3 Classroom Management Hacks & Tips for Teachers

Welcome back to another awesome post with hacks for your life & business! If you missed us last week, we talked about ways to hack your fitness routine and schedule in some time for a healthier you. I’m continuing my course in trying to gain better physical fitness and encourage you to do the same as it can help with your professional performance as well.

This week here in the United States we’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, and we want to thank teachers and instructors for the work that they do in helping to prepare generations for the workforce.

I don’t know about you, but I can think of several teachers who not only made a difference in my life academically and professionally, but also personally.

About two weeks ago, I asked some folks a question - I asked them:

Has a teacher changed your mindset for the better?

Many said that they have had a teacher who helped shape their mindset positively, and some went into detail about how that teacher had been helpful to them. Personally, I can think of several teachers who helped to shape my mindset - some even after the fact that I had had them for a class and after I had graduated.

I won’t go into detail, but it’s something special when an instructor can push you beyond your comfort zone to take a chance and try something new. In undergrad, I received a fellowship that helped push me outside of my comfort zone and shyness. Over the course of a month, I met new people who were in my cohort from different states and even another country across the world. I got to know them better and work with them through lectures & workshops, and over the course of year or two down the road with the help of my mentor, I presented for a conference in front of some of them and other students/professors that I did not know - talk about heart-pounding and exhilarating.

If some of my professors had never mentioned the fellowship to me and pushed me to apply and go forward with it, I would not have had the opportunity to grow as I did with my writing skills, communication skills, and technical skills.

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to share 3 hacks that can help teachers. Some of our teachers who use our online scheduling software for their classes might be asking:

 

1. “Some of my students just won’t listen to me - how can I manage the unruly?”

 

2. “I have sleepers & texters almost every day - how can I get my students more ‘tuned in’ to the course materials?”

 

3. “I’ve a reached a stumbling block - some of my students still don’t understand the material. How can I help them?”

 

We know that teachers come across a number of different situations. To name a few, teachers have to:

  • Manage unruly students (Oh yes!)

  • Try to get students interested & excited about the course material (Not a walk in the park)

  • And help students to really grasp & understand the material (Not always easy)

So, if you’ve asked any of these questions, prepare a pencil or pen (or note-taking app) because here are some solutions.

 

1. "Some of my students just won’t listen to me - how can I manage the unruly?"

How can I manage the unruly?

How can I manage the unruly?

I believe that almost every teacher has had an unruly student at some point in their career. If you haven’t, you just may come across one, and you’ve got to figure out how to work with this student to keep the class under control.

Let’s say that you like this student - he/she is smart, but they want to start something in almost each class. One way to work with a student or students like this is to initially lay down the class rules at the start of the semester/term.

If you do not set strong rules and make them known, they will draw their own boundaries and sometimes those boundaries don’t work well for the class. It’s even more embarrassing if other students when shocked by an unruly classmate looks up at the teacher in amazement to see if he/she will do something.

So laying down the rules and sticking to them is important. You might try calmly reprimanding the student before the class at first, take the student aside if that doesn’t work, and then, whatever is in your institution’s policy, if the student is too disruptive, you may have to ask him/her to leave. Respect is important - how you set your class’ boundaries can determine how these students may treat you & their peers.


 

2. “I have sleepers & texters almost every day - How can I get my students more ‘tuned in’ to the course materials?”

How can I get my students more tuned in to the course materials?

How can I get my students more tuned in to the course materials?

Ahh the sleeper or the texter. Sometimes students are legitimately tired for whatever reason, but that doesn’t stop you from intervening to help him or her be successful in the course.

For the texter, this might be a simple notice to the entire class or the individual him/herself.

But as far as engagement, the generation of youth today like to use technology and a little competition (throw in some extra credit points for an activity and they’ll be even more interested).

If you want to get them excited prior to a lesson, you should try using:

  • A relevant life situation - Think of something that these students can relate to and ask them some thought questions to get their brains going, but make sure these questions can be related to the course material to follow.

  • A current or historical event - If there is a current event or historical event that is relative, try to get their brains to thinking before the lesson by recapping this event & posing questions.

  • An image or video - If, figuratively speaking, a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can likely speak more, and you can show them an image and ask questions or a video and have them do a thought activity of some sort, this may help.

If you want to get them excited after a lesson, you should try using:

  • A Kahoot quiz - Kahoot is a great tool for educators to not only test their students’ grasping of material, but also challenge their students to compete & show their mastery. Some students like competition and would really enjoy this type of quiz. Students can not only compete by seeing who will answer the questions correctly, but also in terms of speed.

  • A group activity - Great for when you want them to work together and really converse about the lesson. Sometimes you’ll have ones that don’t want to work with others, and that’s fine, but if you try to monitor the students by walking around and jumping in to ask them questions about the activity, this will help to get them back on track.


 

3. “I’ve a reached a stumbling block - some of my students still don’t understand the material. How can I help them?”

How can I help them?

How can I help them?

This can be a difficult issue to work with, but I believe that some students, although the teacher asks if there are any questions, will not ask their question because of fear.

Stepping in outside of class can help in this manner whether that’s taking a little time to go back over a concept if possible, or even having a short study session for those who need further understanding.

Sometimes, the issue is with grasping the material outside of class. While in class, the students get it, but outside of class, they’re not retaining the information. This can helped with additional practice outside of class, and probably checking in with that student to make sure he/she is setting aside the time to study the material.

Additionally, it might be necessary to throw in some time management & productivity tips to help students because they don’t have this area down-pat. They may not admit this initially, but you may find out as the semester goes on, so adding in these helpful scheduling tips whether that’s by them adding their studies to an online calendar like Google Calendar or keeping track of work through task managers like Asana, Trello, or even Google Keep, then that might help.

 

Over to You

We hope you will find these tips helpful today and applicable in your current & future classes. Can you think of some other issues that teachers face and often need solutions for?

Drop those in the comments box below and share what’s worked for you.

We want to know what questions or hacks you’re looking for - give us a shoutout on social or drop us a comment below.