Classroom management: What teachers should know

Regina M. Oliver provides some practical advice for teachers, culled from a systematic review of the research on classroom management

TEACHERS WHO STRUGGLE WITH classroom management experience a high level of stress and burnout. “I love teaching and would do it forever if it wasn’t for the difficult student behavior in my classroom.” “I’ve tried everything but nothing seems to help.” These are common sentiments held by many teachers. Teachers enter the profession because of their desire to teach, but often find themselves ill-prepared to manage the challenges of classroom behavior management. More and more students are entering school without the behavioral competencies needed to meet the instructional and social demands of the classroom environment. Teachers frequently report a lack of training in their teacher preparation programs to effectively manage an increasingly diverse student population. Without the skills needed to establish structured, positive environments that support student behavior, teachers quickly become overwhelmed and many ultimately leave the profession.

What we know
● The progression of behavior issues is influenced by teacher classroom management practices in the early years.
● Several evidence-based classroom management strategies have been identified through research.
● Teachers who use a proactive classroom-behavior-management plan will have fewer disruptive behaviors and will be more successful with students who require more intensive behavioral support.
● Pre-service and in-service teacher preparation is needed to provide teachers with the necessary classroom management competencies to support student behavior.

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October 2012