Behavior Management In The Classroom: Tips and Strategies

Was today one of those days when your teaching seemed to take a back seat to behavior management? Does it seem like this is happening more frequently?

If so, you’re not alone. All teachers have challenging days caused by student disruptions, too many to count. There’s no way to completely eliminate problematic behavior from your classroom, but there are certainly ways to reduce it and to mitigate the results of it.

Below are ideas, tips, and strategies for effective behavior management in the classroom:

  • set boundaries and expectations from the first day of class for what is and isn’t appropriate behavior
  • let students give input as to what qualifies as good behavior and unacceptable behavior
  • build relationships at every turn (between yourself and your students and between your students and each other)
  • be firm and fair with all of your students in your enforcement of the classroom rules
  • follow through on what you say you’re going to do, with rewards and punishments
  • make behavioral corrections quickly, and quietly, if possible
  • maintain authority at all times
  • don’t punish the entire class for the actions of a few students
  • offer praise frequently, publicly and privately
  • establish consistent routines that students can count on
  • don’t get into a power struggle with students (instead, listen without judgement and adopt a collaborative approach to problem-solving and discipline)
  • afford all students the same respect, whether you like them or not
  • encourage student engagement, whenever and however you can
  • don’t ignore student disengagement or non-participation (bring students back into the fold)
  • incorporate group work into your teaching
  • stay calm and patient, no matter what a student is doing
  • integrate principles of restorative justice into your classroom management practices

Restorative justice can be one of the top strategies for behavior management in the classroom. Most teachers are familiar with the concept of restorative justice in education as a tool for reducing student suspensions, but it goes far beyond that. In fact, at its core, restorative justice is all about behavior management and incorporates a lot of the practices listed above.

At Education 4 Equity, we offer a professional development online course on Classroom Management: Restorative Justice In Action. This 3-credit classroom management course qualifies for graduate level credits and has been approved for LAUSD salary points, through the Los Angeles Unified School District.