Providing structure in the classroom is the most important thing of being an effective teacher. Providing structure maximizes learning of students, minimizes distractions and generally makes the overall atmosphere of the classroom more pleasant. Most of the students will respond positively to structure especially those who do not have any structure or stability in their home life. A structured classroom also translates to a safe classroom. Students enjoy being in a safe learning environment. Teachers provide students with freedoms in which they often abuse too often. A lack of structure can destroy a learning environment, undermine a teacher’s authority, and generally leads to failure for the teacher and the students. An unstructured environment can be described as chaotic, non-productive, and generally as a waste of time. Providing and keeping your classroom structured does take a strong commitment from the teacher. The rewards are well worth any time, effort, and planning it takes to remain structured. Teachers will find that they see more growth in their students, enjoy their jobs more and that everyone in general is more positive. The following tips will enhance the structure and the overall atmosphere in the classroom.

Providing structure in the classroom

The first few days of the school year often dictate the tone for the remainder of the school year – this is essential. You rarely get them back once you lose a class. Rules and expectations should be laid out immediately. Possible consequences should be discussed in depth. Provide students with specific scenarios and walk them through your expectations as well as your plan for dealing with issues. Also be extremely demanding and difficult the first month or so and then you can ease up after students understand that you mean business. It is vital that you do not worry about whether or not your students like you. It is more powerful that they respect you, than it is for them to like you. The latter will evolve naturally as they see that you are looking out for their best interests. Come in with high expectations for your students. Convey your expectations to them. Set goals that are realistic and reachable that will stretch them individually and as a whole class. Explain the importance of the goals that you have set. Make sure there is meaning behind them and make sure they understand what that meaning is. Have a purpose for everything that you do and share that purpose with them. Have a set of expectations for everything including preparation, academic success, and student behavior inside and outside your classroom. Hold every student accountable for their actions in all areas of life. Do not allow them to be mediocre. Encourage them to be great and do not let them settle for less than that. Deal with issues immediately. Do not allow students to get away with something because it is small. These smaller issues will morph into serious issues if they are not dealt with appropriately as quick as possible. Be fair and judicial, but tough.