Classroom management strategies to try this school year

Classroom management

Classroom management is a crucial skill for teachers, every bit as important as subject-matter knowledge. Teachers do not just teach facts and knowledge, strictly speaking. Day in and day out, they need to lead a group of students with unique strengths, challenges, and temperaments and foster their development as individuals and as part of a group. To do so, teachers need to have an arsenal of tools to turn to. That’s where classroom management comes in.

What is classroom management?

Classroom management, in a nutshell, is creating a structured environment for students within the confines of a classroom. This structured environment aims to be conducive to learning while hindering behaviors that disrupt learning by establishing clear-cut rules and consequences.

Why is classroom management important?

Students and teachers alike benefit from classroom management in more ways than one.

For students, classroom management can make a huge difference in their success as learners. Studies have shown that young learners thrive in routine. They feel safe and secure knowing what to expect and what is expected of them when they enter the classroom. And when you can guarantee their safety and security, they’re better able to learn and even actively participate in their own learning process

Teachers, too, stand to gain from classroom management. When allied with other good teaching qualities, it can be massively beneficial and allow you to be more effective and enjoy teaching. This also lessens the chances of burnout. Classroom management strategies can help you deal better when things don’t go according to plan.

Classroom management principles

Here are some things to keep in mind for teachers when developing classroom management strategies:

  • Self-care for teachers is a must. Teachers must make self-care a habit to prevent stress. It doesn’t matter if you have all the advanced classroom management tactics up your sleeve if you’re too stressed to carry them out consistently.
  • Relationships are important. Teachers must work to build a healthy rapport with their students because when they feel that you’re there for them, they’re more open to listening to you and learning. Aside from having a good teacher-student relationship, teachers must involve parents or guardians in their children’s learning by giving them updates that help reinforce their work with their students even outside the classroom.
  • Be ready and consistent from day one. As we’ve established, children thrive in a structured environment. Teachers must be ready with their classroom management plans from day one to enforce such a structure.

Classroom management ideas

Every teacher will have their own classroom management plan as there’s no one-size-fits-all for effective teaching and learning. Whatever your strategies are, visual communication tools like Canva for Education help you set up your classroom for success. It’s free for all teachers and students to customize to suit specific requirements and needs.

Below are some classroom management ideas and ways to maximize Canva in your classroom.

Collaborate on and establish rules and guidelines in the classroom

Establishing the rules and guidelines of a classroom doesn’t need to fall solely on the teacher. In fact, involving your students in deciding your classroom culture nearly guarantees their buy-in. At the start of the school year, sit with your students and discuss. Let your students feel heard and understood. This creates an atmosphere of mutual respect that you can introduce from day one and reinforce consistently.

And be sure to document the rules and consequences you’ve all come up with at the end of the day so you can refer to them throughout the school year.

Grab a classroom newsletter template from our gallery and detail your class culture in a nice handbook that you can distribute in class. Use this Yellow Blue Professional Welcome Back to School Newsletter and hand it out to your students just in time for the school year.

Canva also has educational poster templates you can personalize for your classroom rules and print to display. Edit and publish this Inclusive Classroom Rules Education Poster and stick it on your bulletin board.

Highlight the learning agenda for the day

To pique your students’ curiosity and encourage their involvement and interest for the rest of the day, you can present to them your daily agenda. Give them sneak peeks into the lesson, the tasks you’ll be handing out, and many more. Make sure to give a visual presentation to catch and hold their attention. Canva has eye-catching presentation templates you can edit and present using Canva Present.

Acknowledge your students’ hard work in various ways

Acknowledging your students’ hard work goes a long way. Students are more motivated to keep going when their hard work is recognized.

Here are some ways you can celebrate in the classroom:

  • Offer praise. Offering sincere praise to highlight a student’s specific achievement can boost that student’s confidence and inspire the rest of the class to follow in their footsteps.
  • Hand out stickers and other tangible rewards. This is an effective motivational and behavior-reinforcement technique. Announce what the students did to earn the stickers and rewards to encourage others to do the same.

Canva has sticker templates that you can customize to any awards and tokens for grabs in your class. Give your student a reward sticker for a job well done with this Blue And Yellow Shark Animal School Reward Sticker.

You can also recognize significant achievements in the classroom with customized certificate templates they can bring home to show mom and dad. Browse our collection of ready-made designs and maybe award your most congenial students with a Best Class Friend Certificate you personalized for them.

  • Hold parties to boost morale. Organizing parties with small treats, even for 20 to 30 minutes, can be a nice morale boost. Use the party to foster belongingness, and customize school poster templates, flyers, or school t-shirt templates with your classroom number or moniker. Involve the students by asking them to help with the design using printable templates from Canva.

Encourage involvement and initiative

Give your students more active participation in their learning process. You can do this by

  • Encouraging students to do some advanced reading and prepare a presentation to preview the upcoming lesson. This promotes a growth mindset among students and may even encourage other more passive learners to participate.
  • Peer teaching is another great way to involve your students in each other’s learning. A study has shown that peer tutoring can be beneficial not just for learning but also in developing self-esteem and social relationships among students.
  • Introducing the concept of group work contracts. Group work among students is always challenging, so crafting a group work contract that details expectations and consequences that the whole class agrees upon is a great way to keep students accountable to one another.

Best practices

Apply positive behavior interventions

Consistently establish positive behavior support in your classroom to reinforce acceptable student behavior. This may include addressing misbehavior or giving corrective feedback in a quiet way, avoiding punishing the whole class and addressing issues one-on-one, using positive phrasing as a way to encourage a change in behavior, and being specific in the behavior you want to see.

Use the multimodal approach to learning

Students have different learning styles, and so to accommodate their differences, using the multimodal approach to learning can provide a more conducive learning environment for all. Canva for Education can help you prepare for this approach, as we offer a range of digital and printable resources that you can easily customize to suit your approach.

Effective classroom management is unique for every class

It’s important to remember that classroom management is different for every teacher and even for every batch of students. The same set of strategies may vary in their effectiveness from time to time. The goal is not to create the perfect classroom situation – it is to foster a focused classroom culture that encourages learning and is an environment of mutual respect. Take your time when applying your strategies while keeping your perspective, spotting teachable moments and learning from them, and never losing your sense of humor along the way.

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