Causes of Classroom Management Problems

Reduce Classroom Commotion

Work is too Hard or Easy

If work is too hard, kids resist. If it’s too easy, they become lethargic and crabby.

Moving into Groups

When transitioning from independent work to group-work. Students should know which direction they should move, how fast, whether they are trading seats or moving their own chairs, and what to do once their group comes together.

Exiting the Classroom

Place subtle marks on the floor where students are to stand when lining up. This decreases the chance of bumps leading to fisticuffs.

The Teacher is Absent

Keep substitute materials in a tub or packet: student photos, the bell schedule, office passes, classroom rules & protocols, behavior referrals, the designated student assistant, and a big bottle of aspirin (as a joke). We also recommend providing a photo of each class with names written under the faces.


To avoid bottlenecks, locate textbooks away from the recycled paper supply, and the pencil sharpener away from the sink.

Lack of Procedures

Model the protocols for using the restroom, passing in homework, completing work early, taking water breaks, working in centers, etc.

Knowing When to Listen

Institute a signal for listening. Check out Edutopia’s “30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class” à

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Todd Finley

Edutopia Blogger and Asst. Editor || ECU Ed Professor || Founder of Todd's Brain at || Books: Dinkytown Braves and Rethinking Classroom Design.

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