The last half of the year is when teachers really need to dig deep to keep control of the classroom and stay motivated. One of the amazing things about classroom management is that you can always press the reset button and take control back. There is always time for that all-important do-over any time you choose to.
When the realisation kicks in that you and your students are becoming less motivated and behaviour and good manners are going out the door, it is time to dust off some new classroom tactics, throw the old habits in the bin and start over. For sanity’s sake, don’t wait until you are pulling your hair out and your students are all over the place like broken toys.
Here is how you can mix things up, make them exciting again and ensure that the power is in your hands at all time:
Start over first thing in the morning
The best time for a fresh start is in the morning, as soon as your students put their bums on seats in your classroom. Take your time, talk less and wait until there is a chilled atmosphere in your classroom before you start on the next task and next instruction.
Before your students arrive in the morning, change the seating arrangements – a change is as good as a holiday and it always helps to mix things up. This will also show your students that you are in control and that you know exactly what tricks they have up their sleeves when sitting next to their partners in crime.
Clean up the clutter
Any environment has a direct effect on behaviour. If everything is clean and tidy, you can be assured that behaviour will be the same. When everything is cluttered, chaos is sure to follow and you will slowly but surely lose your mind!
Model procedures first
Your students need to know exactly what to do, and how to do it well, during every minute of the school day. Be the example you want to see in your students. Routine may be boring, but it is absolutely critical.
Whenever you feel like you’re losing control of your classroom, it’s because of something you’re doing – or for that matter, not doing. It’s not always about the students. Take the bull by the horns and make the last part of the year YOURS!