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Below we have a list of our top tips to help teachers prepare for the new school year and easily manage your class.
This is a simple but effective tip. Have an organisational system, every item in the classroom should have a home. This means that the children will know exactly where to find and return items. For some children, modifications may be necessary. For example, to begin with, the paint box may have a visual of paint on the front or the written word “paint”.
From the first day back, have a clear set of basic classroom rules that must be followed. As you become familiar with your class, expectations can be altered and increased. To begin with, have 2-3 simple rules that everyone can follow. Phrase the rules in positive terms and ensure to point out when the children are following the rules. Avoid telling the class what not to do. For example instead of “No walking around the classroom”, our rule would be “Stay seated throughout work”. In addition, have classroom routines that are followed each day. This allows the children know what is expected of them. Once a routine is established, change it up a bit or increase the expectations.
For younger children who are not familiar with the behavioural routines of schools, provide repeated opportunities to practice the new behaviours. Let’s take lining up, for example, offer multiple opportunities throughout the day to model and practice this, outside of the typical routine. This will promote faster acquisition of the new behaviours. Other examples include pushing in chairs, raising hands, tidying up.
This is an important tip, especially for teaching the importance of listening and following directions in school. If you have asked one of your students to complete something, aim to follow through with the instruction. If you cannot follow through, don’t place the instruction. For example, you ask Cian to pack up his snack, Cian refuses to do so. Ensure you have time to follow through on this instruction. Adjust your expectations with students and to begin with, place instructions that you know they will be successful with and you can therefore praise the ‘nice listening’. This will help develop a rapport with your children.
Following on from the last point, use directions rather than asking questions. If you ask a question, the answer could be yes or no. For example replace “Can you put your lunch away Cian?” with “Cian please put your lunch away”. This is a simple tip to implement but avoids the opportunity for refusal.
Throughout the year you will experience different difficult behavioural difficulties. When children are escalated, it is difficult for them to process what is happening in their environment. For this reason, keep your interactions brief and simple. Avoid negotiating or debating, instead once the child begins to de-escalate help them out by encouraging the de-escalation and getting them back on track.
Acknowledge and praise behaviours that you want to see.. Replace general feedback with specific feedback. For example replace “Great job Cian” with “Cian you are working by yourself so nicely”. Throughout the day ensure positive statements and feedback outweigh negative statements such as “Don’t do X”, “Stop doing X”. Children respond when they know what it is expected.
Take time to reflect on your day and evaluate what strategies worked and what would work better next time. Not everything will go as planned, give yourself a break, ask for help and use the resources available to you.
If you have any questions or want more information on classroom strategies and behaviour management contact us on 085 2737 466 to see how we can help you. Alternatively, click to button below to contact us.