I’ve had back-to-school on my mind the past couple of weeks, and even though it was always a challenge getting my classroom and lessons plans ready, I miss that season. For the next week or so, I’m going to post about school related topics. I recently wrote a guest post about building a library on a budget based on strategies I learned as a teacher. Make sure to read it now!
When I taught in public schools, figuring out classroom management for 30 children whom I was responsible for every day was a challenge. A huge challenge. I developed systems that helped. I got pretty good at sticker charts, table group incentives, and pizza parties as achievement awards.
When I left public schools and started teaching with the Charlotte Mason method, my classroom management changed drastically. The goal was no longer to “manage” my students, but to help them develop better habits. Some strategies were adaptable to fit my new teaching philosophy. Now that I stay at home, I find some of the classroom management strategies I learned and honed over the years helpful with my children.
At the beginning of the school year, I always worked hard to develop strong routines. This fits in well with habit training! Thinking out and planning the events of the morning allowed us to begin the day smoothly. We spent time practicing these routines, and that investment made a huge different in our school year! Now that I stay at home, I still find this helpful! By making and practicing a morning routine, I can find some time for my work, spend time with each child individually, and complete any chores that need to be done.
As a teacher, I learned that spending a few minutes a day giving positive attention to a child who sometimes has behavior issues can greatly improve their behavior. I notice how true this is with Miss H, too. Being proactive and having a really attentive, imaginative play time with her in the morning can change her behavior for the rest of the day.
Attention to the Picked-On Child
The other day, Miss H and Baby E were playing so sweetly. I went into the kitchen to grab something, when WHAM! Miss H pushed Baby E over backwards. I scooped up Baby E, asking him if he was okay. I waited to discuss consequences with Miss H. At one of the schools I taught at, we learned to focus on the victim and not the bully. I don’t think my child is a bully, but this strategy does make sense for us!
Miss H loves this one! With a class, I made predetermined stopping points for them in the hallway. That way, when I stopped to lock the door or was needed for an issue, they wouldn’t take off without me. I do this with Miss H when we’re at the gym or library. I say, “Stop at the corner!” and she walks ahead of me, waiting at the corner until I catch up. This gives her some independence, but keeps her from running too far away.
Exercise has so many positive effects on the brain! One year, the other teachers and I took all the students outside to run in the morning. This set our day up for success, and the students came in ready to learn. When Miss H is grumpy or anxious, exercise helps. We go for a walk, to the park, or to play in the backyard. In the winter I get children’s exercise videos from the library for her to do. When we start more formal preschool, I’ll include plenty of exercise in our days.
Do you use any of these strategies?