Classroom Management


Classroom management is essential to productive lessons. However, most classroom issues can be solved by ensuring you have created engaging lessons which “make the class time fly by.”

I cut my management teeth while working in some of the toughest neighbourhoods of Glasgow. Street brawls, crack dealers and knife fights were a continuous issue in and around these schools. Although the students were sweet, happy and thankful young people, they came from tough homes and tough streets. So, it wasn’t unusual to be told to F-off or  ‘flipped the bird.’ One day, I even had a student attempt to throw a desk in my direction (at me? I doubt it. He wasn’t that angry at his regular teacher). By the time I came back to Ottawa, ‘rough’ classes seemed like a cake-walk. Sure, these students were also challenged, the weren’t Glagswegians, growing up in a city with the highest poverty levels in the country.

A few simple tips:

1)Mean what you say. Empty threats are easily ignored.

2) Stay positive. The student is not the problem, it’s the behaviour.

3) The “lesson” should fit the “crime.” A student throwing garbage around the room? She/he can spend some time cleaning up the classroom. Can’t sit appropriately in a chair? They could stand.

4) ALWAYS STAY CALM. Raising your voice will never help. I love the ‘broken record”… ‘I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down. I just need you to sit down.”

5) Address behaviours as quietly as possible. Go directly to the student and lean in. Whisper your directive. If you give the student an opportunity for a show, many will take it.

Behaviour Cheatsheet 1    Behaviour Cheatsheet 2

Other ideas:

There are ways to improve your classroom strategies. Great resources exist all over the internet for new teachers.

Billed as an ‘online cafe’ to post questions and queries for beginning teachers, http://www.survivethrive.on.ca/ is a great place to access good sources or start a discussion about issues you’re facing.

This website, disciplinehelp.com/ attempts to address the bigger issues at work in identifying 120 acting-out classroom behaviours.

The National Education Association also offers some pretty fantastic resources on many management issues.

Mr. Hughes also offers some sage advice:

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2013 in review

In 2014, I’m hoping to reflect more. Perhaps this might mean more journaling and teacher reflection here too. Here’s what 2013 looked like at stephaniepearson.com.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Stellar Links for Intermediate History

I’m always finding cool things on the Interwebs for my students. I have a few favourites which I use again and again. You can find more in my “diigo links” on the right hand side bar.

New France – Virtual Museum , Defending Quebec (Parks Canada)

WW1 Games (BBC Schools Online)

 Animated Map of WW1  (I love this one – I have students consider how often the Germans/Axis seem to be “winning.” Using only this map as a resource, can they determine what tactics caused the ebb and flow of the war?)

Montreal’s McCord Museum – great games and amazing political cartoons

Juno Beach and Storming Juno Website – Go Team Canada!

BBC Bitesize Revision:    contains humourous summaries of: