Education Week recently published an article (read it here) on common classroom management challenges. Though this article is explicitly about teachers and students, many of the principles for the development and implementation of successful classroom management skills can transfer to wisdom for parenting, managing adults, and working with others of all ages. I recommend reading the article for greater breadth and depth, but here is a summary.
Children (and adults) are most successful when…
- Routines are consistent and clear. Routine is the foundation and framework of all the “meaty stuff” we want to fill our lives with.
- Expectations (and the steps needed to meet them successfully) are detailed in small bites/chunks (rather than the fire-hydrant method).
- There is the opportunity to practice, practice, practice successfully meeting expectations in isolation from other activities.
- They plan ahead – for content of an experience, its delivery, and the movement of materials and people through it.
- There is a clear understanding that STEERING is more effective than CONTROLLING people towards an end goal.
- Reminders and redirection are delivered with tone and language (words and body) that is firm, fair, calm, and respectful.
- A close awareness and observation of others is cultivated.
- They are seen and known and KNOW IT, when they are acknowledged for successes and supported through failures they feel safe to take risks.
- Their teachers/parents/leaders are present (physically and mentally) throughout their world and day.
- Appropriate space for ownership over participation and feedback to be given is provided.
- They don’t confuse the symptom of a frustrating event for the source. Misbehavior, mistreatment, and mistakes are often the presenting symptom of an underlying cause, which is what really needs addressing.
The above improves the development of thriving, rich, meaningful relationships, thinking, and learning between people – no matter their age.