Steps Principals Can Take to Help Teachers with Classroom Management

Our goal is to help our teachers by providing the leadership and resources for them to be successful.  Throughout the school year, teachers face many challenges from discipline issues to curriculum shortfalls.  It is very important that we are aware of their needs.  I like to think of it as being proactive.

One area of need might be providing professional development on effective classroom management strategies.  Do you have teachers who struggle with classroom management?  Classroom management is key to effective teaching and learning.  Therefore, I believe we should try and find the best tools and strategies to approaching this with our staff.

As teachers become more seasoned and grow with experience this often improves.  But I can tell you that is not always the case.

Let's share some tricks of the trade that have been implemented to help teachers who continue to struggle with classroom management.



CHAT and SHARE

During a grade level meeting, ask your staff to share one or two items they use in their classroom.  It might be a classroom management board or incentives or even an organizational tip.  I have found that teachers are the expert.  When our teachers have a chance to hear what works in another class, they are more willing to give it a try.

MENTOR

I think assigning a mentor for the teacher is highly effective.  This will be a "go-to" colleague.  You would want to pair up the mentor with another teacher who has classroom management as a strength. I have created a mentoring schedule for some to follow.  This is just a monthly chart that helps everyone stay on schedule and address certain areas.  For example, student discipline, lesson prep, class organization, transitioning, rules, incentives, and many more areas.

Download Mentoring Log and Schedule Form



VIDEO

There's amazing power in a video.  When a teacher has an opportunity to watch their teaching in action, it is a powerful reflection piece.  How does this work?  Share the idea with the teacher and the benefits of reflective video.  Schedule a day or class period for the lesson to be videoed in the classroom.  The teacher teaches her normal day and then watches the video back after class.   I can see this as being a big eye opener.  I'm often more critical of myself so I think this would work wonders for me.

OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS

Using consultants gives the teacher a fair playing field.  This really helps the teacher to know you aren't picking on them and really want the best for them.  An outside consultant is unbiased and can offer a fair evaluation to the teacher.  Outside consultants may have other suggestions that you may not have thought of for the teacher. 

LISTEN

If you have a teacher struggling, the first thing we need to do is provide the support they need.  Most often a teacher who struggles with classroom management often struggles with organization and instructional delivery.  At times, the teacher just needs you to listen.  The only way you will know the level of support to ofter is to listen.  This not only gives you insight but it builds their trust.

After listening, ask questions.

Questions you can ask- What is your biggest struggle in the classroom?  How can I help?  What steps have you tried?   You will probably already know the areas of need but it helps the teacher to verbalize it.

RESOURCES



There are tons of classroom management resources available.  All you need to do is simply google and tons of ideas will appear.

To name a few-

Teacher binders for organization of forms
Class Management Behavioral Charts
Posting of the Class Objective
Lists of best practices of classroom management
Procedures for the Classroom 
Teaching with engagement 


LESSON PREP

I have watched many lessons over the last 10 years.  I see one connected piece between classroom management and a great lesson.  The lesson was engaging.  When students are engaged, on the edge of their seat, wanting more of what the teacher has... No negative classroom behaviors existed!  Why?  Because students were attentive to the content of the lesson.  It makes all the difference.  When teachers are struggling with classroom management, check the level of rigor and engagement  of the lessons first!

My Summary Video:


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