Classroom Management Techniques – Readers’ Collaborative Post
In our recent survey, we asked Band Directors Talk Shop readers, “What is your very best classroom management technique?” With hundreds of responses to the survey, we came up with this categorized list of your answers. Thanks so much to all of our readers who took time to fill out the survey. Keep an eye out for more Readers’ Collaborative Posts in the future, and enjoy these classroom management tips!
- The most important is having a positive, professional but personal relationship with the kids. This means going to their outside of school events (games, performances, etc.) and also just knowing about them.
- Getting to know my students and building a classroom culture that is accepting of all, with high expectations, and fun!
- Build relationships with students as early as possible.
- Have a sense of humour (sorry, humor) and don’t be afraid to use it. Also – treat your students like you would wish to be treated. Many of them will have incredible ideas about what repertoire they would like to play – if they know you will listen to their ideas, they will have some sense of ownership of the music and will therefore give even more of their energy into making it work.
- I greet the kids at the door and make contact with each one. It helps me to get a feel of the room before class even starts.
- Be clear on expectations and insist that the students follow through; being organized is extremely helpful.
- Lay out expectations from the beginning of the year
- Expected compliance and space for them to do so. Give the (re)direction and move on. (Love and Logic techniques)
- Display the time until the start of class. (Count down clock)
- Cell phones go into a plastic over-the-door shoe holder as students enter the room.
- All music should be in plastic page protectors in a 3 ring binder. I call it your “band organizer.” It has almost eliminated music on the floor, lost music on the bus, one particular piece of music forgotten at home.
- Have a slide show at front of the classroom that rotates during class. I have the agenda, expectations, reminders and pictures of poster, tonguing, eyes watching, feet flat. I also add in fun slides of upcoming events or announcements and what to do while the teacher is working with another section during rehearsal. Sometimes I think they are not looking at it, but they prove over and over that they are getting all of the information.
- Have a very specific structure that gets taught and practiced regularly.
- Order, routine and organization for layout of room, entrance and exit procedures.
- Follow the same procedures and routines everyday.
- The podium – once the director steps on it, all chaos must stop and ears open. If the director steps off to help an individual or pass out papers, etc, the students can play/practice.
- Wait for all students to be silent before giving instructions.
- Use a call to attention.
- Pacing, consistency, and the occasional “curveball” to keep them engaged.
- Keep the kids too busy to have time to get in trouble.
- Play, play, play!
- Everyone race to the page. Raise your hand when you’re there. Don’t be the last one!
- Proximity, reminder of rules frequently, fast pacing.
- Parent contact.
- Immediate feedback (and give a quick, immediate chance to fix it, if necessary) when students do or don’t do what is expected.
- Non verbal, quieting cues (raising hand).
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