multifaceted classroom management


Following was written in 2005 in the context of the Strengthening Capacity in Basic Education in Western China project. 

Multifaceted Classroom Behavior Management

Effective classroom management is critical to an effective learning situation.  For classroom management to be successful in an SCI context, it must be approached holistically.  Classroom management should emphasize “proactive” strategies which prevent behavior problems from starting, but should also include “reactive” strategies for what to do if problems do occur.  Below are some of the aspects of classroom management that should be considered by all teachers.

Pedagogical Relationships

Pedagogical relationships are the foundation of effective classroom management in an SCI context.  When teachers and students have developed appropriate pedagogical relationships, the students are much more likely to behave well and respond promptly to teachers’ words.  Developing pedagogical relationships requires that teachers demonstrate their caring, patience, and assertiveness in their interactions with students.  Let students know that you are firm and confident in conducting the class, but that you respect them and care about their development.

Here are some tips for developing pedagogical relationships:

  • Be trustworthy and honest with students
  • Follow through on what you say
  • Model the kind of behaviors and respect you want students to display
  • Cultivate a cordial and amiable climate with your students, but make it clear that your relationship with them is not the same as a parent-child relationship, or a child-child friendship
  • Let your students know that you want the best for them, and will do everything you can to support their learning

Classroom Climate

Creating a positive classroom climate is also fundamental to classroom management.  Students should feel comfortable and energized in your classroom.  This depends a lot on your interactions with them.  It’s important to remember that happy students and a favorable climate are not the goal of a good learning environment, they are the product of a good learning environment.  If students are engaged in great learning experiences, and are successful in those experiences, a great climate naturally develops.

That said, here are some things that you can do to facilitate the development of a good climate:

  • Smile and greet students when they come in
  • Display students’ work on the walls
  • Keep the classroom bright and clean
  • Encourage students to take ownership for the classroom by having them help clean it and organize it, and also have them make decisions about how to arrange the classroom objects and materials
  • Use engaging activities which capture student interest
  • Keep the pace of the class quick
  • Pay attention to all learners, especially those who may be marginalized in some way
  • Try to have a good laugh with your students at least once per day. Occasional humour is helpful, sarcasm is not.  Humour should never be at the expense of a student.


Students like structure because they like to know what is expected of them.  In general, students will do what is expected of them if they are clear about what that is.  For this reason, clear expectations are usually a more effective way of managing student behavior than rules.  What’s more, positive expectations are high expectations; they should set a realistic challenge for students to work towards.  Students need to know that you believe they are capable of great things, and expect them to achieve great things.  It’s the teacher’s job to help them do so!

Engaging and Well-Structured Learning Activities

Many behavior issues come from students who are either not engaged in what they are doing, or who don’t understand what they should be doing.  Teachers can prevent this situation by investing the time to create engaging and well-structured learning activities.  Engaging activities are those which are suitable for the students’ level and appeal to their interests.  Well-structured activities are those which are clearly defined so that students know exactly what they need to do.  This includes: clear instructions, boundaries for students to work within, time limits, detailed expectations for what students need to accomplish, instructions for what students should do when they are finished.

Routines and Procedures

If teachers can make students’ environment predictable, students’ behavior will become more predictable as well.  One way of doing this is through classroom procedures.  Procedures are ways of doing things efficiently within the classroom.  Everyone should know and follow the procedures.  Once the procedures become habits for students, everyone’s life is easier.  Procedures need to be explicitly taught to students (“here’s how I would like you to pass in papers in our classroom”), and then practiced.  If students do not follow procedures consistently, they are indicating that the procedure needs to be practiced more to be reinforced.

Well-functioning classrooms usually have procedures any activity which occurs regularly.  These include:

  • What students should do when the enter the classroom
  • What they should do before they leave
  • How to pass out papers
  • How the teacher can get students’ attention
  • How to work together
  • How to work independently
  • How to hand in assignments
  • How to ask a question
  • What to do if you need help
  • What students should do when someone (teacher or student) is speaking to the class
  • What to do if you finish your work before other students

Almost everything students do in the class can have a procedure.  The procedure will make expectations clear to students.  Also, if students are doing something they should not be, like calling out in class, the teacher can simply remind the child of the appropriate procedure to follow if they have something to say.  (“It’s not appropriate to call out in class.  If you have something to say, please just raise your hand and I will call on you”).  Note: classroom procedures should be regular and routine to promote order and efficiency; but instructional strategies should be varied to maintain interest and lesson content should be changing so that learning can continue.

Intrinsic Motivators

Intrinsic motivation is motivation which comes from inside students and does not depend on regular external reinforcement.  However, over the long term, external motivators can become internalized.  Since intrinsic motivation is internal, it is difficult to cultivate, however, here are some factors teachers can influence, which contribute to students’ internal motivation:

  • Students’ self-esteem and a positive views of themselves as a learners
  • Positive expectations and support from the teacher
  • Good pedagogical relationships
  • A view that learning is important
  • Students’ feelings that they are accepted and appreciated
  • A supportive and encouraging peer group
  • Supportive and involved parents

It is important to understand what motivates your students, especially those who are less engaged in class.  Once we know what motivates our students, we can determine appropriate strategies for working with them.  Students can be motivated by any number of internal factors, including:

  • The drive to succeed, better themselves, or overcome challenges
  • The drive to be accepted and fit in
  • The drive to do as little as possible
  • The drive to be finished

Extrinsic Motivators

We are all motivated by external factors as well as internal ones.  Ideally, we would like students to be internally motivated to work hard in school, but in reality some students respond very well to external factors.  Students should understand that every action in life has consequences.  Positive consequences (including rewards) come from positive behaviors, and negative consequences (including punishments) come from negative behaviors.  If consequences for positive and negative behaviors are clear to students in advance, they will almost always choose the positive.  For consequences to be most effective they should be immediate and should have a logical connection to the action which caused them.

Positive consequences include:

  • Praise
  • Smiles
  • Good marks
  • Encouragement
  • Being commended in front of peers (if appropriate)
  • Special privileges such as leadership roles

Negative consequences include:

  • Being moved apart from friends who distract the student
  • Being moved to the front of the classroom for closer monitoring
  • Staying inside during break time to practice procedures which the student did not follow
  • Being reprimanded
  • Receiving a stern look from the teacher (Guideline: Never use a word when a gesture will suffice; never use a gesture when a look will suffice.)

Teachers’ Behaviors

In addition to all of the above, there are many other things teachers can do to promote and maintain good behavior from students.  Here is a short list, please add your own strategies to it and share with your colleagues.

  • Move close to misbehaving students
  • Look students in the eyes
  • Speak a child’s name if they are misbehaving or not paying attention
  • If students are off-task, stop the class to provide guidance or close the activity
  • Communicate clearly to avoid confusion
  • Provide clear structure to all activities
  • Change activities or change pace periodically to maintain student engagement
  • Encourage students to remind each other about appropriate behaviors
  • Speaking to students individually to provide encouragement or correction
  • Using appropriate facial expressions and body language for the goals you are trying to accomplish
  • Speaking in a clear, confident voice, with a sincere yet firm tone







  • ·    对学生做到诚实、值得信赖;
  • ·    说话算话;
  • ·    身体力行,为学生树立出行为和尊重的榜样;
  • ·    培养诚恳亲切的师生氛围,但要明确你与学生的关系并非家长与孩子的关系,也并非孩子间的朋友关系;
  • ·    让学生知道你希望他们作出最好的表现,而且你将竭尽全力支持他们的学习。




  • ·    进教室时,微笑着问候学生;
  • ·    在墙上展示学生的作品;
  • ·    保持教室明亮、干净;
  • ·    通过让学生帮着打扫、布置教室,鼓励他们对教室的主人翁意识,并让学生决定如何安排和放置教室内的物品和材料;
  • ·    利用能激发学生学习兴趣的学习活动,调动学生的积极性;
  • ·    保持课堂的快节奏;
  • ·    关注所有学生,尤其是那些在某些方面可能被边缘化了的学生;
  • ·    每天至少与学生开怀大笑一次。时而不时的幽默会很有帮助,但讥讽则会产生相反的效果。绝不要以讥讽某个学生为代价来达到幽默的效果。








  • ·    学生进入课堂时该做些什么;
  • ·    学生离开课堂时该做些什么;
  • ·    如何传递材料;
  • ·    教师如何能够吸引学生的注意力;
  • ·    学生该如何进行合作;
  • ·    学生该如何独立完成任务;
  • ·    学生该如何交作业;
  • ·    学生该如何提问;
  • ·    学生需要帮助时,该如何做;
  • ·    当有人(教师或学生)在发言时,学生该做些什么;
  • ·    学生先于其他同学完成课内所布置的任务时,应当怎么做。




  • ·      学生的自尊自爱及对自己作为学习者的积极认识;
  • ·      教师的积极期望和支持;
  • ·      良好的教学关系;
  • ·      对学习重要性的认识;
  • ·      学生感觉自己被接受被认同;
  • ·      一个互相支持和鼓励的同学团队;
  • ·      积极参与的、理解支持的家长。


  • ·      获得成功、提高自我或克服挑战的动力;
  • ·      被认可、被接纳的动力;
  • ·      尽可能事半功倍的动力;
  • ·      完成任务的动力。




  • ·    赞扬;
  • ·    微笑;
  • ·    高分;
  • ·    鼓励;
  • ·    在其他学生面前受到嘉奖(如果合适的话);
  • ·    被赋予特殊权利,如领导其他学生。


  • ·    被与分散了他们注意力的朋友分开;
  • ·    被挪到靠教室前排的地方,以受到教师更密切的监督;
  • ·    在课间休息时,待在教室里练习未能遵守的程序;
  • ·    受到老师的严厉目光(指导原则:当一个眼神足以表达你的意思时,就不要使用手势;当一个手势便足以表达你的意思时,就不要使用言语。);
  • ·    受到批评或责罚。



  • ·    走近不好好听讲学生的座位;
  • ·    和学生对视;
  • ·    如果某个孩子表现不好或注意力不集中,点他/她的名字;
  • ·    如果发现很多学生都偏离了安排的任务,就让全班学生都停下来,给他们提供指导或结束该活动;
  • ·    表达清晰明了,避免误解;
  • ·    对课堂上的所有学生活动提供清晰的结构,为学生搭建脚手架;
  • ·    定时地改变活动或进度,以保持学生的兴趣;
  • ·    鼓励学生相互提醒遵守适当的行为;
  • ·    单独与学生谈话,对他们加以鼓励或纠正错误;
  • ·    为你努力要完成的目标使用适当的面部表情和肢体语言;
  • ·    用清晰、自信的嗓音讲话,语气要既诚恳又坚定。