How Does Classroom Management Affect Learning?

As a teacher, you spend several hours a day in the classroom with possibly hundreds of students. Without effective classroom management, you’ll find it difficult to keep students engaged and on task. So how do you manage a classroom successfully, and what exactly is classroom management?

What is (effective) classroom management?

Classroom management refers to the strategies you use to organize your classroom, deliver course content, manage student success, monitor student behavior, and create an overall positive learning environment. Effective classroom management is the foundation for effective student learning. Here are some tips to get you started.

3 Tips to Create an Effective Learning Environment

1. Set clear expectations

When you organize your classroom effectively, your students know what their responsibilities are and what you expect of them. A structured daily routine (eg., starting class with a warm-up period and then transitioning to whole-class instruction or small-group learning) helps students manage their learning better. Be persistent in setting up your classroom rules and expectations, and you’ll maintain a good learning environment in the classroom where both you and your students are happy.

2. Focus on positive reinforcement

Learning cannot flourish in a mismanaged classroom environment. If you spend more time in class correcting students for their misbehavior than you do on enforcing effective strategies, you’ll negatively impact other students’ academic performance and waste valuable class time. Instead of pointing out misbehavior, try highlighting model behavior:

  • “Thanks for raising your hand.”
  • “I love the way the class lined up so quickly and quietly.”
  • “All our groups are working together so nicely.”

3. Try various classroom management strategies

Each classroom is different, and not every strategy will work for you. You know your students best, so make sure that whatever strategy you employ aligns well with their learning patterns, preferences, and behavior. Here are some ideas to help you out:

  • Consider the layout of your classroom. For example, you can start by arranging your classroom in a way that allows you to see every student easily and that minimizes the potential for distractions.
  • Use varied activities in your lessons. There’s no harm in planning lots of activities for whole-class learning and then scrapping any that don’t fit into the time frame. Bored students tend to misbehave, even the good ones. On the other hand, engaged students look forward to class.
  • Be authentic and empathic. Students feel more comfortable in class when they know you can relate to and understand them. Take time to get to know your students, their interests and hobbies. Ask for input from parents and caregivers.

Classroom management certainly isn’t easy, but it’s a valuable skill that any teacher can acquire through patience and a willingness to test out strategies. In any case, remember to stay positive! When you’re happy, your students are happy.

This article was adapted from a blog post initially developed by the education technology company Classcraft, which was acquired by HMH in 2023. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.


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