It’s no hyperbole to claim teaching as the most important job in the world. Teachers encourage, mold and inspire the rising generation. Individuals first learn the power of their voice in the classroom. As a substitute teacher, a first-time teacher, or a returning teacher, managing your classroom gives you the control needed to inspire your students. These classroom management tips will help you gain that control!
1. Confidence is key
Mindset is everything. You are qualified, have been trained and are prepared for this job. No matter how others may act towards you, are never JUST “the sub”, “the newbie” or “the old timer”. Your teaching style and pizzazz for this field has gotten you this far. Walk STRIDE into the classroom. Own it.
2. Greet students at the door, EVERY morning
A 2018 study showed that teachers greeting students at the classroom door led to an increase in academic engagement. The study found that teachers who did something small like a high-five or fist bump at the beginning of class had a 20% gain in academic engaged time, meaning an extra 12 minutes of on-task behavior for every hour or an additional hour of engagement over the course of a 5 hour school day. The study says “by intentionally promoting successful transition into the classroom learning environments, teachers can take an active role in helping students be better prepared and ready to learn”. Find a positive greeting that works for you and stick to it!
3. Give behavior-specific praise
Acknowledging positive behavior and ignoring insignificant disturbances encourages independence and success for all students. Rather than praising Sally for sitting quietly, you can say, “Excellent work sitting and working quietly, class!”. Reinforcing positive behavior will motivate students to work towards sincere praise.
4. Set clear expectations
Setting expectations is the quickest and easiest way to establish respect with your students. Knowing what behaviors will be or not be tolerated in your classroom at the beginning of the day, semester, and year will make accepting consequences easier.
This last tip is substitute teacher specific.
5. Identify a “helpful” student
Your day will be much easier if you have an ally on the inside. Ask the teacher before you begin teaching which student is the most helpful. If the teacher is unable to provide this information, you can ask all the students at the beginning of the day about a specific procedure.