California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Classroom management

As most veteran teachers know, classroom management strategies lie at the heart of good teaching. Fair, consistent, schoolwide rules of conduct reinforce classroom management, which is one of the reasons that professional learning communities and small learning communities are so powerful. Students know that every teacher holds all students to the same high standard for ethical, respectful classroom behavior.

Good classroom management is evident by the following practices:

  • All teachers adhere to a common set of classroom rules, homework procedures, and disciplinary practices so that behavior norms are consistent throughout the school.
  • Teachers walk around the room and observe student note taking, binder organization, and consistency in writing down homework assignments and test dates.
  • The teacher knows all student names and calls on a variety of students.
  • Regular classroom discussion, projects, and cooperative learning experiences make learning relevant to the students.
  • Teachers assess progress often and in a wide variety of ways so they can provide timely academic interventions for students who do not grasp concepts. Timely interventions help to prevent behavior problems from students who are frustrated or struggling with the content.
  • Teachers greet students by name outside the classroom and show interest in their lives.
  • The faculty uses alternatives to out-of-school suspension when other means of correction are feasible. For example, many middle schools use supervised suspension classrooms for disruptive or defiant students to promote completion of class work and tests missed by the student during suspension. Pursuant to Education Code Section 48911.1, students in supervised suspension classrooms should have access to appropriate counseling services as well. (For more on discipline, refer to the next section.)

Research on classroom management shows that effective teachers often incorporate social-emotional learning with clear classroom behavior rules. In addition, they offer rewards for good behavior and emphasize warm and supportive relationships among teachers and students.1

Related Links

Resilience—Strengthening Protective Factors and Developmental Assets

Discipline: a fair, consistent, and positive approach

1Works in Progress: A Report on Middle and High School Improvement Programs (PDF; Outside Source). Washington, D.C.: Comprehensive School Reform Quality Center, January 2005, 26.

Back to Top