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Courses UK » Things to Remember in a Classroom | Blog

Things to Remember in a Classroom

Things to remember in a classroom
Every student remembers a good teacher, who taught them well, was a daily dose of inspiration and was a motivation for all. One might wonder how they manage to do it. Teacher that are a great with their students are also portrayed as a highly motivational character in many Hollywood movies which leads to the conclusion that apart from a set of parents, a teacher comes foremost in the upbringing of a child to an adult. It is not hard but requires patience.

There is no room for weak first impressions, no room for indecisiveness, and no room to leave your students bored or uninspired.
It’s best to think of the first day of school as a microcosm of the coming year. In other words, it should represent who you are and what you want your classroom to be. Below are listed, some points to note, to when you enter a classroom as a teacher for children or for adults.

1. A smile.
It’s so simple, but also so very important. A smile to greet your students is the first step to building rapport. It’s the first step to creating a trusting, close-knit relationship with your new class.
Remember, if your students like you and trust you, then classroom management becomes much, much easier. A smile activates instant likability—and so much more.

2.  A routine along with management
With your new students eager to please, early the first morning is the perfect time to send the message that you expect excellence in everything they do—even the most mundane routines.
Teach a highly detailed lesson on how to enter your classroom in the morning—or any other common routine. Be of good cheer, make it enjoyable and participatory, but set your expectations beyond anything they’ve ever experienced.
Keep in mind that that classroom management and management of student conduct are skills that teachers acquire and hone over time. These skills almost never "jell" until after a minimum of few years of teaching experience.
An Effective Classroom Management Context
(these four things are fundamental)
1. Know what you want and what you don't want.
2. Show and tell your students what you want.
3. When you get what you want, acknowledge (not praise) it.
4. When you get something else, act quickly and appropriately.
3. A plan.
Although you’ll use the rest of the first week to teach your classroom management plan in depth, it’s important to give an overview of your rules and consequences on the first day. The reason is twofold.
First, your students need to know your boundaries so you can begin enforcing them. Second, it’s an opportunity to express your deep commitment to protect their right to learn and enjoy school without interference.
There is no reason for teachers not to begin the school year with a handful of their own guidelines for behaviors and procedures. The current thinking--students should cooperatively develop their own rules, so they will be more invested in following them--doesn't always work as expected. In a democracy, there are often structures, principles and assumptions that help us build functional communities. What if each new community had to create its own constitution and bylaws, with no models or obvious leadership? In order for that to have an impact, it takes time, investment and relationship-building. What happens in the meantime? Is anybody getting any teaching and learning accomplished?
4. Make your first a special one – a nice gesture goes a long way
It pays to make your first day of school a special one, to take advantage of your one chance to make a first impression, to leave your students exhilarated, out of breath, and happily shaken.
You’ll be immediately elevated to favorite-teacher status. Your students will be excited to come back the next day and inspired to please you with their best.
And parents? They will be thrilled and firmly ensconced in your corner.
5. A little fun on the side
Small doses of humor throughout the day, a getting-to-know-you activity, a simple openness to enjoying your students—any of these will do. The idea is to establish a classroom environment that balances hard work with camaraderie, friendship, and joy.
The lesson, especially the first one will never go exactly as you imagined it or planned it. Teaching can be unpredictable and that is why it is so much fun.
Don’t worry about time on the first day. If an activity takes 20 minutes that you thought would take 40 minutes, give yourself a break and move into your next transition.
Don’t try to control too much. The goal of the first class is to get everyone familiar and learning names, to give some explanation of what is to come in the class, and to make your students feel welcome and excited. If you can accomplish those things on your first day, you have done your job!
Don’t take things too seriously and let the students settle in as well. Often the students are just as nervous as you are and really just want to get through the first day without any problems. Remember to put them at ease by creating rapport and using humor.
6. A peaceful pace.
Establish a peaceful pace to your classroom by speaking calmly but firmly, taking your time, pausing often, and never moving on until you get exactly what you want from your new students.
These powerful strategies will begin grooving the initial learning and behaving habits that make for a mature, attentive classroom.
7. Share
It’s important on the first day of school for your students to see you as a real person, and not a robot built by the government to tell them what to do.
A quick and easy way to do this is to share a story about your childhood. Shoot for something funny or amusing, perhaps about your own first day of school experience. Nothing builds rapport faster.
Students often learn in proportion to how well they relate to their instructors; when they see them as more than just an authority figure or subject matter expert; when they see them as human beings with similar experiences. Share some personal stories with your students and learn to laugh at yourself. It will help establish rapport with your students and put them at ease while getting to know you as a person.
8. Involve students quickly
Let your students know right from the get-go that active participation is the name of the game. This can be done in a variety of ways:
·      have everybody introduce themselves
·      create some individual thinking and writing time
·      conduct class and/or small-group discussions
9. Promise
A couple weeks ago we talked about the importance of promising to follow your classroom management plan. But it’s also important to promise your students that your personality will remain consistent.
So before your first classroom management lesson, tell them directly. Promise that you will never yell or speak to them disrespectfully. It’s a simple statement, but so, so powerful—for both them and you.
10. Rules and climate
Different teachers prefer different classroom climates: intense, relaxed, formal, personal, humorous, serious, etc. Whatever climate you prefer, you must establish it at the beginning. It sets the tone for the whole semester.
"Rules" imply consequences for breaking them. Which, in turn, implies that the teacher has "control" and must become the de facto policing agent in a classroom.  So be careful about establishing concrete rules (one missing assignment forgiven, per semester, for example), and associated concrete punishments. As a teacher, this is a recipe for backing yourself into an unpleasant corner where what's good for one goose must be applied to a host of ganders with different needs and resulting after-effects.
11. Be ready for sudden events
You can't predict every eventuality; some agreed-upon procedures will emerge as daily actions are established and unpredictable circumstances pop up. So--be ready for things that suddenly seed to be dealt with: What shall we do about this new fad of jelly bracelets? Who's responsible for cleaning up fruit flies when they come out, overnight, in September? What's our solution to muddy boots or a damaged piece of equipment? Have a meeting. Figure it out. That, more than pro forma rule-setting, will teach your students about genuine democracy.
The ultimate example for this kind of just-in-time collaborative thinking about rules is technology. Remember when calculators were banned in math classrooms, as "cheating?"  What happens when parents encourage their beloved kids to silence and hide forbidden phones, but keep them handy, in case of all-too-frequent emergencies? When did teachers start to demand access to those same devices as important learning tools? There is no such thing as an evergreen, perfect-for-all-situations rule.
Final note
The rapport-building strategies above are simple, wee little gestures, barely registering on your effort meter. But combined with a pin-neat room environment and detailed teaching of rules, consequences, and routines, they’re game-changers.
They create leverage and influence, instant likability and leadership presence. They make your immovable boundary lines of behavior matter to students. They build an immediate relationship, engender trust and respect, and fill your students with the confidence that with you at the helm anything is possible.
Your students will exit your classroom excited to tell their parents how much they love their new teacher and can’t wait to get to school the next day. You’ll just smile and wave.

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