Although I’m not a parent, I like to read parenting articles from time to time to pick up some classroom management tips on how to deal with kids’. For example, I read an article a year or two ago that stuck with me because it said not to yell or raise your voice if the kids are misbehaving, but to just change the tone of your voice. That way when the kids hear that tone they recognize that they need to change their behavior and pay attention. It’s a lot less stressful then getting worked up and raising your voice. And actually I realized I had been doing it with my dog for years LOL. 😀
Last week I read an article about why moms should be “mean” that also had some good advice. However, “mean” sounds kind of negative, so maybe we should call it something else. The cool mom who doesn’t take any crap, perhaps? Some of the advice includes being firm and consistent, praising good behavior or a job well done, having the kids apologize, having them earn and pay for new toys themselves, teaching them to manage their time, etc.
I think a lot of these ideas and advice also cross over into the class room. So, with these tips and having worked a lot with young children and teenagers for four years, here is what I’ve learned:
- From day 1 be firm, consistent and follow through. If you give a warning for detention or lines but don’t follow through, they’ll remember and your future warnings won’t be taken seriously. And neither will you.
- It’s worth repeating: try not to raise your voice, but rather change the tone of your voice when they’re misbehaving. It’ll save you energy and stress. I know sometimes it’s impossible with 30 teenagers talking at once, but I’ve really been working on it (no, I haven’t perfected it yet) and the students who sit in the front see and hear me and tell the others to be quiet. It’s an ongoing process.
- Praise good behavior, participation, etc.
- Make it fun! If the kids have been behaving well, maybe surprise them one day and play a 5 minute game at the end of the class. But don’t do it so often that they expect it. 😉 It needs to be seen as a reward.
- Everyone loves stickers! Even my teen-angst filled teenagers. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I put a sticker on the foreheads of a couple of students who had participated a lot that day (who are normally quiet). At first the others were laughing at them and I had a moment of panic that those students were going to be embarrassed and not want to participate in the future. But then the others stopped laughing suddenly and were all begging me for a sticker. #winning 😉 (Yes, random hashtag.)
Anyway, it’s an ongoing learning process. But it has helped me from feeling like I do this all day:
To using the Look to get them to quiet down: