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What is the secret to classroom management?

Classroom management skills are vital to successful teaching and learning. These are the techniques and practices that teachers use to create a positive and productive learning environment. Every teacher has their own strategies to establish an atmosphere that supports students’ academic, social, and emotional growth while minimizing disruptions and promoting student engagement.

But no one said it would be easy! No matter what the learning environment or class size, teaching and classroom management can often feel like a juggling act. In any classroom, we have a wide variety of skill levels, learning styles, and social and emotional needs. Teachers have to find a way to meet the needs of every unique child in the class while balancing the whole group and maintaining a calm, peaceful, productive atmosphere.

So what is the secret? Is there a golden ticket to class management? Of course, there is never one simple answer to any puzzle. But one key that always rings true is relationship building.

Relationship Building

Building relationships with your students is crucial for effective class management. When children feel a genuine connection with their teacher, trust and respect are developed. This creates a safe space where children are more likely to follow the rules and guidelines of the classroom. Building relationships fosters student engagement and motivation. When children feel valued and understood they become more invested in their learning, actively participate in class activities, and are more likely to be motivated to succeed. And, when children have a positive relationship with their teacher they are more likely to have appropriate behavior and respond positively to discipline or guidance. Whether you are a class teacher or a subject teacher, in Waldorf schools we have a unique opportunity to continue to build relationships with our students year after year as they grow.

There are many ways to build relationships. We can start by taking an active interest in each student. Slow down during the school day and take the time to connect with children at lunch or at recess. Find out what they enjoy or take time to listen as they share stories about their weekend.

Lesson Planning

Building relationships can be a part of your daily lesson plan in the classroom too. We can take the time at the beginning of each class to connect with the children and bring them together as a whole group. Warm-up activities have the added bonus of helping children to transition from one class to the next, which can be very challenging for some students.

For example, ball-passing games are all about building relationships. When we pass a ball from teacher to student or from child to child we are silently asking; Are you ready to receive? Are you ready to share? Are you present, engaged, and connected to the group? Ball-passing games provide opportunities for children to practice effective communication. They learn to give clear instructions, use nonverbal cues, and actively listen to their teachers and peers. These skills enhance their ability to express themselves which helps them to feel valued and heard. Through ball passing games children learn to take turns, listen to one another, and respect different perspectives.

Ball-passing games also require students to work together and cooperate. They learn to communicate, trust one another, and coordinate their actions. These activities promote inclusivity and a sense of belonging within the group. And best of all, ball games are fun! They bring laughter, excitement, and shared joy which radiates through the room creating a positive learning environment. Once we have connected all together (and gotten our wiggles out) we are ready as a whole group to get down to work.

Collaboration and Innovation: Teaching Special Subjects in Waldorf Schools

Join us July 17-20, 2023 for our online international conference for all special subject teachers. We will explore ways to increase cross-curricular connections, expand our toolbox of class management skills, support children with special needs, and so much more.

Learn more about ball passing games and how to make beautiful weighted rag balls to use in your classroom. Each day will have practical handwork projects to use in your teaching, no matter what subject you teach.

Full details online

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Aug 30, 2023

Thank you, you have made some helpful and relevant points. I also find it important to meet students at their present skill level in order to be successful. I offer modified and advanced projects if needed. Modified could mean 1/2 as many stitches. ( a baby gnome or dragon) Advanced could be embellishments. (Clothes and accessories for a gnome, a scarf for a dragon).

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