Classroom Management Tips For New Teachers

No matter how much you learned in college, things are different when you get into the classroom on the first day and close the door.

As a new teacher, you might feel strong and confident in your subject matter knowledge and teaching skills, but a little nervous about your ability to manage the classroom.

What if you have a student or students who are constantly disruptive? What will you do if you realize some students aren’t engaged? How will you react if you feel like the class, as a whole, isn’t coming together?

Experienced teachers might tell you that classroom management skills only come with time, but here are some tips that can speed up your learning curve and help you fine-tune your classroom management skills:

Classroom Management Tip #1: Be The Leader
As the teacher, you’re the CEO of the classroom. By accepting that responsibility, you can set the tone for everything that follows. From Day One, you can set boundaries and expectations for the students – for how they’ll treat you, how they’ll interact with each other, how they’ll complete coursework, and more. If you’d like, you can even get students’ input about how the classroom should be managed, which can empower them encourage them to take responsibility for their actions.

Classroom Management Tip #2: Act Immediately
Many new teachers are reluctant to act on something as quickly as a more experienced teacher would. As a new teacher, you might want students to like you or be afraid to call out a disruptive students (privately or in front of the class). But it’s important to take charge of the classroom and never let it go. Your management of the classroom can be compassionate and friendly, maybe even loose, but it should never be passive. Students’ attitudes and behaviors – negative and positive – are contagious. The key, in effective classroom management, is to stop the spread of negative as soon as you can and accentuate the positive whenever you can.

Classroom Management Tip #3: Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself
As a new teacher, or even when you become a teacher with thirty years of experience, you’re not going to be 100% right, every time, with classroom management. You might say things you regret, or regret things you didn’t say. You might go home at night and ruminate that you were too harsh with a disruptive student, or too permissive. You might feel like you could have handled a situation differently, but didn’t know how.

All of this is natural, normal, and to be expected. By anticipating that you’ll make mistakes, you can give yourself permission to try new classroom management techniques, and to ask for help.

Classroom Management Tip #4: Ask For Help
If you feel like you’re struggling with any aspect of classroom management, don’t be afraid to ask for help – from other teachers or administrators – and do this sooner rather than later. Asking for help might feel like you’ve “failed,” because you couldn’t handle something on your own. But think of it as asking for directions, which is perfectly acceptable. Before GPS, some people drove around for hours, unable to find their destination, while others asked for directions and got to where they needed to be in the easiest, most direct route.

Whatever aspect of classroom management you’re struggling with, there’s probably someone in your school who has encountered the same situation and can counsel you on how to best handle it.

Classroom Management Tip #5: Professional Development
Professional development courses, seminars, and workshops can expose you to new ideas, techniques, strategies, and models for classroom management. Professional development can also help you finesse a classroom management style that’s uniquely yours.

Education 4 Equity
At Education 4 Equity, we’re committed to providing the best professional development courses for teachers, delivered 100% online. We have a 3-credit online course on Classroom Management: Restorative Justice In Action that qualifies for graduate level credit and has been approved for LAUSD salary points, through the Los Angeles Unified School District.