Alright so we covered the “why,” the “how,” and the “what” so now it’s time to wrap up this series by talking about follow through. Not the sexiest topic, but it’s so, so important. Because really, none of this matters unless you not only introduce and implement the changes, but consistently keep up the rules and routines. Students, being their angelic little selves, will naturally start to test the new boundaries and when they do, it’s critical to calmly hold your ground and follow through on your word. Empty threats will get you absolutely nowhere with teenagers.
Now, none of us is perfect. There are days when I want to just not care and let students do what they want. I get tired of reminders, warnings, and quietly ushering that student back to his seat (for the 3rd time in like 10 minutes). Just let ’em run wild! And yet- those are the days when it counts most!
So how can we keep up the motivation to manage our classrooms well and consistently? Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a few nuggets of wisdom.
- Remind yourself every morning why classroom management is important to you. Really visualize the classroom you want to create. Write notes and reminders to yourself on post-its. Send yourself encouraging reminders on your phone. When you start off your day with these reasons first and foremost in your brain, you will be more likely to follow through.
- Make a visual reminder of the classroom rules for your classroom. As in, make an actual physical copy that everyone in the room can see at any point in time. It’s really best if you can involve your students in the process of creating these rules in the first place because it builds buy-in. This way everyone can reference or glance at the expectations at any point and know exactly what is acceptable and what is not.
- Don’t get in the habit of getting mad. Rather, approach student disobedience or misbehavior with compassion, grace, and consistent responses. If students know you care about them and they care about you, too- that’ll eliminate a lot of your classroom management issues from the get-go. It’ll also allow you to enforce classroom management in the long run because it won’t be such a bummer to keep up. Nobody likes being mad when doing their job.
- Have an accountability partner. This might be a mentor, fellow teacher, friend, administrator. Let them know your goals and ask them to hold ya to it! An accountability partner will also be able to help you brainstorm strategies that work for you and for your students.
Well, that’s a wrap on my classroom management series! Let me know what was most useful to you or any strategies you use in your classroom in the comments below.