Now that you've got your classroom expectations set from our classroom management e mail series, let's get into the tough stuff…following through. In my not-so-humble opinion, following through and consistency is the hardest part about strong classroom management and what's missing from many classrooms that are a bit of a hot-mess! I've got a few ways to help you have consistency with classroom management.
Kids test boundaries, it's just what they do. They will test you…especially those first few weeks of school. They want to know if you really mean what you say. They want to know what they can get away with. Some of our sweet little guys come from families where parents say one thing, but don't really mean it. That gives our kids mixed messages. So here's what you can do to ensure that you follow through in your class.
Say what you mean
If you tell your students that you expect them to come into the classroom quietly and they don't; make them walk back outside and try it again. Do this until they come into the class the way you expect. During the first month, you'll have to do this repeatedly. And you're going to want to cry…or scream…because it's frustrating. But I promise you that the hard work will pay off. It will eventually click with your kids that you're not playing around or putting up with any foolishness. And pretty soon, you'll have a few friends who are also tired of doing this repeatedly and they'll make sure that their chatty friends turn off their sweet little voices.
Sometimes it's easier to let things slide because you're tired, but don't. If you expect your kids to come in from recess quietly, expect it every.single.time. If you only expect it sometimes, your students won't know when that time may be so it's harder for them to get into the routine of doing it. When your consistent, it will become a routine and your students are more likely to rise to the occasion.
Set an Example
I absolutely hate when this happens, but it's going to. There's always going to be one or two friends who aren't going to take you seriously. I've got my own theories on why these friends do this, but that's a whole other blog post! When your new friend thinks that it's ok to continue to talk during your number talk, despite your redirection and warnings, it's time to follow through…which means Chatty Kathy is now going to be used as an example for the rest of the class.
You may think I'm harsh..but here's the deal. I've got a class of 23 other students who are here to learn and it's my job to ensure that any other distractions or dealt with quickly. If Chatty Kathy isn't dealt with, she's going to start talking during word study, guided reading, read alouds, and any other chance she can!
The point of this is that there's a time and a place for everything. But I've set very clear expectations of 1. Showing Respect 2. Making Good Choices and 3. Solving your Problems and she's not doing #1 or #2.
I'd love to know what part of following through and consistency is a challenge for you. For the next 2 weeks, I'll be breaking down classroom management for you in a daily e mail. I'll make it short and sweet because I know how busy you are. Click here if you aren't already signed up.
Classroom Management E mail Series
3 simple rules that every class needs
how to follow-through
whole group || small group || individual management
To clip chart or not?!?!
Students who are consistently making poor choices
Management during centers
Systems for entering the classroom, library, going to lunch, and going home