Classroom Management

What is classroom management? Why is Classroom Management Important?

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Want to know my secret? I LOVE classroom management—it’s the key to engaging curiosity and motivation. But what is classroom management and why is classroom management important?

Managing your classroom is not about strict rules. It’s about promoting curiosity and motivation in the classroom. However, it does require organization and clear expectations but centers on fostering a vibrant learning environment.

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Effective classroom management enables the teacher to share their passions and elevate student engagement.

What is Classroom Management?

How you manage your classroom is at the heart of what you’re passionate about. 

Do you want students to:

  • talk to each other? How will you set that up?
  • accept each other? How will you facilitate that?
  • kindle curiosity? How will you promote it?
  • embrace classroom expectations? How will you achieve that?

Each of these questions delineates a part of your vision for your classroom. 

My vision of teaching involves providing opportunities for students to discover knowledge and become engaged learners. The classroom management I implemented needed to create an environment that allowed for my vision, and it worked.

The best teaching days involved creative, controlled chaos where students were engaged and discipline problems were non-existent. 

What is classroom management? It is the pathway you create to a dynamic classroom. Why is classroom management important? Classroom management creates engaged learners.

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Have you determined what your passion is?

Classroom Management Foundations

I have five components, or pillars, of classroom management.

1) Classroom Expectations

Why are classroom expectations important? They ensure students feel safe, as highlighted by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Students feel safe when they know what is expected of them and what they can expect from their teacher and peers.

How we reinforce expectations is also important.  Evidence based positive behavioural support is powerful and effective.

To affirm students is to identify what students are doing well and calling out their good choices. For example, “Thank you for asking for help when you were having a difficult time getting started.” “I appreciate you hanging up your backpack properly.” “That was kind of you to help your friend solve that problem.”

Having established classroom expectations we then need to reinforce them. If we do not reinforce expectations, students will not follow them resulting in chaos and conflict.  

So you must decide upon how to respond to students’ choices:

  • Punishment –  inflicts a penalty.
  • Discipline –  teaches the right behaviour.

When we respond with patience, understanding, and real-world  consequences, long-term success is more likely.

So, what is classroom management? It is creating a safe space for students.   Why is classroom management important? Classroom management is creating the environment students need to thrive?

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Work with your students to set your expectations on the first day, then teach, review and reinforce them.


2) Classroom Community Building

Once students feel safe, they seek to build relationships. A strong classroom community enhances learning and students feel valued.

Curating lessons that incorporate high-quality collaborative activities is key to successful classroom community building.  

I also loved to use partner cards to randomly assign partners.  Students end up working with everyone in the classroom, and barriers are busted. 

My students worked with everyone, and, with teacher support, they learned how to interact respectfully even with classmates who weren’t their best friends, so they developed social-emotional skills simultaneously.

So, what is classroom management? It is teaching children how to interact with others positively. Why is classroom management important? Because being able to work well with others is an essential life skill.

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Classroom community building activities are not separate activities, but can be a part of core content instruction.

3) Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

SEL is the process through which individuals learn to manage emotions, set goals, show empathy, and maintain relationships. Providing a one and done type of instruction is not enough.

It is crucial for teachers to provide many opportunities to practice these skills throughout the day, and then, using positive language, affirm their progress.  

Using the interactive activities that support community building teachers can affirm students’ hard work as they learn to share, grow, and work together kindly. 

Independent activities are also essential; students learn to self-regulate, develop a growth mindset, and so much more. These life skills have a greater long term impact on our students than much of the content that we teach.

So, what is classroom management? Teaching children to identify and manage, not suppress, their feelings, set goals and maintain relationships in a healthy way is an essential part of it? 

Why is classroom management important? As students learn to navigate their feelings, establish choices for their journey and develop healthy relationships they are established for their future.

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Children need to be explicitly taught social emotional learning skills and strategies. Incorporating opportunities to practise these skills throughout the day is a game changer.

4) Differentiation in the Classroom

Differentiation is essential to establishing a high quality learning environment for all students. It involves recognizing the unique way that each student learns and develops. Without it, we risk creating stress through either overwhelm or boredom which affects their behavior and engagement.

This is about so much more than different reading passages. Differentiation involves:

  • Content
  • Process
  • Product
  • Learning environment

Differentiation can be complex, but it can also be as simple as allowing students to build Lego models of their story before writing it, or having a variety of math tools available for students to help themselves to.

So, what is classroom management? It is making learning accessible to each student in their unique learning style.  Why is classroom management important? Accessible learning creates engaged learners.

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Don’t ask your students to do something they can’t do, or to wait quietly because it is all too easy. Get to know them and teach them as the individuals they are.

5) Classroom Organization and Routines

Classroom organization and routines creates the structure students need for stability.

Consistent organization:

  • Supports smooth transitions as students know where to go and what to do
  • Enables students to  stay on task because they know how and where to access the tools that they need.
  • The classroom is ordered, tidy, and the students help to care for it allowing the teacher to spend time elsewhere.

With well understood and predictable routines the teacher is able to provide a greater diversity of engaging activities as students know what to do and what is expected of them.

From binders to bins to book boxes, my students knew where to find things, and where to put them back. The organization of the physical environment made the organization of the routines seamless.

So, what is classroom management? It is establishing a stable environment and routines. Why is classroom management important? It supports independent learning and develops confident learners.

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Daily routines ground the class by providing stability through predictability.

Finally, what is classroom management? 

The strategies you use for managing your classroom create a safe, collaborative, engaging, accessible  and dynamic learning environment. By establishing strong pillars or foundations, you can inspire curiosity and motivation among your students. In short, effective classroom management is about engaging curiosity.

By identifying  what is classroom management, you have already answered why is classroom management important.

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