Musings of a classroom management guru, teacher and parent.

Make the Most of Your Summer: Develop A Classroom Management Plan

This summer teachers will spend countless hours scouring Pinterest and other helpful teaching sites to find ideas for revising lesson plans and creating new units. However, it is essential not to forget about the importance of creating a classroom management plan for the upcoming school year!

Classroom management is the single greatest influence on student achievement. The most obvious reason for this is that effective classroom management sets the stage for learning. Without a safe, caring, orderly environment, classrooms are disorganized, chaotic and not conducive to learning. A well–designed classroom management plan documents the specific strategies that you plan to implement in several key areas in order to develop an effective learning environment in your classroom. Following is a list of questions to help you develop your classroom management plan over the summer.

Teaching Context

How you answer the questions under the other areas may be determined by your teaching assignment, so it’s important to start with the basics.

  • What grade level and subjects will you teach?
  • What type of student population will you be working with?
  • What particular developmental needs are prevalent in the population you will teach?
  • What are the unique characteristics of the community in which you will be teaching?

Organizing the Physical Environment

The physical design includes how the classroom is laid out, where the students’ desks are, where the teacher’s desk is, where learning centers and materials are located, where heavily used items such as pencil sharpeners are, and so on.

  • What type of atmosphere are you trying to create in your classroom?
  • What type of furniture or equipment is necessary to accomplish your goal?
  • How will you decorate your classroom?
  • What will you display on the bulletin boards?
  • What kinds of physical constraints will impact the planning of your physical space (i.e. internet connections, outlets, built–in furniture, etc.)
  • How will you arrange students’ desks and why?
  • Where will you locate your teacher’s desk and why?
  • How will you ensure that the physical design of the classroom is culturally responsive?

Establishing Rules and Routines

Teachers must establish class rules and routines (such as handing back papers and taking attendance) to keep the class activities running smoothly with as little disruption and loss of time as possible.

  • What process will you use to develop your classroom rules?
  • Will they be teacher– or student–generated? Why?
  • How will you accomplish essential class–running tasks such as lunch count, attendance, using the bathroom, sharpening pencils, getting supplies, etc.?

Developing Relationships

Effective classroom managers develop caring, supportive relationships with students and parents and promote supportive relationships among students.

  • What specific strategies will you use to develop caring relationships between you and your students?
  • What specific strategies will you use to develop a sense of community among the students?
  • What specific strategies will you use to foster positive, cooperative and supportive relationships with your students’ parents?

Implementing Engaging and Motivating Instruction

Effective managers develop instruction that engages learners, and they carefully plan their instruction so that each learning activity is well organized and runs smoothly.

  • How do you plan to motivate and engage students?
  • What are some examples of relevant academic content that you plan to incorporate into your lessons?
  • What areas, topics or subjects do you think will be more challenging with respect to motivating your students?
  • What type of system will you use to record work and provide feedback about student progress?

Preventing and Addressing Discipline Problems

Discipline revolves around teacher actions focused on preventing and responding to students’ misbehavior. Discipline does not only mean punishment, nor does it only mean the actions that teachers take after misbehavior occurs. Discipline also includes teacher actions that prevent misbehavior.

  • How are you going to deal with minor misbehavior in your classroom?
  • How will you address more serious misbehavior in your classroom?
  • What types of consequences will you utilize?
  • Will you use behavior modification plans? Why or why not?

While it is unrealistic to think that a classroom management plan can address every possible area or scenario related to classroom management that a teacher might encounter, a well–designed classroom management plan will ensure that you will be off to a great start with respect to creating that safe, caring, orderly environment that is a prerequisite for all learning. So during this summer, be sure to devote some of your time to developing a well thought out classroom management plan!

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Meet Dr. Tracey Garrett

Dr. Tracey Garrett

Dr. Tracey Garrett is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Rider University in New Jersey and was recently awarded the University Distinguished Teaching Award. She earned her Ed.D. in elementary and early childhood education with a specialization in classroom management from The Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She is also a former elementary teacher with experience teaching at the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade level. Tracey’s unique combination of classroom management knowledge and 24 years of practical experience allows her to successfully facilitate teacher growth.

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