Education majors learn how to teach students of various age groups. Management of the classroom is one very important element of effective teaching. Preventing and reducing disruptions are necessary for teachers so they can get on with the business of teaching.
For your term paper, you could research and devise a step-by-step plan for classroom management techniques for various age groups and grades. Explain what works for which types of students. Here are some basic tips for nearly any grade that would make good research paper topics.
1. Establish classroom rules first
Children need to know what is expected of them, so clearly define the rules of conduct at the beginning of the course. Explain the punishments and consequences for misbehaving. Be consistent and enforce the rules. Don’t give bad behavior a pass, otherwise the students will know what they can get away with. As their teacher, you need to build trust with them.
2. Focus on disruptive students
An important topic for a classroom management term paper is how to handle disruptive students. Talking, passing notes or playing with their phones can disrupt an entire class. On the NEA.org website, Dave Foley, a junior high school teacher and author of the Ultimate Classroom Management Handbook, suggests in “6 Classroom Management Tips Every Teacher Can Use,” “If they are talking, pause and look toward them. If in front of the class, continue with the lesson but walk toward the problem students and stop near their seats, while still teaching. Having you so near usually shuts off the unwanted activity as the rest of the class’s attention is directed toward the misbehaving students.”
3. Don’t forget to praise, too
Discipline is not just punishing the bad students. Praise and reward go a long way with children, too. Rewarding good behavior, and making the disruptive students see the attention the good students are getting, can help keep order in the classroom. Positive reinforcement also helps the good students do even better and challenge themselves. Students are eager to please their teacher and meet your expectations. Also give constant feedback to guide student behavior and academics.
4. Maintain order
Maintaining order is another step you can describe in a term paper. Now that you have the classroom’s attention and have established rules of conduct, how do you maintain it and avoid nagging or constant scolding if the students do not behave? Sally Gill, a grade school teacher in Australia, uses this technique: “Each child carries a card on which he or she records stamps awarded for great work, wonderful ideas, manners, friendliness, bringing things from home, anything. When they get 5 stamps, they can trade the card in for a treat,” such as game time, permission to change seats or computer time, reported Linda Starr online at EducationWorld.com in the article “Creating A Climate for Learning” posted July 20, 2010.
5. Plan ahead for surprises
Planning and preparation give a teacher a heads up in classroom management. Writing in the October 2014 issue of Phi Delta Kappan, Stephanie M. Jones and Rebecca Bailey wrote in “Social-Emotional Learning Is Essential to Classroom Management,” “Effective classroom managers map the day’s learning activities as well as transitions between activities and think deliberately about what is likely to be difficult for specific individuals, groups, or the class as a whole. Teachers who make time for such management-oriented planning are less likely to be caught off guard when things go awry, and they’re more likely to have a strategy prepared in advance and to implement it quickly.”
What are some other tips for managing a classroom? Tell us in the comments.