Every teacher must develop classroom procedures in order to make their life easier and create a more effective learning environment for students. Teachers who have not created and reinforced procedures for each of the following situations will cause themselves undue stress while robbing their students of important classroom time.
1. Beginning Class on Time and on TaskIn a typical school, classes last 50 minutes. If you lose five minutes at the beginning of each period, you will lose 250 minutes, or five class periods, every 50 days. In other words, while those five minutes don't seem to matter that much on a given day, added up they account for a lot of lost learning time. Further, if you lose control of a class in the beginning, it can often be hard to bring them back on task. Misbehaviors can occur as students are free to chat and interact. Beginning class on time is a learned behavior. Students change based on the expectations of their teachers. Thus, reinforcing this everyday will help you no matter how the students behave in other classes.
2. Creating a System for Restroom UseObviously, this is a thorny issue. Students will need to use the restroom during class. Your task is to create a system that is the least disruptive possible while ensuring that it is not easily abused. Specific strategies you can use include allowing only one child out of your room at a time and enforcing a time limit if you feel students are abusing your system. Learn more about implementing restroom use policies.
3. Answering Students QuestionsStudents should feel that they have the ability to ask you for help during class. It would be a bad math teacher who did not help their students struggling with multiplying fractions. However, a clear system needs to be set up at the beginning of the year of how students should ask for help. You want to avoid having students call out questions while you are in the middle of another task or helping another student. Some policies you might want to consider enforcing include requiring students to raise their hands, providing them time to ask you questions during class, and having 'office hours' before and/or after school when students know that they can come to you for help. Some teachers have also used social media or a classroom website as a forum for students to ask questions.
4. Collecting HomeworkCollecting homework should be a streamlined process. However, if you do not have an enforced plan on how you want students to turn it in each day, it can quickly become an inefficient mess with papers handed in at odd times. This can lead to classroom disruptions, grading issues and even possibly lost papers. Therefore, you need to decide when and how students will turn in their work. Ideas that you might want to consider include:
- Collecting homework at the door as students enter the class.
- Having a specific colored folder on your desk where students are responsible to turn in their homework before class begins.
- Having students pass their homework to the front of each row that you then collect.