Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom

Enjoy our Top 10 collection of terrific behavior management tips and advice from experienced educators. We hope that every teacher, new teachers and veterans both, who spends his or her days making a difference in the life of a child will appreciate these choice bits of wisdom.
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Girl leaning on lockers
The first few days are the most important ones of the year.
Help children to formulate two or three rules for the classroom. If the kids help it's easier for them to own the rules. Be sure that you're consistent in keeping the rules so the children know that they are important. Have fun and let children know you care about them.

Joan Young
Chestatee Elementary School
Gainesville, GA
Grade Levels: 3-5

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Female teacher
Don't make any rules for your class that you are not willing to follow through with.
Always be consistent and fair and let your students know that you mean what you say.

Sister Doreen Willis
St. John the Evangelist School
Silver Spring, MD
Grade Levels: K-2

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Boy leaning on lockers
Never get into a power struggle with your students.
Always listen to both sides with a nonjudgmental and non-confrontational attitude.

Ann Koutrouba
Lit People's
Sacramento, CA
Grade Levels: K-2

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Girl day dreaming
You won't damage your students' psyches by taking the lead and being the boss of your own classroom.
Once you gain the confidence things will go more smoothly, and once you take a firm lead, the students will respect and respond more readily.

Patricia Duncan
Centralia, WA
Grade Levels: K-2

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Passing note
Have a good balance of discipline and humor with the children.
In order to gain their respect, you need to convey your genuine enjoyment to be with them. My students understand I am sometimes tough on them because I care enough to wish they try harder and get better. I also manage to find a way to show I care in some meaningful way. Humor is important to have for your own perspective and for the children. It keeps the days lively and enjoyable.

Georgene Asseiri
Montessori Day School
Phoenix, AZ
Grade Levels: K-2

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Male teacher smiling
It's not what you teach, but how you teach it that makes all the difference.
If what you are doing in your classroom is exciting and motivational, classroom discipline problems disappear. Students do not want to get in trouble because they do not want to miss out on what is going on in your room.

Linda Burdine
Perry Meridian High
Indianapolis, IN

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Woman resting on books
Not every student will like you. And, you won't like every student.
Try to find at least one thing you can respect each student for - even if it's just showing up at school.

Cityview Community
Minneapolis, MN
Grade Levels: 6-8

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Teenage Girl with head down in class
Children will quiet down when the teacher is quiet and waiting for their attention.
I lost my voice the first year trying to focus their attention on me. Now, I simply wait for the attention I deserve before moving on to the next lesson or set of instructions.

Cecilia Martinez
Sylmar, CA
Grade Levels: 3-5

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Student and teacher working together
Adolescents love choices and challenges!
Whenever possible, give students choices - whether it's a long-range project on a country they select, or coloring a map with crayon, marker, or colored pencil! I try to give as many "small" choices as possible, even if it seems insignificant.

Linda Norman
Ayer Middle School
Ayer, MA
Grade Levels: 6-8

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Annoyed teenage girl
Watch the body language for both yourself and the students.
With the student, it can give you clues as to what the real problem is; for the teacher, you need to convey that not only are you listening but you are hearing what the student is saying. Then have them help in the solution.

Ann Koutrouba
Lit People's
Sacramento, CA
Grade Levels: K-2

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