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3 Key Steps To Great Classroom Management

Do you sometimes feel like managing your classroom is a daunting or overwhelming task?

You’re not alone! One of the biggest challenges and victories a teacher can have in her or his career is classroom management success.

And I must say this: Great classroom management doesn’t mean coddling your students so that they become helpless without you, but rather, they become inviduals that respect themselves, their classroom, and their learning.

This outcome can be very rewarding for any teacher!

Here are three simple steps to apply to your classroom to make it the most smooth sailing ship it can be.

Step One - Routine is Key

Routine is the sail that successfully guides the ship to where it needs to head. We are heading for a calm and co-operative class with the strong sails of routine!

No matter who your students are, they will come to school with their own fears, anxieties, and apprehensions. Studies show, one in four students have anxiety issues that they deal with.

I know you, like any teacher, want your children to feel safe and at ease when they are in your classroom. Having a weekly routine that’s fairly consistent is a key step in students feeling safe and at ease!

If you can establish a great, consistent routine for your students, this routine will become a habit in a month or two. When this happens, you’ll have more classroom peacefulness throughout the day, students will be faster to change from one subject to the other, and room transitions will be smoother from classroom to other school rooms like the library.

In other words: your students will do less wondering about what’s next and more learning!

Here’s a great tip: In my experience, visual scheduling is a great way to help children understand what is happening next and to help you create a great routine for the classroom.

Why verbalize when you can visualize too?

[Editor's Note: Elaine has produced an award winning organizational product for kids that's offered at Scholar's Choice called Easy Daysies Schedules for Kids]

Regular routine may seem trivial to us adults but for a child it can be a big difference in their learning achievements!

Last, don’t hesitate to send home to parents your regular routine for weekly math and spelling tests, gym classes, library times, etc. They’ll appreciate the information and can reinforce these routines from home after school hours!

Step Two - Organization is the Framework

Every boat has a framework and without it, your boat would be like a deflating life raft.  Organization is the framework of your classroom management. There must be a consistent place for everything so not only your students know where to find it, but so will you!

You know the saying, “Everything has a place.”

Let’s dive into some tips:

Keep students' desks as empty as possible. By doing so, they’ll be less fidgety when you’re teaching lessons.

All workbooks and textbooks should be sorted by colour coded subjects and stored on labelled shelves. This way the books can always be located and returned to the same spot. Do the same for bulk supplies that are not used every day, such as glue, scissors, paints, etc. Emptier desks also means quickly finding the pencil and eraser they need to start their work and less distractions during instruction and work time.

On your desk, try to keep it as neat as possible.

You should have three baskets near your desk labelled: Hand In, Hand Out, and To Be Finished.

Step Three - Classroom Rules Gives Ownership

At the beginning of the school year, develop classroom rules with your students. This is very important because it gives students a sense of ownership within their class, and a strong purpose for respecting their class, their belongings, their teacher, and themselves.

A smart and prepared teacher already knows the five to seven rules he/she wants for their classroom and a good Captain of the ship can help steer the mates (students) into the right direction of naming those rules.

Remember, you are the Captain. You’ll always have a final say in the rules you set for the classroom, but if you create a great collaborative environment for your students, they will feel much more ownership around the rules that are set!

When writing the rules down, use direct quotes from your students. This gives them meaning and helps them relate. Once you have developed the rules, post them clearly in the classroom and get each student and yourself to sign the document, like a contract. This way, everyone can see it each day and remember the expectations they set for their own behaviour.


Are you ready to set sail? The steps are as easy as one, two, and three to having that smooth sailing ship.

Thanks for reading! Now I want to pass the conversation over to you.

What ideas or tips have you learned in your career that have helped you with great classroom management?

Posted by Elaine Tan Comeau in Teacher, General ← Previous Post Next Post →

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