How many of you have had a lesson and thought, “Wow, what a great lesson, I’m an awesome teacher!” Or, “Well that didn’t go the way I planned, it just wasn’t my day.” There’s probably a good chance that your classroom management strategies, or lack there of, might have had a lot to do with it. Here are a few tips that might help you with the quality of your classroom management skills and run a more effective and engaging lesson.
Tip 1: Clap once…Clap twice
Let’s face it, when students arrive in the gym they are excited and ready to go. As a PE teacher we love the energy that students bring to our classes, however we need a way to harness that enthusiasm. An effective way to get everyone’s attention at the beginning or during a class is to have the entire class ‘Clap once’, clapping their hands in unison all together. Then ‘Clap twice’, clapping their hands two times and immediately putting their hands on their laps. With the initial ‘Clap once’ you may have 50-70% of the students actually clap. However, this first clap signals the rest of the students that class is about to begin and for the ‘Clap twice’, 100% of the class should be ready to go!
Tip 2: 2 Whistles
When you’re in the middle of an activity and you need a few seconds to get everyone’s attention but don’t want to interrupt the flow of the lesson, an effective way to get everyone’s attention is to ‘Blow your whistle twice’. When students hear ‘2 whistles’ they immediately get into a ‘ready’ or ‘freeze’ position. Knees slightly bent, hands on their knees and eyes on the teacher. This efficient management tool will allow you to have your class’s attention and be able to give a few quick instructions before moving on.
Tip 3: Have FUN!
If we expect our students to follow instructions, have a positive attitude and do their best, all while being respectful to others, then we better be prepared to lace up our gym shoes and get involved. One of the best ways to manage your class is to participate and have fun with them. We need to set the example, and the best way to lead our students is to have them join us and get them excited about physical education. If our students see us having fun and enjoying being physically active then they are more likely to be all in!