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Educator Encourages Teachers to 'Let Go' of Classroom Management

Educator Ecourages Teachers to 'Let Go' of Classroom Management

Classroom management is a key component to a positive classroom environment, but is it necessary?

So says Lily Jones, former K-1 teacher in Northern California in her article on TeachingChannel.org. In her post, Jones looks at the benefits of using classroom management practices and offers tips on how to focus on both management and content. 

"Most new teachers plan to create calm and productive classrooms. But as we all know, things don’t always go as planned. When I observe new teachers, I often see them using a great selection of classroom management tools: counting down, waiting for all students’ attention, giving consequences, reminding the class of the class agreements… and on and on," Jones wrote. "But sometimes when teachers are so focused on classroom management, entire lesson periods are spent trying to get students on task. This is exhausting for both teachers and students — teachers never get a chance to truly teach, and students never get a chance to learn the content."

Jones' first tip is to "choose a focus: academic or management."

If you’re teaching a content-heavy math lesson, perhaps this is a time when you need to put your energy towards content and let classroom management take a back seat. This is not to say that you’ll have low expectations during the math period. Instead, prioritize making sure students get to experience the content of your lesson. This is a tricky balance. If the class is so out of control that you can’t teach the content, you’ll need to go back to classroom management. But if most of the class is ready to learn and there are minimal distractions, give yourself permission to focus on the content.

Jones' last tip is to "pick one strategy and stick with it."

When a class is hard to get control of, it can be tempting to try as many strategies you can think of to help them get it together. But instead of trying tool after tool, pick one strategy and stick with it. For example, if you really want to work on making sure all students are ready before moving on, focus your lesson on wait time. Throughout the lesson, use wait time to get the class back on track. If they’re not responding, keep waiting. If they still aren’t responding, use your classroom consequences in conjunction with your chosen classroom management strategies.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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