Although I knew there were some things that went well during my first few years in the classroom, by my fourth year I almost left teaching. The behavior of my students threatened my passion for this career.

What got me through those early years and now sustains me in my 15th year is the supportive community of fellow teachers. At the time, I had a crew of colleagues who truly encouraged me as I learned successful behavior management techniques. These techniques worked for me in my most difficult first years and continue to support me as I work as a teacher of students with exceptional needs. This is what I learned, and these strategies can help you bring your classroom back under control.

1. Well-planned and engaging lessons motivate students to learn and reduce the number of in-class disruptions. While my lessons were usually well-planned, I had to learn to mix things up and engage the disruptive students. I had to hook them and keep them busy. I appoint the students I anticipate will be disruptive to be group leaders, note takers, or special helpers. I also always have a bag of tricks handy to keep students going when they seem restless or bored.

Log in or become a member to read more!
Want to read the rest of this article? Pi Lambda Theta members enjoy full access to Educational Horizons online.