Dear Instructional Coaches: Classroom Management Struggles

Dear frustrated teacher, below you will find our 3 big suggestions when approaching this issue with de-escalation, Trauma-Informed Care, and SIOP in mind. 

Tip #1: Don’t take student behavior personally. 

Before you can help students control their outbursts and time on task, you need to ensure your own emotions are regulated. This starts with rational detachment. In a nutshell, rational detachment is the ability to control our own behavior/emotions and not take student hostility personally. Sounding easier than it is, you may need to practice regulating your own emotions and reactions to student behavior. 

Take a step back and take 5 deep breaths. Have students take these breaths with you. If you need to regulate your emotions, your students probably need to take some deep breaths, as well. 

Regularly remind yourself that student behavior is not a reflection of you, as a teacher. It is also not a reflection of how students feel about you as their teacher. There is always a reason behind the behavior, and it usually has very little to do with you. 

Lindsey B with De-Escalation in mind

Tip #2: Help support students with clearly defined expectations and positive reinforcement.

You cannot hold students accountable for expectations that they don’t know. Be sure that your classroom expectations are posted and easy to find. Refer to them before and after each lesson. Provide positive feedback when students are engaging in the expected behaviors. Come back and review them when expected behaviors are not being followed. 
It is okay to sound like a broken record. Students need to hear the expectations multiple times before we can expect them to follow those expectations. Students need to know that you will follow through and hold them accountable to those expectations. 

Are you looking for resources that may help you be consistent with your expectations? Check out our post on Classroom Screen.

Natalie B with a Trauma-Informed response 

Tip #3: Engage students right away by gathering background knowledge. 

Reduce barriers to student learning by gathering background knowledge on a topic. What do your students know? What are your students interested in learning about this topic? By gathering this information you can better engage your students right away. Students are much more likely to engage appropriately if they are interested, engaged, and have something to add to the learning experience. 

Looking for ways to help build background knowledge in your classroom? Check out this Seesaw or Canvas post for ideas!

Rhiannon H with advice that supports SIOP practices