So You Think You Want to Teach Part 4: Classroom Management

Here’s 4th part of the So You Think You’d Like to Teach School series. The idea for this series came out of some questions I’ve gotten from folks interested in making teaching their profession.

Classroom Management

How does one teacher get a room full of students to all cooperate at the same time? How does one teacher get a room full of students from the classroom to the library and back? How does one teacher coordinate a classroom full of students of all abilities, temperaments and backgrounds to work together as a community?

In a nutshell, that’s classroom management.

One of my teacher credential text books asserted 90% of student misbehavior is teacher caused. If that us true, we have a lot of responsibility for how our school days go, regardless of who is in our class.

Some of the books I have used over the years, I’ve included below. Please click on the book image for more information on each title.

I consider these books to be an essential starting point for effective classroom management. Obviously you’ll find your own way, but these books can help get you started.

I’m not going to lie, I have a little crush on Fred Jones. His sense of humor kills me. If you have the opportunity to take a training with him (or his videos), please do. My students have always responded well to daily (sometimes twice daily!) Preferred Activity Time (PAT). It keeps students focused on completing their tasks as teams in a timely manner and me focused on positive behavior.

“Pay now or pay later” is Mr. Wong’s philosophy about spending time in the beginning of the year to teach (and practice – over and over and over again) procedures in your classroom. Effective procedures make for an organized, structured and sane classroom.

This book was my bible while I was sub teaching. I read it twice during that year and again while I was student teaching and have returned to it again and again during my career.

Fair, firm and consistent is the message I got from Setting Limits in the Classroom. This is another training I felt worth my time. Lisa Stanzione’s presentation brought the book to life – although I think it stands on its own.

The text for a graduate level classroom management course and it gave such good advice I sent it to my dad. It is as much a parenting book as it is a teaching book.

Another book that is written primarily with parents in mind, however these methods can easily be used in the classroom.


What are your favorite kid management books? What is your go-to read for classroom management or parenting? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Do you have any teaching questions? Curious about anything related to classroom or yoga teaching? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it here.

Stay tuned for more in the So You Think You Want to Teach series: Taming the Homework Beast, Parents: Friend or Foe


Be sure to click on the Life as a School Teacher link below for all the posts in the series.

Saturday Senses


tasting :: brown rice toast – absolutely love this bread!

hearing :: can we stay in at recess to blog?

smelling :: sweet potatoes baking

seeing :: the week flying by so quickly i didn’t quite ever know what day it was.

feeling :: so.much.better!

wishing/hoping :: hoping round 2 of parent teacher conferences go smoothly – emphasis on listening and team building. and remembering to just breathe.

What about you?

What are your senses this Saturday?

Looking back, how was your week?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it.

This weekly tradition inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

Don’t forget to click the links!

Back to School Is the Perfect Time for Resolutions

It’s that time again… back to school.

Back to school for kids means buying new school supplies, daydreaming about their new teacher and getting up early. For teachers it can be a perfect time to renew and refresh your teacher tool belt.

Every year I make new school year resolutions and this year is no different.

This year I have decided to work on my classroom management.

My goal for this year:

Work from the positive, reinforce appropriate student behavior, and help students struggling with appropriate behavior make better choices.

In other words:

I don’t want to be such a grouch, I want to enjoy my well-behaved kids and stop the knucklehead behaviors in their tracks,  preferably before they start.

Oh and I want to do this without raising my blood pressure.

Tall order I know.

Reflecting on what has worked well in previous years and what needs refinement, I’ve decided to brush up on tried and true methods for classroom management and student discipline.

Today I participated in a brush-up course on the methods taught in Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. After the training I was inspired to dig out my copy from the bag I’d stashed it in back in June {Apparently, this new-school-year resolution was on my mind when I left my classroom for the summer}.

With chapters like “Being Consistent”, “Staying Calm” and “Keeping It Positive, Keeping It Cheap” this book is a treasure trove of simple to implement lessons to teach and reinforce appropriate classroom behavior.

My favorite parts of the keeping calm are the deep breathing exercises. What a great reminder of how you can incorporate your yoga practice {or start one!} right in your classroom.

If you’ve never read Tools for Teaching, please stop what you are doing {ok, finish this post first} and order yourself a copy or check it out here for free. Be sure to check out the illustration on page 176. I may or may not have been the model.

Do you have any classroom management tips that consistently work with your class? How do you keep your sanity during the school year?


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