1 – Get organized
Develop an organizational system. Where do things belong? Where are assignments turned in and what is the process for grading, recording and returning work? Structures and defined processes help keep administrative processes of the classroom churning, so they don’t interfere with learning.
2 –Develop classroom rules
Establish expectations early on, but also spend time developing the exact classroom rules. Connect desired and undesired behaviors to the rules. Try to use rules that state the desired behavior or actions as opposed to prohibiting behavior. Define classroom rules with as much detail as your students require.
3 – Model expectations for your students
Model how to complete an activity or task.
4 – Say what you mean and mean what you say
Try to communicate with students with clear language that is easily supported. Be honest. Don’t oversell and under provide.
5 – Use visuals or gestures
Know your students and choose age-appropriate visuals and gestures to compliment verbal instructions. This provides reinforcing signals that help communicate to students.
6 – Provide directions versus asking questions
Remember, if we ask a question, we have to be willing to accept yes or no as an answer.
7 – Be brief
Speak less. Say more.
8 – Catch students being good
Use reinforcing language. Try to pay attention to students and acknowledge them, individually or as a group for following instructions. When you do praise student actions, provide specific feedback about what is being performed.
9 – Reflect
Evaluate your experiences and adapt your processes. Try to learn and improve.
10 – Breathe
Relax. Teaching can be hard. It’s ok to need some time to recharge and regroup.