My classroom management is terrible, any tips?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kayla037, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Kayla037

    Kayla037 Rookie

    May 4, 2016
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    Oct 11, 2016

    I got my first teaching job this year in 5th grade, and I have 26 kids. My room is way too small for that many, but I manage. This limits my desk arrangement. I have the desks grouped in 4's. I don't prefer this because of how chatty they are, but...

    I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing wrong. It's the same kids. I don't think I'm being too "nice". They lose "dojo" points, and we re-teach proper behavior at recess if needed. If they are in the negative for points, they don't get extra recess on Friday's. That's my management system, which applies to all 5th grade classrooms.

    So, what am I doing wrong? I still have students who don't know how to raise their hand if they have a question, and I still can't get my kids to line up properly for transitions. The other teacher has issues with her class as well, but I don't know what I, specifically, can do. Besides, reteach, reteach, reteach. All day long. It leaves me frustrated, and it leaves the students who actually do follow the rules frustrated as well. I waste so much time talking about behavior, and I feel like my instructional time is cut in half on some days.

    Any tips, please!
  3. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

    Dec 7, 2014
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    Oct 11, 2016

    Take this for what it's worth. I am only a second year teacher myself but my P regularly tells me that my classroom management is a strength so I will share some insight based on my own experiences.

    I teach 5th grade too, and I have 27 students. For me, it is all about consistency and setting clear expectations. If they know EXACTLY what you expect (and this happens through explicit teaching and modeling), and you follow through on enforcing your expectations every single time they aren't met, your kids will fall into place.

    For example, my kids know that if they shout something out when I'm teaching, they are breaking a classroom rule which will cost them 5 minutes of recess. Do it again, and now it's 15 minutes of recess. A couple kids had to learn this the hard way in the beginning, but now it's a non-issue. And as a side note, I absolutely despise taking recess from kids and do it VERY rarely. But if they know you mean it when you say you will do something, they will stop testing you so much in time.

    Do you feel like you are being consistent, and following through every single time a rule or expectation is broken?
  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Jun 18, 2016
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    Oct 11, 2016

    It's also still WAY EARLY in the year... so just keep at it and give it time and understand that basically any holidays will be BRUTAL and will un-do a lot of the work that you've already done. Just keep it consistent and CONSTANTLY stop and re-direct and practice if needed. Because I guarantee it's NOT the entire class. It never IS 100% of the students, but just stay on top of those who are breaking the classroom expectations and don't forget to praise for following too. "Oh I like how ___ is..." and when Johnny does finally raise his hand, jump ALL over it! "AWESOME JOHNNY! I LOVE IT!"
  5. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

    Jan 23, 2015
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    Oct 11, 2016

    My advice is to try to realize you are probably doing better than you think, and don't be too hard on yourself. I was a sped teacher and classroom teacher and am now helping in a train wreck of a classroom... My point I guess is I've been in a lot of classrooms in charge and not. What I've seen that works best: Just keep being consistent and stick to what you say, don't let them see you sweat, be stricter than you need to be at first. If they do it wrong, calmly make them go back and do it right. I found that really effective. Also, one thing I love about the school I'm in now is how positive all the teachers are. You can correct students and still be calm and pleasant, and it's just as effective as a teacher that is loud or yelling. Also make things engaging, fun, and keep them busy! Good luck!
    bella84 likes this.
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Jul 20, 2012
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    Oct 11, 2016

    1. Be sure you're building a culture of mutual respect in your classroom. All the routines, procedures, and clear expectations in the world will mean nothing if the students don't respect you and each other.

    2. Understand that your students won't be perfect. They are going to talk sometimes. Transitions might occasionally be slow. Know when to push it and when to let it go... And know how to let them know you are serious on the days that you decide you are going to push it.

    3. Invite an instructional coach, mentor, or experienced teacher into your class to observe and provide feedback. We can give you a ton of advice here, but the best advice will come from those who know your school culture, your students, and you.
    Luv2TeachInTX likes this.
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Oct 15, 2016

    If they aren't raising their hands, you just ignore them. When a student "forgets" and comes up to me, or just calls out, I don't acknowledge him or her. I will literally ignore a student who comes up to me and asks me a question. Responding to them when they have not raised their hand will only perpetuate the behavior. They catch on quickly when you do this. Regarding lining up: yes, practice, practice, practice. Also, can students chat and work? Or, are they being expected to sit and work in silence? Personally, I don't believe that a quiet classroom is necessarily the ideal classroom (during carpet, or listening time, yes....but work time? No). I always say that learning is messy and loud. Are your expectations realistic? Do you sit in silence when working with a colleague next to you? Can learning be social? Just a few questions to ponder.

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