What’s the BEST Classroom Management Strategy?

In my role as a substitute teacher, my number one goal is the same as a doctor’s – do no harm. I want the regular teacher to come back the next day with no messes to clean up or discipline issues to resolve, so that the class can move forward as if the regular teacher … Continue reading What’s the BEST Classroom Management Strategy?

7 Strategies to Deal With The Pencil Sharpener

Nghhhhhhhhhhhhh. There goes the pencil sharpener again, right in the middle of a spelling test. No one can hear the spelling words, and I actually feel as if the pencil sharpener is grinding into my skull. “No pencil sharpening!” I screech. So the student sits down and immediately starts bothering everyone around him. He has … Continue reading 7 Strategies to Deal With The Pencil Sharpener

Why Ignoring Misbehavior Won’t Extinguish It

I had just about had it with one of my 3rd graders. All day long it had been one thing after another. Shouting out, clowning around, throwing things, making faces and fart noises, wandering the room… you name it, this student was doing it. I finally just about lost it when he walked up to … Continue reading Why Ignoring Misbehavior Won’t Extinguish It

Why You Need to Spend 6 Weeks Teaching Classroom Routines

I remember the first time someone told me I needed to spend 4-6 weeks (4 to 6 WEEKS!) teaching my students how to do simple things like putting their names on their papers, bringing their notebooks to class, and closing the classroom door quietly. I felt overwhelmed and panicky, and my first thought was, “I … Continue reading Why You Need to Spend 6 Weeks Teaching Classroom Routines

Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading

When my class was out of control, I didn’t get much work out of my students. I was wasting so much time on power struggles, warnings, arguments, and waiting for the class to be quiet that there wasn’t much time left for class work. Once I got my class under control, I started to have … Continue reading Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading

Should Students Sit Where They Want?

No. End of story. Have a nice day. Haha! Just kidding. I can actually think of two good reasons for students to choose where they sit: As a reward or incentive. So the teacher can learn which students are dysfunctional when they sit together and separate them when making a seating chart. On the other … Continue reading Should Students Sit Where They Want?

Avoid Teacher Burnout

As any educator can tell you, the beginning of the year is the most time-consuming, crazy-busy time there is. It’s like moving in to a new house, starting a new job, finishing up your Master’s thesis, and hosting a big party all in the same week. I’m not sure there’s any way around it. Everyone … Continue reading Avoid Teacher Burnout

Reflect So You Can Relax

Before you lock your classroom door, turn in the keys, and turn off your teacher brain, I recommend you reflect on anything that didn’t go well this year. Whoohooo! It’s finally the end of the school year! Time for some R’s – Rest, Relaxation, and Rejuvenation! If you had a tough year this year (as … Continue reading Reflect So You Can Relax

Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It

The top definition of Spring Fever in Urban Dictionary is: wanting the present moment to become summer slacking off in school because the year is almost over wanting to be outside every day rather than inside Teachers encounter Spring Fever on two levels – we have it and our students have it. It seems everyone … Continue reading Spring Fever – 7 Ways to Deal With It