Learning Goals: To learn more about classroom management. To learn about the mistakes that contribute to poor classroom management.
Overpraise students for doing what is expected.
Don’t know the difference between praise and acknowledgement and when each is appropriate.
Fail to do effective long-range and daily planning.
Spend too much time with one student or one group and not monitoring the entire class.
Begin a new activity before gaining the students’ attention.
Talk too fast, and are sometimes shrill.
Use a voice level that is always either too loud or too soft.
Stand too long in one place (the feet of clay syndrome).
Sit too long while teaching (the posterior of clay syndrome).
Overemphasize the negative.
Do not require students to raise hands and be acknowledged before responding.
Are way too serious and not much fun.
Are way too much fun and not serious.
Fall into a rut by using the same teaching strategy or combination of strategies day after day.
Ineffectively use silence (wait time) after asking a content question.
Are ineffective when they use facial expressions and body language.
Tend to talk to and interact with only half the class (usually their favorites, and usually on the right)..
Collect and return student papers before assigning students something to do.
Interrupt students while they are on task.
Use “SHHHH” as a means of quieting students (one of the most annoying and ineffective behaviors).
Overuse verbal efforts to stop inappropriate student behavior – talk alone accomplishes little.
Settle for less rather than demand more.
Use threats to control the class (short term, produces results; long term, backfires).
Use global praise inappropriately.
Use color meaninglessly, even to the point of distraction (I know you’ve seen this happen).
Verbally reprimand students across the classroom (get close and personal if possible).
Interact with only a “chosen few” students rather than spreading interactions around to all students.
Do not intervene quickly enough during inappropriate student behavior.
Do not learn and use student names in an effective way (kids pick up quickly on this and respond in kind).
Read student papers only for correct answers and not for process and student thinking.
Ask global questions that nobody likely will answer.
Fail to do appropriate comprehension checks to see if students understand the content as it is taught.
Use poorly worded, ambiguous questions.
Try to talk over student noise (never, ever, do this, because when you do, you lose and they win).
Are consistently inconsistent.
Will do anything to be liked by students.
Permit students to be inattentive to an educationally useful media presentation (this happens a lot).
Introduce too many topics simultaneously (usually the result of poor planning).
Sound egocentric (if you have to get your jollies from your students, there might be a problem).
Take too much time to give verbal directions for an activity (an inability to focus and explain effectively).
Take too much time for an activity (usually the result of poor planning).
Are nervous, uptight, and anxious (if this is persistent, you need help).
Overuse punishment for classroom misbehavior – going to an extreme when other consequences work better.
The extracted information allows teachers to identify the mistakes they might be making in their classrooms. The information is very general, but explains the issues in a ways that are easily relate-able. In my experience, this list is helpful in that it allows you to explore possible mistakes before you make them, and you are able to identify them in the field either before you make the mistake or as you are making them. The list allows you to see that you are not alone in how you are acting; many teachers before you, experienced or not, make these mistakes. Teaching is a difficult pursuit, and classroom management is an integral part. The addition of the parent-teacher tips is also very useful, as most new teachers forget that parents can be a useful resource for classroom management. If parents are on board with how you as a teacher are managing the class, they can reinforce the lessons and help to create more rounded students and life-long learners.