling needy kindergartners in my previous school.
You can survive whatever you’re handed during those few weeks of student teaching which seem to last forever but are actually just a drop in the bucket compared to the long teaching career you have ahead of you. The first experience taught me what a real classroom community could look like and gave me something to aspire to. Instead of relying on rules and consequences to manage student behavior, I’d recommend focusing on the energy you project. I think it’s good to be direct about what you need from your mentor but phrase things kindly. You should not pressure yourself to emulate your mentor teacher exactly or to adapt methodologies that don’t feel right to you when there are perfectly fine alternatives that fit more with your own style.
There will be some things you do now that will make you look back and cringe in five years! Build upon who you already are as a person and your own teaching philosophy, and add tips and tricks you pick up along the way. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. I feel like I didn’t start off with the authority and expectations that I should have and I am struggling to develop that now half way through the semester. My classroom teacher and I have very different personalities and I am definitely feeling pressured to emulate her and some of her teaching and classroom management styles. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. I'm Angela Watson, a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience. Research suggests that punishment often primarily teaches the student that he or she just has to be more careful next time to avoid getting caught. The religious leaders, in turn, would point out that when it came time to participating in public life, it was a public relationship and public dialogue -- and when it came time to a personal issue, it was a private relationship and a private dialogue. One small example is a student shouting out "I'm bored" or some other inappropriate comment. And, since I feel like I show that I respect students at all times, I would hope they would want me to feel respected. So I said that I couldn't trust the word of either of them and didn't like feeling that way. Early in the year, the teacher shows the simple rubric to students and explains that a substitute will use it with them. One time I covered for a homeroom teacher who would count up to 5 to make sure the students have put away their laptops and are in the line by 0. I call the name of the student who is disrupting the class, and I say, “That’s one.” Most of the time, that’s all the student needs to straighten up.
On this page, you can read about what I learned about classroom management from my experiences as a student teacher and from having my own classroom. The kids were used to responding to quiet requests from her and followed the classroom routines as second nature, so when I showed up in January, the hard part was already done for me.

Some of my best learning came late at night in the dorms, chatting with other STs about what had happened during the day. I think you’ll find thatA a natural tough instinct will start to kick in once you have your own classroom.
When I got my own classroom and was a mentor to student teachers, the exact same thing happened in reverse–the kids always came to me instead of asking the ST for help. Some teachers are not even asked if they would like student teachers and are just assigned them, so mentoring might not even be something they’re currently interested in taking on. Don’t take your differences personally or interpret feedback as criticism just because you have a different way of doing things. My current teaching style is a reflection of dozens (maybe hundreds) of teachers who have influenced me all along the way. My kids are great when my cooperating teacher is in the room while I am teaching and sometimes when I am there by myself, but other times it is a different story. Have a conversation and explain that you’ve noticed some problems in the classroom and talk about what the solutions will be. There are some styles that I do like and I probably will use in my own classroom in the future, but I feel that a lot of her ways won’t work for me because her and I are so different.
I love the fact that you are being real about student teaching… I have been student teaching for six weeks at a local high school, and It has been no walk in the park. They know you are only there for a short time and you’re not the one responsible for their grades.
I currently work as an educational consultant and instructional coach based in Brooklyn, NY.
The students who do not finish the work put it in the More Time basket and finish it another time throughout the day or for morning work the next morning. I then explain that I don't know who actually did it, but that I would like each of them to commit that they will not throw something (or make a noise, etc.), and we shake on it.
I suggested that the person who was making the noise might want to think about how his or her actions were now affecting the other student.
Five minutes prior to the end of class with the sub, he or she will distribute the rubrics, and students will write down their names and grade themselves.
For every 5 counts that the class is not in a line, he will have 1 minute taken away from their free choice period. You see a few students actually paying attention to you, so you don’t want to stop, even though you know the kids in the back are doing something other than listening to you.
You’ll also read about establishing authority in the classroom as a student teacher and figuring out your own unique teaching style.
I learned so much from that wonderful kindergarten teacher, and she shaped my teaching practices in tremendous ways. The mentor teacher was a second career teacher with only a few years experience, and her personality was so mild-mannered that the kids ran completely over top of her.A It was so bad that I asked my college supervisor for a new student teaching placement. It can be helpful to have a quick discussion with the class about what sorts of things they can come to you with. Do you have any suggestions for developing a more in control role when the students have already learned that they don’t have to treat me the same way they treat my cooperating teacher?
I feel that I have established a certain amount of authority to where students listen to me, but at the same time they still do not show me the same respect as my supervising teacher. I created this site in 2003 because I love sharing practical classroom ideas and helping teachers build a positive mindset so they can truly enjoy their work. Then, I gave them a few minutes to talk about it privately (I left the door open and asked them to stay in front of it so I could observe their actions, but not overhear what they said). The sub will then go around, give what grade he or she believes the student has earned, and collect the sheets (this process means the sub does not have to worry about remembering individual names and can base the evaluation on student faces). I think If the teacher had explained that, "Man, I know this is hard for you (or boring), but we'll both get through this together." I think I would have put more effort into those boring subjects. We sometimes think changing their color or pulling their card is enough for them to realize their mistakes and how they can improve, but it's like getting a math problem wrong.
However, I noticed that when I do this, most students would be in a line, except for 1 or 2 students.
Nevertheless, when we want to solve the problem quickly enough to be able to realise our goal, it can be just painful. First of all, you may lose any hopes for future success with that student, and you might cause that student to become defensive and belligerent. She agreed that the placement was not ideal and offered to let me finish my student teaching at a different school.
You could say, “I notice that most of you like to ask your teacher when you have a question.
Each day you re-enter the classroom, you’re better equipped to handle its challenges.
The class has quite a few students with behavioral IEPs and I can’t keep students from acting out.
As long as they are listening to you and respectful of you, then you’ve done a fantastic job. What I did then was to put the names of these 1 or 2 students on the white board and told them that instead of a class deduction, only the two of them would get it.
You have to stop and either wait till you have all their attention or you have to deal with the students who are taking attention from you. However, I had a change of heart and opted to stay and take on the challenge.A I immediately took the initiative to implement a simple behavioral system with group points.
My mentor teacher was fine with that and was thrilled with the behavioral improvements in the kids.

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