Classroom Management Strategies for High School Teachers

Featured Stories Updated January 6, 2016

Learning high school class management skills can significantly improve your experiences as a teacher. The skills you develop can also help your students to learn effectively.

High school teachers must know how to provide their students with direction because those students don’t always focus on their education. Tips for improving your classroom management skills start with fine-tuning your personal management skills and establishing your expectations. To do this, you need to set clear rules and goals for the class and learn how to work with each student individually.

Tips to improve class management skills

  • Prepare yourself before the school year starts.
  • Know what you want students to learn.
  • Plan and follow a timeline for teaching while allowing for flexibility.
  • Know in advance what your school policies are and the support you can expect.
  • Be prepared to ask for support.
  • Have a record keeping system prepared for attendance, grades and behavior.
  • Remind yourself that you in charge of your classroom.
  • Accept the responsibility for being in charge.
  • Accept the responsibility for teaching your students.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Believe in what you teach.

Establishing classroom rules

One of the first steps to take to improve classroom management skills is to take a look at the rules.

  • Class rules should not be complicated; Keep It Simple for Students should be your objective.
  • Be consistent and fair with your rules.
  • Make a printed list of the rules and give each student two copies.
  • Have one copy signed by both the student and a parent, for your records.
  • Ensure that any substitute teachers know and enforce your rules.
  • Have students raise their hands to answer or ask questions.
  • Expect your students to be on time.
  • Expect your students to sit and wait quietly for class to begin.
  • Do not yell.
  • Do not allow students to yell.
  • Do not tolerate bullying.
  • Altercations demand immediate action.
  • If your classroom becomes out of control, take names and take action with your principal or the parents.
  • Use peer pressure as needed. If students are given an occasional break from homework for excellent behavior, you may have better cooperation.
  • Create a system that provides credit for good behavior. Extra points on a test can be given for students that are not late for class over a chosen period.
  • Establish a system for bathroom breaks.

Practice while you teach

There’s no better time to put your classroom management skills to use than while you’re teaching. Following these tips will help keep your students engaged and help you maintain control of the class.

  • Student attention spans are limited. Break up lectures to keep your students interested.
  • Change the volume and tone of your voice while lecturing. An occasional whisper can command attention.
  • Find subtle ways to refocus students’ attention.
  • If you pass out papers, do so from side to side. Front to back can lead to chaos.
  • Show respect for your students, even if they do not show respect for you.
  • At the end of class give students an idea of what the next class will involve.
  • Walk around while you lecture.
  • Do not let any students have their own way all the time. On occasion, you can use this as a reward.
  • Surprise students with pop quizzes.
  • Break students into small groups for special projects.
  • Require students to participate and complete their share of the project.

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Our featured stories are an amalgamation of all things education—you’ll find articles on trends and challenges facing present-day educators, as well as resources that help educators successfully navigate through any demanding environment.

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