Classroom Management

Classroom community and classroom management are two sides of the same coin. When the classroom community is strong with things like clear roles and responsibilities, respectful relationships, positive expectations and equitable consequences, often discipline issues are minimized. Still, even in the most harmonious classroom communities, classroom management and student discipline can become something that faculty need to address and resolve. On this page, you’ll find some tips and resources to help you with classroom management.

What are some quick tips for improving classroom management?

4 Key Aspects of Effective Classroom Management

  1. Use of rules and procedures

  2. Use of disciplinary interventions

  3. Building relationships with your students

  4. Mindfulness and awareness of the learning and social environments

Use of Rules and Procedures

These are the routines and behavioural expectations for everyone in class.

  • Identify specific rules and procedures for your classroom:

    1. General classroom behaviour;

    2. Beginning and ending of class;

    3. Transitions and interruptions;

    4. Use of materials and equipment;

    5. Group work;

    6. Seatwork and teacher-led activities.

  • Involve students in the design of rules and procedures

Use of Disciplinary Interventions

Disciplinary interventions are responses to students when their behaviour does not meet classroom expectations.

  • Employ specific techniques that acknowledge and reinforce acceptable behaviour and acknowledge and provide negative consequences for unacceptable behaviour:

    1. Teacher reaction or response

    2. Tangible recognition

    3. Direct cost

  • Establish clear limits for unacceptable behaviour and an effective system to record these behaviours

Building Relationships with Your Students

Relationships are the foundation of effective learning environments and well managed classrooms.

Use specific techniques to establish your leadership and confidence in the classroom:

  • Exhibit assertive, but not aggressive, behaviour (i.e. making and keeping eye contact, facing the student, keeping a tall posture, aligning facial expression to reinforce the key message);
  • Use appropriate tone of voice; speak clearly and deliberately; avoid indications of emotions;
  • Persist until the appropriate behaviour is displayed: don’t ignore inappropriate behaviour;
  • Establish clear learning goals and assessments.

Use specific behaviours that communicate an appropriate level of cooperation

  • Provide flexible learning goals;
  • Take a personal interest in students;
  • Foster equitable and positive classroom behaviours;
  • Respond appropriately to student incorrect responses.

Mindfulness and Awareness of the Learning and Social Environments

Be aware of surroundings, quickly and accurately identify problems and address them.

  • Heighten awareness of the actions of students in your class;

  • Respond immediately;

  • Forecast problems;

  • Reframe problems so they’re not personal;

  • Monitor your own thinking and mindset;

  • Take care of yourself. 

Reference: Marzano, R.J. (2003). Classroom management that works: Research based strategies for every teacher. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

What resources do you recommend for a deep dive?