What a great idea to have a Classroom Management Linky Party! Fun In First is having an informative linky party over at her blog and I knew I had to join in.
First of all, I was stalking Marygrove's Blog today and they also have a great article and free downloadable classroom management guide with 21 quick and easy management tips!!!!! Go check it out!
Second, my top tips for management/dealing with a challenging student...
1.) Be consistent... but sometimes you have to catch them off guard with your responses. Several years ago, as a new teacher, I had a student who is now one of my favorites who totally made me good at classroom management. This particular student taught me the importance of consistency in my actions but spontaneity in my responses. Hang with me for a second and I promise it will make sense. This student looooved to knock over desks, especially to interrupt my teaching. Well, my typical response was of frustration, stopping my teaching to interact with the student, and the whole class suffered. Keep in mind that I was a very new teacher... well, one day I had just had it. My kiddo tipped over a desk and was kicking papers and books around the room. Instead of my usual response I said with the hugest smile I could muster, "__ is right, guys and girls, our desks are a mess and we should all empty them out and organize them. Thanks ___ for suggesting that". And every kid (after they got over staring at me like I was an alien) dumped their desks and cleaned. And my little kiddo... silently put every single thing back in to the desk just like everyone else. And the day my kiddo was screaming "I'm hungry" over and over and over in the middle of my lesson, instead of asking said kiddo to stop like I usually did or engaging them in a power struggle, I extended my hand and said, "Hi Hungry. I'm Mrs. Bainbridge. Nice to meet you". Kiddo burst out laughing, shook my hand, and never again interrupted a lesson in that way.
2.) Get inside their head! Not only am I a self professed reading comprehension and data geek, but I also looove to figure out what is motivating my students' behavior. Often times a challenging kiddo can be greatly helped if I can just figure out what their motivation is and then satisfy that on my own terms. Kids will get your attention any way they can... it is up to us as teachers to decide how we will give attention.
3.) Positive, positive, POSITIVE! It can be hard... but staying positive is KEY. My clip chart helps me look for positives and remain consistent about doing so. I also love the clip chart because every kid hears me telling other kids WHY they get to move their clips up, so they can learn what my expectations are vicariously through my interactions with their peers. I have done a few blog posts about my beloved clip chart... you can read them by clicking the picture below! The picture link will also take you to a few clip chart related freebies! :)
Ok! I hope you'll go scope out what the fabulous Dr. Diane Brown has to say over at Marygrove's Blog about this subject and then head over to Fun in First's blog to see what everyone else has to say... I'm headed there now! :)