Unlocking Success in the Next School Year: A Guide to Enhancing Classroom Management This Summer

Every small change or improvement you make in the summer is a gift you give yourself for the rest of your teaching career.

Unlocking Success in the Next School Year: A Guide to Enhancing Classroom Management This Summer
Photo by Barry Zhou / Unsplash

Now that summer is upon us, teachers have a golden opportunity to reflect on the past year's teaching practices. Among these practices, classroom management improvements have the potential to improve your school year significantly. Effective classroom management contributes to a conducive learning environment and directly influences student behavior and, ultimately, their academic success. Drawing on practical, research-backed strategies like those presented in the Edutopia article "8 Proactive Classroom Management Tips for New Teachers" can significantly enhance teachers' classroom management skills. Even though I have taught for 25 years, there are always areas for growth regarding management. Sometimes, it is something as simple as returning to the basics.

Identifying Areas for Growth

The relaxed pace of summer provides an ideal backdrop for reflection and growth. Teachers can use this time to evaluate their past year's classroom management strategies critically. Reflection is the cornerstone of improvement. Ask yourself: What strategies worked well in the past year? Which ones fell short? Where can improvements be made? The answers to these questions help identify key focus areas, laying the groundwork for an effective classroom management plan for the upcoming year.

Implementing Small Changes

When considering changes to classroom management strategies, it's essential to remember the age-old adage: "Rome wasn't built in a day." Trying to overhaul all classroom practices at once can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Instead, focusing on implementing a few selected changes can lead to more meaningful and sustainable improvements. For me, some of the changes will revolve around staying present and giving consistent and detailed praise where appropriate.

For instance, you might realize that building and maintaining relationships with students has been a challenge. In such cases, consider starting the next year with a simple change: greet each student at the door every day or choose two students each day to ask questions designed to get to know them better. This small act of connection can help foster a positive relationship with students, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is key to effective classroom management. Students thrive in structured, predictable environments. They need to know the classroom rules and see those rules applied consistently. Inconsistent rule enforcement can lead to confusion and undermine a teacher's authority.

Active supervision is another powerful strategy. Being active in the classroom, moving around the room, checking in on student progress, asking questions, and engaging with students can help prevent misbehavior. It sends a clear message that you are invested in their learning and are there to support them. This is an area that I can always improve on. There are so many administrative tasks that teachers need to get done, and I am always looking for small moments to sneak them in. Mobility and proximity are powerful classroom management tools requiring little extra effort.

15 Classroom Management Tips To Try - Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. Greet each student at the door every day.
  2. Make an effort to build and maintain relationships with students.
  3. Use reminders and cues to help students follow instructions.
  4. Optimize classroom seating to reduce disruptions.
  5. Give behavior-specific praise to reinforce positive behavior.
  6. Set clear expectations and discuss with students why those rules matter.
  7. Be actively involved in the classroom, moving around and engaging with students.
  8. Be consistent in applying rules and routines.
  9. Regularly check-in with students to understand their needs.
  10. Focus on solutions instead of problems when dealing with conflicts.
  11. Use non-verbal cues, like smiling and making eye contact, to connect with students.
  12. Implement flexible seating arrangements to provide a sense of ownership.
  13. Regularly reflect on your teaching practices and make necessary improvements.
  14. Reinforce positive behavior and ignore low-level disruptions.
  15. Prioritize fairness when applying rules and routines to avoid singling out certain students.

Every small change or improvement you make in the summer is a gift you give yourself for the rest of your teaching career.

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