The way your child's teacher manages her classroom can have a significant impact on how well students behave and how much they're able to learn. Teachers who don't establish good classroom management, including rules, routines and preparation, often create learning environments that are chaotic and ineffective. If your child has been getting into trouble at school, it's worth considering whether poor classroom management is part of the problem.
Lack of Rules
The cornerstone of any classroom is a set of rules that the students know and understand. Without rules, children have a difficult time understanding and meeting the expectations of the teacher. Effective classroom instruction isn't possible, either, when the children don't know how to behave. According to "Classroom Management That Works," by Robert J. Marzano, a lack of rules can lead to disorderly and disrespectful students, which leads to a chaotic learning environment. Children who are exposed to a chaotic learning environment are more likely to act out in class because they don't clearly understand what they're supposed to be doing, and this type of boredom and distraction often leads to behavior problems.
Lack of Preparation
The most effective teachers spend hours designing lesson plans that will successfully implement the curriculum while also engaging students with interesting information and entertaining activities. When a teacher fails to prepare adequately, there isn't a structured classroom environment where children know what to expect. If a teacher isn't prepared and doesn't have copies made or materials ready, students are left to their own devices while she finishes preparing for the lesson. According to Yale University, lack of preparation on the part of the teacher is one of the quickest ways to lose control of the students, which is a sure-fire recipe for behavior problems.
It's a carefully honed skill that teachers have to identify the learning abilities of each student and craft lessons that meet the needs of each and every child. When the lessons and materials aren't age or learning appropriate, children can become bored or overwhelmed, which often leads to behavior problems, according to Yale University. If a teacher expects students to sit at their desks doing busy work that's far too easy for their academic level, chances are, the children are going to find something more interesting to do, and it's often something they aren't supposed to be doing. If a teacher expects students to do work that's far beyond their capabilities, the same thing can happen because the children are so overwhelmed that they find other ways to entertain themselves.
If your child is having a hard time behaving in the classroom and you suspect that classroom management might be to blame, talk to her teacher. Ask about rules and routines in the classroom to discover what kind of structure your child is exposed to. Discuss with the teacher ways that she can help your child be more successful with fewer behavior problems. If time passes and things don't change, talk to the principal about switching your child into another teacher's classroom. If that's not possible, teach your child coping techniques. Perhaps she could bring a book from home to entertain herself if she gets her work done or the teacher isn't ready for the next lesson. Encourage her to put her head down or close her eyes and sit quietly so she isn't enticed to misbehave by other children.
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