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A Powerful Teaching Tip
One of the most effective classroom management strategies a teacher can use is also the strategy that teachers are most skeptical of. Why? I’m not sure… This simple teaching strategy has a positive impact on the student-teacher relationship and greatly reduces classroom management issues and behavior problems.
One of the most effective classroom management strategies a teacher can use is also the strategy that teachers are most skeptical of. Why? I'm not sure… This simple teaching strategy has a positive impact on the student-teacher relationship and greatly reduces classroom management issues and behavior problems. Of course, there is more than a slight connection between the teacher-student relationship and classroom management. So what's this simple teaching tip? Teachers need to give their students a break… That's right an actual 2-3 minute break during class. Now many teachers may say that there is no way they can give a 2-3 minute break in the middle of their 50-minute class when they are already so pressed for time. To those teachers I say, "I am willing to give a 2-minute break to get the other 48 minutes back." The fact is, if you give a 2-minute break you can get so much more out of the rest of class. Of course, you must teach this procedure just like you must teach every procedure (teach the students exactly how much time they have, what they can do and can not do, and exactly what you expect of them when the timer signals that break-time is over.) I promise you, if you do this right you will be amazed at the results. I use this teaching strategy with my own 8th grade social studies classes and I can honestly say that when that timer signals that their break is over…you've never seen 14 year-olds get back in their seats and ready to work faster. Break-time for students is truly a powerful teaching tip! However, like all the teaching tips I suggest, I can not make you try it…only you can do that… Along with teaching middle school social studies full-time, I also teach a course on classroom management as an adjunct professor at a local college. Recently, one of my college students confided in me that she thought I was absolutely nuts to suggest she give her 7th grade math students a break during class time. But, she decided to have an open mind and gave it a try. This is the difference between an effective teacher and an ineffective teacher. The effective teacher is willing to take risks. Needless to say the student was thrilled with the results. She set a timer, gave her students specific directions, and when that timer went off signaling their break was over, those students got right back in their seats, were refreshed, and motivated to learn. Giving students a break during class time does not only aide in classroom management, but it also contributes to building on that critical teacher-student relationship.