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Pre-service Teachers

Advice for Classroom Management and Student Motivation

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Lydia Hobby Lydia Hobby 631 Points

Hello! My name is Lydia Hobby, and I am a preservice teacher at Wartburg College. I am super eager to begin my teaching career, but I also have some concerns, such as classroom management and student motivation. These two topics can vary from different school years, students, grade levels, etc., but I would be interested to hear any tactics that are being used. I would appreciate any advice on these topics, whether it be the postives and/or the negatives. Thank you in advance for sharing and helping me become prepared as a future teacher!

Marlee Boyle Marlee Boyle 1525 Points

Hello Lydia! I am also a preservice teacher from Wartburg College. I believe creating an environment where you can build strong relationships and trust between everyone is such an essential part. Over time, it will build and get stronger. A classroom management tool you can use is calls and responses to help get the classroom's attention and redirect your students. Some examples are, 'Holy molly! Guacamole!', 'Red Robin! Yum!', '1 2 3, eyes on me! 1 2, eyes on you!', 'Hocus pocus! 'Everybody focus!', 'To infinity! And beyond!', and 'Macaroni and cheese! Everybody freeze!'. These are a few of the hundreds you can do. You can even find ones related to your students' favorite movies, shows, games, books, etc. Another tool or strategy is for your students to have responsibilities or leadership roles such as line leader, light lieutenant, office runner, door holder, table captain, teacher's assistant, caboose, and many more. At the beginning of the school year, you can explain the classroom jobs, but you can also create a classroom rules charter with your students. It makes them feel they are in control and have leadership. You can have them all sign it and refer back to it when necessary.

I was told by a wise professor that peers are the strongest tool. Nothing makes students more upset than when one peer does something wrong and there is negative reinforcement for the entire class. Peers keep each other in check.

Our first few years of teaching are going to be quite difficult. We will learn along the way. You need to remember, you are only human. You need to let your students know you may make a mistake and model it so they know it is okay when they make mistakes. You are the classroom cheerleader, never give up on your students. One last thing, don't forget to check in with yourself daily. Ask yourself, 'How am I doing as a person?', 'How am I doing as a teacher?', 'What can I be doing better?', 'What do I need to let go that is weighing me down?', etc. 

I hope this helps and gives you comfort. You will be great!

Marlee Boyle Wartburg College

Christopher Like Christopher Like 340 Points


How can I not reply to a fellow Iowan!!

I think the best practices for classroom management and student motivation comes down to the relationships you build with your students. It has a lot to do with the classroom culture and procedures you set up in the beginning. I have found that a very open classroom works well for me. A place where students are not afraid to try, to ask questions, to fail, to stuggle, and to celebrate success. I have also seen teachers succeed in a much tighter classroom as it fit their personality better. 

The one thing I always keep in mind is this: 'Would I want to be a student in this class?' Now that I am older I think, 'Would I want my own kids in this class?' Remember though, that each student in your room has a different background and experience with education. I am not talking about the science content, I am talking about how people treat each other (student to student and teacher to student). 

I am over at Bettendorf if you need anything,

Alexis Parker Alexis Parker 320 Points

Hello! I understand the concern about classroom management, especially being a new teacher. I think one thing to keep in mind regarding classroom management is that every class and every student is different. If you have a somewhat difficult class, you may have to try a wide variety of different strategies to figure out which ones work best for them. Some examples are different time frames (such as more breaks or different activities more frequently), more responsibility for students that tend to get distracted, or any wide variety of possibilities. Just remember to never give up on your students. No matter how difficult they are to manage, do not give up on them. Keep trying to reach them and help them the best that you can. It does not matter how the students act. They are children and you are the adult, so you must stay the bigger person and act as so. Always act like the teacher that you need to be and the teacher that those students need for you to be. Celebrate even the smallest behavioral successes, and do not let the bad times bring you down. 

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