Classroom management. Whether you love it or loathe it, the impact of classroom management on student achievement and teacher satisfaction is indisputable. When it goes bad, it’s one of the highest causes of teacher burnout. When teachers are able to manage classrooms effectively, student achievement soars.

You know classroom management is important – and research supports this.

Classroom management may be the single most important factor in student achievement. A massive education study that followed about 60,000 students found that students in classrooms where teachers were effective managers saw academic gains of 54 percentage points during the school year, regardless of the heterogeneity of the class. Ineffective teachers raised student achievement by an average of 14 percent.

Although most teachers have a classroom management plan in place, it remains among their top concerns. A 2006 survey of more than 2,300 elementary and high school teachers found that help with classroom management was among their top needs. Teachers said they were concerned about student safety, and also desired strategies to effectively deal with negative and disruptive student behaviors.

What classroom management strategies are right for you? Questions to ask.

As you search for ready-to-implement interventions – in books, on the Internet, and from colleagues – evaluate the strategies to make sure they work for you. Questions to ask:

  1. Can I use this right away or does it need materials/preparation.
  2. Is it proactive? Will it help prevent behaviors before they start?
  3. Does it fit my specific classroom/student needs?
  4. Is it in sync with my values and teaching style?
  5. Will it be acceptable to parents?
  6. Will the intervention lead to further connection with my students, or push them away?
  7. Will it work for all subgroups, or is it better for certain subgroups of students?

Not every intervention needs to be proactive, or be used without preparation, but it’s worthwhile to evaluate tactics for their practicality as well as their ability to be implemented in the long term. Coming soon: our favorite practical tips for classroom management. Not every tip will work for every teacher or classroom, so do your own analysis to make sure it works for you.