Classroom Management – Becoming A Better Leader For Learning


Anyone who has spent time with children in a classroom environment knows that every classroom needs an Instructional Leader.  If the teacher is unable or unwilling to assume this role, one or more students will fill the vacuum and lead the class in a direction that might not be best for learning. This is why effective classroom management is the base by which all other instructional strategies are built on.

Fortunately addressing effective classroom management does not mean that you as a teacher need to completely change your teaching style. It simply means you need to be cognizant of the fact that you are the instructional leader and make an effort to understand how you can meet your student’s learning needs successfully within a positive environment.

Research shows that teacher’s actions, including classroom management, have a high impact on student achievement.  Numerous studies conducted over the past few decades have outlined the importance of having a classroom where students and teachers are clear on behavioral expectations as well as consequences for inappropriate behavior.

Classroom management is the art of ensuring that the learning process runs smoothly with minimal disruptions and distractions from the students. Some believe that classroom management is achieved by having a strict, stern and even mean teacher at the front of the room that “runs a tight ship”. While management does entail redirecting students who are off task and providing consequences for student infractions when necessary, this can be achieved from a stance of positivity. There is no need for yelling, demeaning, or humiliating students; in fact, these practices are counterproductive to creating an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.

Positive, or proactive classroom management, involves minimizing disruptions to the learning process by preventing misbehavior through building relationships with students, framing redirections in a positive manner, teaching expectations and social skills, and more. Positive classroom management does not necessarily mean that there is no discipline happening in classrooms.

What Makes for a Good Classroom Instructional Leader?

A good leader finds effective ways for his or her students to reach specific learning goals while establishing and maintaining effective working relationships within the classroom group. Because teachers must be effective leaders to function, the traits of good leaders and good teachers overlap.

While there are a variety of valid leadership styles and many ways to accomplish the same objectives, some characteristics of truly effective leaders tend to be universal. According to the Holden Leadership Center at the University of Oregon, some general traits shared by effective leaders include the following:

Effective Teacher Leaders Traits

Leadership When Sharing and Modeling Learning

It is important to understand the above characteristics as they relate to your own areas of strengths and challenges as an instructional leader. It is also helpful to keep them in mind when planning lessons and deciding which behaviors you may want to model for the students in your classroom.

While it is important to be a strong instructional leader, you also need to remember that this leadership does not mean dictatorship. In fact, students learn best when they share some of the learning leadership responsibilities in the classroom. In addition to modeling leadership traits for your students, you can help them grow as leaders by delegating small supervisory tasks to them. Allowing students to take on more of a leadership role in the learning environment helps them to take on more ownership of their own education and teaches them valuable skills which will be beneficial in fostering confidence when working in groups.

No matter your personality or teaching style, you can become a more effective classroom leader. By understanding and working to develop the traits that mark effective leaders and finding healthy and appropriate ways to share leadership in your classroom, you can truly grow as an educator and better serve your students.

A few online courses which you may find to be beneficial:

Classroom Management Keeping it Positive (Grades K-5)

Classroom Management Keeping it Positive (Grades 6-12)

Anti–Bullying: Guiding Girls Through Relational Aggression (Grades K-12)

Managing the Virtual Classroom Keeping it Positive, Grades K-12

Setting Up Your Classroom for Positive Management, Grades K-12