Classroom Management

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Classroom Management Styles

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Different Teachers with Similar Classroom Management Styles

At the “end” of Covid, more accurately when we were brought back for ongoing in person instruction, a classroom assistant told me why she could not lead a classroom. She had been in all of the primary classrooms, and she was able to identify a common thread throughout each teacher’s classroom management styles. 

She identified that we each spoke a certain way, stood a certain way and carried a certain space and presence within the classroom.  

Now I know for a fact that as a team we all had very different approaches and even beliefs in how we saw our classroom management. 

However, I also knew that there were commonalities among us that allowed for our effectiveness in the classroom, and I was intrigued that her observations had led her to identify this. 

Classroom Management Definition

Classroom management definitions can be vague, complex, labored and even over the top. However, I did find one that resonated with me.

For the purposes of this post I am going to ask you to agree that classroom management can be defined as what the teacher does to create and maintain an environment that supports students’ academic growth in addition to their social, emotional, and moral growth.

So .  . classroom management is not primarily about keeping order, but it is about  keeping order to facilitate growth in all of the areas above. For more elaboration on this thought see my blog post on the pillars of classroom management.

Let’s take a moment to consider why the definition is important.

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Classroom Management Philosophy

Your classroom management style will align closely with your philosophy which is derived from a few questions.

Earlier in this post I shared a classroom management definition that aligns with my classroom management philosophy.

I believe that:

  • learning is fun!
  • children are typically curious.
  • children learn through play!
  • with direction and support children will care for each other.
  • children are capable of great understanding, compassion and generosity.
  • they absolutely, positively and beyond a shadow of a doubt want to build relationship with you, and that they will check to see if you are interested in them at all.
  • children will test you so that they know if the expectations are real.
  • clear, calm, consistent reinforcement is stabilizing, respectful and powerfully communicative.

The Four Classroom Management Styles

There are essentially 4 different classroom management styles; 

  1. Authoritarian Classroom Management Style
  2. Authoritative Classroom Management Style
  3. Permissive Classroom Management Style
  4. Indulgent Classroom Management Style

If you read my initial classroom management post, and this subsequent post on focusing on a positive approach to classroom management I am hopeful that you will see that I align myself with the Authoritative Classroom Management style. 🥰

Essentially the authoritative style supports classroom expectations that are:

  • developed together.  
  • maintained primarily through community  while being understood and supported by everyone.
  • enforced when they are broken.

Now that we are, at least temporarily, sharing a definition of classroom management, understand that we each have our own philosophy which will be reflected in our classroom management styles, let’s talk about those 7 essentials for creating effective classroom management styles. 😄 

alt="sage green background, bulleted middle section with the 4 types of styles, authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and indulgent. Below that is a picture of an aggressive looking teacher with a caption over it that say Read More or Save for Later, and the website address t
Your classroom management style is reflective of your classroom management philosophyl

Classroom Management Essentials

1. Body Language

I can absolutely tell you that when I am actively transitioning my students in from lunch break or after a somewhat disregulated activity like music, I stand tall, pause, look around the classroom, and draw attention to myself just using presence. 

I am not slouching, or twitchy, my face is passive, and I am relaxed.  If your students perceive that you are relaxed and confident they will feed off of that.

2. Tone of Voice

If you are stressed, nervous, anxious, unsure or indecisive your students will sense it.  

Being a teacher means that you are working in an environment requiring constant decision making, pivoting, and expecting the unexpected.  

It is ironic that that which defines our job to some degree is also what creates the tone of voice that hinders our effectiveness.  

Learn to become aware of when you are escalated, listen to yourself. Then breathe, and intentionally bring your voice down, and calm it.  This will bring your students with you for the most part. 

Use a clear, calm voice that carries authority.  I actually remember during my teaching practicum realizing that I had a “teacher voice”, and I could quite literally see the students’ response when I was using that voice.

This is not about talking at a loud volume here. Although I am pretty good at projecting my voice,  I have since learned that I am better off to speak quietly so that my students must pay attention to hear me. 

If you have access to a microphone for students with a hearing impairment, use it.  The calm tenor of your voice combined with the amplification is a great classroom combination. Amazon does have some microphones, but I have not tried them as my class had a system that was wired in.

3. Eye Contact

Look at your students, don’t shy away.  Head up, scanning the classroom, perhaps a raised eyebrow or a smile and a nod as appropriate.

Think confidence again.  The eye contact combined with body language and posture will communicate who is in charge.

Many students, especially young students will check to see if you are watching them.  Eye contact, and “the look” is often all that you need.  Works for a redirection as well as an encouragement.

Strong and stern looks are not bad, but I prefer to make sure they are coupled with a positive caring relationship that I have nurtured as well.

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It can take time to put all of the essentials into practice, but once they are in place, classroom management is much easier.

4. Clarity

Definitely instructions for lessons should always be clear, but this is also true when you are reviewing an expectation or addressing an issue.  If you are unsure about a decision let your students know that you will get back to them, and when you have made a decision explain it simply, clearly, respectfully and then move on. 

5. Pause

Learn to lean into the silence.  There will be times when you will need to wait.  If a child wants to be defiant they need to know you are comfortable waiting for them to work within classroom expectations.  If they still don’t comply, calming just say,  “Okay, let’s chat about it at recess.” Then, do. 

The pause won’t always work. It may take time. However, it will impart a sense of calm authority that will evolve into respect and compliance over time.

On another note, I also use silence to get students’ attention. My favourite way of getting my students’ attention is to raise my hand in the air. Then I wait, holding my hand up as I wait.  As students see me they also raise their hands up into the air and keep them there. This method has the tremendous power of peer pressure behind it too.

6. Relationship

Relationship, relationship, relationship.  Relationships are essential for effective learning environments, and for building classroom community

Who do you want to work with more; the people who have no clue about you, or someone who knows you and cares about you?

One of the most effective behaviour management strategies is to spend two minutes a day for 10 days with a student who is demonstrating behaviour in the classroom. This doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but when you think the number of students and the busyness of the classroom it is quite a bit. You will  know them better at the end of the 10 days too!

7. Listen

Sometimes you are in error.  Sometimes you did misunderstand. If a student is challenging you listen, hear them out.  

Sometimes they are in the wrong , but you are modelling respect by hearing them out. 

Once they have spoken, if you have miscommunicated address it.  

If they are wrong address it, calmly, rationally, and clearly and with as few words as possible. But don’t argue.  

If they want to argue,  invite them to a conversation about it later at recess.  But even then, don’t argue. Simply identify, once again, what the outcome will be.

If they attempt to argue again. Restate your position simply.

If they continue to argue, restate your position, establish that the conversation is over, and remove yourself if possible.

alt=steel blue background with botanical leaves in various areas. Top third reads, Classroom Management Styles, Establishing and Enforcing Classroom Expectaitons!, Below that is says, Read More or Save for later, beneath that is an icon for printable anchor charts fo the classroom, and on the very bottom is the web address"
Students have multiple contexts in their lives, and, therefore, multiple sets of expectations to manage. Anchor charts throughout the classroom support your students in remembering the classroom expectations, especially your visual learners.

The Backbone of Your Classroom Management Style

Not too long I had two former students chat with me at recess. They had been in a vehicle the night before with others who had acknowledged that I was strict, and they mentioned this to me.  I said. “Well I think we can agree that this is true, but was there also love?” 

Their ecstatic answer was a very energetic, excited and resounding, “Yes!” 

I am not soft, or timid.  But I am ADHD so I lose focus easily. And I am at my best when everything is well organized, including the children. 

So, I reinforce expectations, communicate, stand tall, and all the things. 

However, I am also goofy, and affirming, and huggable, and love to provide fun free time activities. 

All of the essentials listed above create the opportunity for you to be free to be you. They also take time to develop.  

My teacher voice wasn’t there at the beginning, nor was my teacher look. They were born over time.  

Believe in yourself, and all of this will become second nature.

Thanks for stopping in!

What do you consider an essential to effective classroom management styles? 

Share in the comments!

Meanwhile . . . Let’s Connect! 


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