Classroom Management Guidelines

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Classroom Management Guidelines

It often helps to have the ideas, concepts, and tips put into a short, summarized list.  Below are various lists I found that support the previous sections.

Curwin and Mendler’s Nine Steps for Consequence Implementation

  1. Always implement a consequence: Be consistent.
  2. Simply state the rule and consequence.
  3. Be physically close: use the power of proximity.
  4. Make direct eye contact.
  5. Use a soft voice.
  6. Catch the student being good.
  7. Don’t embarrass the student in front of the class.
  8. Be firm, but anger free when giving the consequence.
  9. Don’t accept excuses, bargaining or whining.

(DOE Virginia)


Classroom Management Best Practices

Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching:

Make it clear you value all comments

  1. Avoid singling out students as spokespersons
  2. Discourage students who monopolize discussion
  3. Tactfully correct wrong answers
  4. Emphasize mastery and learning rather than grades
  5. Give speedy feedback


McKeachie’s Teaching Tips:

Recognize Perry’s stages of cognitive development (Ed. Note: see next section)

  1. Quiz early and often to set expectations
  2. Establish fair policies
  3. Ratchet up response only as needed
  4. For low attention, switch activities
  5. Start with an assumption of honesty—don’t believe the worst in students
  6. Get to know students to head off angry confrontations
  7. Keep your cool – don’t respond instantly
  8. Remember that students are human who need sympathy and help


Linda Nilson, Teaching at its Best

  1. Balance authority and approachability
  2. Model correct behavior, and reward it in students
  3. Be aware of your voice and non-verbal communication; use them to subtly communicate your desired response
  4. Avoid overly long lectures
  5. Keep cool and don’t be baited
  6. Consult with problem students in private whenever possible



Five Golden Rules

  1. Be friendly but firm (andragogy, not pedagogy)
  2. Be an ally… for their learning (not grade)
  3. De-escale rather than De-fensive (Listen first. Speak softly)
  4. Revise syllabus policies to be realistic
  5. When in doubt, “fairness rules”



Spectrum of response:

  1. Do nothing (hope for extinction)
  2. Stand nearby
  3. Call on them to answer a plenary question
  4. Pause meaningfully (silence fills room)
  5. Generic plenary address
  6. Private talk
  7. Paper trail (email and otherwise)
  8. Public confrontation
  9. Kick them out


  • If you start too easy, you then have to over-compensate to ‘catch up’ to lessened expectations. Better to choose wisely to start with (but don’t over do the first one!)



The 5 core components that every teacher needs to understand and master in order … to create the maximum positive impact in the classroom.

  1. Always give adequate, timely, and fair consequences for disruptive behavior.
  2. Teach to expectations.
  3. Arrange the classroom for maximum performance.
  4. Never take the debate bait.
  5. Convey an unconditional positive regard for all.

(cpi management strategies)


  1. Do not use vague rules.
  2. Do not have rules that you are unwilling to enforce.
  3. Do not ignore student behaviors that violate school or classroom rules (they will not go away).
  4. Do not engage in ambiguous or inconsistent treatment of misbehavior.
  5. Do not use overly harsh or embarrassing punishments or punishments delivered without accompanying support.
  6. Do not use corporal punishment.
  7. Avoid out-of-school suspension whenever possible
  8. Do not try to solve problems alone if you have serious concerns about a student. Refer to your school psychologist or special education professional.

( CM)



What can you do when you are confronted with students who are negative about rational requests and/or rules?

  1. Try to use these guidelines when establishing classroom rules:a) Involve your class in making up the rules.     b) State the rules positively.     c) Keep rules brief and to the point.     d) Review rules periodically with the class.

  2. Arrange private conferences with students to discuss the problem in depth.

  3. Ask the student(s) to write down the disturbing behavior in a class logbook. Have them write some appropriate alternative ways of responding to negativity, for future reference.

  4. Give students choices, in order to minimize negative reactions (e.g., “Would you rather stay an extra ten minutes and finish the exercise before lunch, or go to lunch now and finish it when you come back?”).

  5. Try to have frequent, positive interaction in the class (e.g., praise, group projects, discussions, etc.).

  6. Make sure students clearly understand what is expected from them. (In some cases, it’s the student’s confusion that causes oppositional behavior.)

  7. Handle difficult students individually outside the classroom, so that there is less chance that others will get involved.

  8. Contact the parents, the principal, and/or the counselor to discuss the student’s inappropriate behavior.(



What do you do with students who show a lack of respect for adults, peers, their belongings, and the property of others?

  1. The teacher should practice the 3 R’s: Respect, Responsibility, and Reciprocity.

  2. Role-play situations where there is lack of respect. For example: Someone fails a test and others make fun of that person. Follow with group analysis and discussion of the situation and alternative actions.

  3. Clearly state the reasons for respecting other people’s property. Publicly acknowledge those who demonstrate respect for others’ property, so their peers can model their behavior.

  4. Show videos dealing with respect and then discuss them. See Guidance Associates materials. Obtain materials from your county audio library.

  5. Don’t make unrealistic requests, dictate rules without explanations, or give an ultimatum that presents students with a boundary they might be tempted to cross because they feel it is unreasonable.

  6. Listen to each student. Never assume that you know what the student is going to say to explain his/her actions.

  7. Show that even though, as the teacher, you are in charge of the class, you respect the student and expect respect in return.

  8. Never make idle, sarcastic threats (e.g., “How many times have I told you to sit down? I am going to have to take away your recess time for the semester unless you behave.”)




What steps can be followed to resolve a child’s constant misbehavior?

  1. If possible, meet with the child and describe in exact terms the behavior you find unacceptable in the classroom.

  2. During the discussion, explain the reason(s) why you find the behavior unacceptable.

  3. Be sure the child understands that it is not he/she who is unacceptable, but rather the behavior.

  4. Let the student know exactly what will happen if the problem continues.

  5. If the misbehavior occurs again, follow through with the previously planned disciplinary action.

  6. Throughout the process, keep the parents and the principal informed of the progress or lack of progress.

  7. If the child continues to misbehave and you feel that you have utilized all of your options and resources, send the child to the principal’s office. Explain to the child that he/she is welcome to return when he/she is ready to follow the classroom rules.




How can the teacher deal with a child who becomes argumentative upon confrontation?

  1. Do not confront the student in a group situation.

  2. Do not use an accusatory tone upon approaching the student.

  3. Evaluate the situation that led to the confrontation.

  4. Do not back the student into a corner. Leave room for options.

  5. Do not make threats that cannot be carried out.

  6. Allow your emotions to cool before approaching the student.

  7. Maintain the appearance of control at all times. Use a clear, firm voice.

  8. Give the child an opportunity to speak his/her piece.

  9. Allow for role-playing, doing role reversal.

  10. Try to explore and discover what led to the confrontation. Avoid repeating these circumstances.

  11. If you made an error, admit it!



Cited web sites for “Classroom Management Guidelines”


reference name in text
access date CM

cpi management strategies

DOE Virginia…classroom_mgt/session-8_guidebook.docx