There are lots of classroom management mistakes we can make. But, here's one thing that many teachers do and never think to do differently. They don't have a CLEAR vision for how they want their classroom to run each day.
Yes, you have rules and consequences. Having a list of systems and procedures to train students is common these days, and you probably have that as well. But, do you have a clear vision in your head of HOW you want your classroom to run all day long?
Do you know what each part of your day looks like, sounds like and feels like? Whether it's whole group instruction, small group instruction, individual work time or some combination going on all at once, you should KNOW exactly what you're aiming for. What is the ideal right down to noise level, how each group of students is conducting themselves and what you, the teacher, are doing.
What I'm ask you is...Do you know how each process and system will work when thrown into the whole of your day? It's easy to create all these systems, but too often we don't imagine how they will all work together. That's where problems begin.
Take a few minutes and imagine how you want your day to run. Mentally walk through your whole day. Imagine each system and procedure you have operating within that time. Jot down any problems or conflicts between your reality and your vision. Make note of any times students have to wait for you in order to really move on in their work. These times are ripe with opportunity for trouble. Are there ways you can eliminate those backups? With a few tweaks, you can get closer to that vision.
It's a simple process that can help you find the hidden holdups and trouble spots in your day so students are less distracted and have more on task time instead.
P.S. Who doesn't like free help?! Take the Classroom Management Quiz and find out how to move forward.