First and foremost, teachers should focus on their relationship with the students, because without that bond, there is little chance of managing the classroom efficiently. Students should be aware that the teacher wants them to be successful both in and out of the classroom (Backes & Ellis, 2003). The best way for teachers to show students this desire is to exhibit a personal interest in all aspects of the students’ lives (R.J. Marzano, J.S. Marzano, & Pickering, 2003). A personal interest can be revealed by a variety of simple tasks including cheerfully greeting students in the hallway (Backes & Ellis, 2003), talking informally with students before and after class, attending various extracurricular activities and acknowledging the students’ participation and achievements in those activities, and saying hello to students in places outside of school such as the mall (R.J. Marzano, Pickering et al., 2003). Students’ lives and emotions outside of the classroom should be valued by teachers, because students are more likely to respect themselves and their classmates when they believe that their feelings are respected and cared about by teachers (Wessler, 2003). Essentially, students, “like all of us, respond better to correction – even ultimatums – from someone they know and respect” (Mathews, 2000).
Once teachers have established a bond with their students, it will be easier for them to create an inviting and comprehensive classroom environment. When teachers have good relationships with their students, they learn more about the students as individuals, and thus become more aware of the student’s interests, needs, and family background. Teachers can use this information to make sure that every student feels that they belong in the classroom. This is important because students who do not feel valued in the classroom will have difficulty focusing on academics and/or relationships with their classmates (Wessler, 2003).
After establishing relationships with their students, teachers can begin looking at other aspects of classroom management. One of the most difficult aspects for most teachers to master is behavior management. The first step in managing students’ behavior involves rules and procedures. Rules tell the students what behavior is expected of them in the classroom, and procedures deal with how things get done in the classroom (Evertson, 2003). The misbehavior of students can often be attributed to an uncertainty of what is expected of them. Teachers can prevent this by establishing rules and procedures within the first few days of school (Backes & Ellis, 2003). The best method for doing this is to include the students in the process of making the rules and procedures. When students have an input on what rules are being set for the classroom, even if the final rule ends up being different than they would have hoped, they are willing to follow that rule because they...