Classroom management tips for middle school are critical and important, and any teacher will take suggestions to help create a cohesive classroom environment. In addition, it is important a middle school teacher establishes rules, expectations while abiding by them in his/her classroom.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something along the lines of, “You teach MIDDLE SCHOOL?! I could NEVER!” While this age range can be challenging, all ages have their own positives and negatives. Therefore, I want to share a few tips for navigating classroom management in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
Classroom Management Tips
1. First, build relationships. This is imperative with ALL grade levels. For instance, regardless of their age, no child is going to want to learn from someone they do not like or respect, especially in middle school. In some way, be sure to make a personal connection with each of your students. Be sure to jot down when you make this connection and what the connection was to ensure you reach each of your students.
2. Secondly, treat middle school students like the young adults they are. Middle schoolers frequently go back and forth between wanting to be babied and wanting to be treated like an adult. Talk to them and treat them with the same respect you expect from them.
3. Next, remember they are not adults, yet. Middle schoolers still love picture books, coloring, and need to move around. Provide them with opportunities to do all of these things.
4. Be fair, firm, and consistent. Middle school students talk. If you don’t treat all of your classes or each individual student with the same rules, guidelines, and punishments, they will find out. Set up procedures and expectations at the beginning of the year and maintain them throughout the entire year. While you become more comfortable with each other and build those relationships, students still need to know that there are clear standards they are accountable for adhering to in your classroom.
5. Have fun! You will see such a progression of maturity with these kids as they age throughout middle school. While they enter middle school as “babies,” by the time they exit, they are witty, sarcastic, and just all-around fun (and funny) to be around. Enjoy them!
6. Lastly, middle school students WANT teachers to know about their lives, even though they will say or act like they don’t! Find activities that will give your students the opportunity to tell you about themselves, and let them tell you about their life, family, goals, passions, and hobbies. This will give you the perfect avenue to start meaningful conversations with your students and build relationships.
Ideas for a Comfortable, Respectable Classroom Environment
Are you looking for more classroom management ideas to help you establish a cohesive classroom community? Check out these websites for more information and tips for your classroom:
Activities to Build Relationships, and ROCK Managing Your Classroom
Are you wanting to learn about your students and develop a respectful relationship with your students? Check out Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes-A Getting to Know You Activity. In this activity, your students will learn about empathy, compassion, and seeing things from another’s perspective. It also teaches your students to not judge others until you walk in their shoes. This is a perfect “getting to know you” activity, and your students will decorate shoes while educating others with ten things people would not know about them. Your students will find this extremely enjoyable, and it will create an encouraging, welcoming classroom.
I hope this blog post is helpful as you develop your classroom procedures, rules, and requirements.