Magazine article AMLE Magazine


Magazine article AMLE Magazine


Article excerpt


Classroom management strategies are as varied as the educators who use them. What works for one may not work for all. What are your favorite strategies for effective classroom behavior management?




Make Connections

"To get into their heads, we must first get into their hearts." In my professional journey working with students from rural and urban settings to gang territory and the Middle East, I have not found a truer statement and a more effective strategy for behavior management.

Kids, regardless of age, background, or life experiences, all want and desperately need caring adults to validate them as individuals.

Maslow's research has supported this concept for decades. Tier 3 and 4 of his hierarchy are social/ emotionally based: self-esteem, sense of belonging, and love needs. People's social/emotional needs must be addressed before they desire knowledge/understanding (Tier 5). Unfortunately in today's educational climate with so much focus on EOC/ Common Core/Evaluations, the overall well-being of students is often sorely overlooked and undervalued.

A federal program director recently shared with me the message she sends to all the teachers in her district regarding the importance of connecting with kids. Every year she reminds them that "The 18 inches from the heart to the head is a rite of passage that all educators must navigate in order for engagement and learning to take place."

How does this all tie into behavior management? When students have a great relationship with their teacher and feel a part of the class community, their social and emotional needs are being addressed. Students then are more academically motivated and feel an increased desire to try harder, align with class expectations, and engage on a deeper level. Simply put, kids don't want to be knuckleheads for teachers whom they like and with whom they feel a positive connection.

Abe Lincoln said if he had "6 hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first 4 sharpening his ax." The time we invest in getting to know our students and building positive, meaningful connections is the sharpening of the ax in preparation for increased academic achievement and higher test scores.

Often teachers and administrators feel with all the pressures for performance, they don't have time to spend on the social/emotional needs of kids. Research is quite clear: we don't have time not to-and the benefits are immeasurable.

TARA BROWN , a former educator, is an education consultant and author of Different Cultures- Common Ground: 85 Proven Strategies to Connect in the Classroom.





Attention Please?

Vacuous stares, hands busy with something other than what was requested, few students participating, restless bodies, off- topic chatting are all not-so-subtle signs of student detachment. What's a teacher to do? If alert, ontask student behavior is your goal, then there's no free lunch for your students.

The aforementioned scene reverses when you use a strategy devoid of reproof, of constant admonishments, of preaching about the benefits of a good education. Rather, it is a strategy that prompts students to practice accountability without being aware that they are doing so. The strategy involves 100% active student participation specifically orchestrated by the teacher through written, daily lesson plans.

At no time during instruction are students idle-just sitting and listening.

With the objective in mind, write a lesson plan composed of two connecting categories:

1. Presentation-What you are doing and saying during instruction. …

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