As a new school year begins, teachers have many things on their minds. What will their new students be like? How should they plan their classes? How will they handle discipline? The list seemingly goes on and on.
Wellness, unfortunately, is often neglected. This is a big mistake. It won't matter how good you are at the business of education if you don't have physical, mental, and emotional health. So, as you begin this new school year, make it a goal to be healthy. Make some time for regular exercise. Try to avoid running to too much comfort junk food when you have a stressful day. Don't make a habit of going dangerously below the six or seven hours of sleep mark. Generally be aware of your well being. Your performance, and health, will be better for it.
Classroom management is one of the most important elements of being a successful teacher. The ability to keep order in the classroom is essential.
Here are 3 keys to success:
1. Have a plan. Whether you have a formal, detailed discipline plan or if you just kind of naturally do it, it is essential that you have an idea about how you will handle classroom disruptions before they occur. Being proactive is so much better than being reactive when it comes to discipline.
2. Be unemotional when giving consequences. This is one of the biggest mistakes that teachers make with classroom management, in my opinion. Stick with the consequences that you chose ahead of time, whatever they may be. But try to avoid making your response to misbehaviors be a combination of your regular consequences and an attitude of anger and intimidation.
3. Make sure your consequences are appropriate for the misbehavior. This is something I called the Law of Matching Severity in my book Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management. This means that if the misbehavior is minor, you response should be minor. If it is something serious, your response should be serious. And so on. You will probably find that most things are more minor than you think. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
These are definitely not the only things you can do to improve your chances of success with classroom management. I have written over 50 tips after all. But keep these 3 essential ideas in mind and you will be off to a great start.
I just agreed to a new book deal with Littlefield and Rowman Publishing. I worked with them on my previous book, Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management and they were fantastic.
My new book will be a collection of 365 tips covering discipline/classroom management, wellness, handling stress, forming great relationships, and general survival in the world of being a professional educator. I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can help some people.
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