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Introduction and Overview of Classroom Management


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the importance of effective classroom management in order for teaching and learning to take place in the classroom.
  2. Understand how to create a positive classroom environment that involves physical arrangement, rules, and procedures; instructions and activities; and monitoring and evaluation of students’ progress.
  3. Identify major classroom management theories.


Classroom management is one of the most exciting and important subjects in teacher preparation curriculum. Principals are often interested in knowing if applicants for a teaching position have a classroom management plan in mind. It is not uncommon for applicants to be asked to respond to classroom management-related questions during an interview. Principals would like to know if you have a plan for a classroom where all students can learn and how you would approach behavior problems. Lesson 1 presents an overview of classroom management.

What is Classroom Management?

Objective: To identify the importance of effective classroom management in order for teaching and learning to take place in the classroom.

What is classroom management? Have you seen teachers with effective classroom management skills, as well as those who do not have them? What do you picture when you think of a well-managed classroom? Are the students listening to the teacher? Are they actively participating in the lessons? Is anyone disrupting the class? One of the most critical foundations in teaching is classroom management. Teachers who are not successful in creating a healthy learning environment where students enjoy learning and look forward to coming to school often have poor classroom management skills.

For example, a teacher may be brilliant, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 in college. However, if that same teacher lacks classroom management skills and is unable to create a positive learning environment for all students, the class can easily get out of control. When such situations happen, teachers find it difficult to effectively conduct lessons in a manner in which these students can learn. It is possible that one student performing a disruptive act can interfere with the learning activities of the entire class. By the time the teacher deals with the behavior problem, nobody is engaged in learning, and everyone is off task. The lesson might end in a huge disaster.

Classroom Scenario: Middle School Math Classroom
Mr. Connor: Everyone, please sit down. We are ready to begin a lesson. (While Mr. Connor tries to get attention from his students, four male students in the back row kept talking to each other.)
Mr. Connor: Stephen, did you hear what I said?
Stephen: (Still talking to his friends)
Mr. Connor: Stephen, do I need to write you a slip to the office?
Stephen: Why do you always pick on me? Mike and Dale started it. (Stephen made a face at Mike and Dale. Other students saw it and laughed at Stephen.)
Mr. Connor: Everyone, be quiet. It is time to begin our lesson. (All the students were looking at Stephen, Mike, and Dale by this time rather than paying attention to Mr. Connor)

In the scenario above, students no longer paid attention to Mr. Connor’s directions. Several minutes were spent on redirecting Stephen’s original behavior, and the interaction between the teacher and the student then caused disruption for the entire class. Classroom management is a serious matter in order for instructions to take place as they are planned.

Effective classroom management does not just happen, and it involves more than just disciplining or redirecting students. For teachers to be successful in the classroom, they must be prepared to manage disruptive student behaviors that impact instructional activities. It is a process of facilitating positive student achievement and behavior, and teachers must be prepared to plan a safe learning environment for all.

When disruptive behaviors are exhibited in the classroom, they interfere with teacher instruction and student learning. When disruptive behaviors happen, teachers sometimes reduce their academic expectations of those students who display them. In other words, disruptive students now receive less work than their peers because of their disruptive behaviors. When teachers lack effective management skills and try to reduce their academic demands on disruptive students, these students will continue to have academic problems (Southerland, Wehby, & Yoder, 2002).

Inappropriate and disruptive behaviors not only interfere with students’ abilities to learn but they also impact other students’ learning and teachers’ ability to maintain a positive learning environment. Therefore, it is critical that teachers plan their classroom management strategies as carefully as they create instructional lesson plans.

Many students with disabilities may be mainstreamed in a general education classroom, or they may be served in an inclusive setting in addition to a special education resource room. Aside from managing students’ behavior in the special education classroom, teachers of students with special needs must work closely with general education teachers, other related professionals, and parents in order to provide consistent support for various aspects of each student’s life in school and at home. This lesson presents an overview of classroom management.


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