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Why Classroom Management Is Important and What You Need to Know

why classroom management is important

Let me ask – do you really know why classroom management is important? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what parts of classroom management you should actually be focusing on? If you are wondering where to even start, or thinking that your classroom management needs a change – read on, teacher friend! 

This post is about all the reasons why classroom management is important and what you can actually do to prepare.

What Is Classroom Management?

Classroom management refers to the rules, routines, environment, and atmosphere of your classroom. So, that means…

  • What you allow and don’t allow your students to do (and how you enforce those rules)
  • Also, how you manage materials. For example, transitions, material storage, and classroom procedures.
  • And finally, the choices you make in the environment and atmosphere of your classroom can also play into your overall classroom management technique.
classroom management

Phew! That is a whole lot to think about for two little words! No wonder everyone goes on and on about why classroom management is so important. But what can we do about it?

Well, it turns out, there’s a whole lot you can do to prepare when thinking about how to get started or how to change up your classroom management. Let’s dive in!

(Interested in boosting your classroom community? I’ve got the tools to help you here!)

Classroom Management With Rules

Thinking about the rules you want to have in your classroom is a great place to start. Rules are one of the most important pieces of classroom management strategy, because they provide a foundation of safety and structure for our students. 

Clear and Explicit Rules

As tempting as it might be to be “the cool teacher” and assume your students know how to behave, it’s far more effective to be explicit and clear about rules

Trust me, I’ve made the mistake of not being clear. Many students will not assume that they need to raise their hand to speak, or that they need to go to the back of the line, or that running is not a good idea inside a classroom(!!)

And actually… students like to know what to expect. I still remember the story one of my education professors told us about a little boy who went home crying after the first day of school saying “I don’t know what any of the rules are!” 

Class Agreements

So, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to explicitly list out all the rules. Deciding what these need to be is a big part of your classroom management strategy. If you’re still feeling weird about it, enlist the help of your students! Chances are, if you ask them “What rules do you think we need in our classroom?” they can come up with most of the rules you would want.

They might not follow them without prompting and guidance, but they usually know what they should be. You can make a list of rules together as a class that can become like a class agreement.

why classroom management is important
Here’s a classroom promise I made with my class one year. It stayed on the wall of our classroom all year long!

If It’s Not Working – Change It!

And guess what? You can absolutely change, add onto, or delete your rules list anytime you want to! There is no law against teachers deciding that something that used to be allowed is now a no-no. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sit down with my students and say,

“You know what… I’m noticing that this has become a problem now. I think we need to make a new rule.” 

Just so you know, you will probably not get it right the first time – your classroom management style is something that needs to be tweaked, amended, and changed throughout the year.

And every group of students is different! One class might be able to handle having desk pets out during independent work time. And another class may be totally distracted by them! So give yourself permission to make changes as you learn more about your students.


Rules only matter if they are enforced. No teacher wants to doll out punishments, but it’s absolutely important to have consequences and follow-through if rules are broken. It doesn’t have to be a huge, drastic consequence, like a phone call home or a trip to the office. Usually, a small consequence, like an apology note, or having to try the task again, or being excused last, is enough to remind students of the rule.

The important part is following through every single time. Students can tell when rules get bendy – and they’ll lean into that to see just how bendy you’ll get. It’s not a fun game to get into. 

Classroom Management With Routines and Procedures

Classroom management is important because it also includes the routines and procedures that you create to help your classroom run smoothly.

Make a List

I remember one of the top classroom management tips I’ve ever received:

Sit down in the summer and make a list of every single transition and routine.

For example, the beginning of my list would look like this:

  1. How I greet students every morning
  2. What students do when they enter the classroom every morning
  3. Where they store backpacks and lunchboxes
  4. Where their school supplies are stored
  5. How we transition into morning circle time
  6. Circle time routines: songs, morning message, calendar
  7. How they get excused from the rug to their seats

Woah – the list can get really long really quickly!! But thinking about these things ahead of time can save major headaches down the road. If you take the time to teach these procedures properly (check out some tips on how to do that here), your classroom will be humming along before you know it. Students thrive on routine and structures that they can predict and then master. 

Remember… You Can Change Your Mind!

And once again… you are allowed to change any procedure you want to!! I repeat – if something is not working, change it!

If the transition into lunch time always makes you want to pull out your hair, then think about what you can do to make it smoother. Do you need to read a book as you excuse students to spread them out more? Or maybe you want them to be excused one at a time from their seats so you can check that they really did clean up.

Having to make changes and tweaks isn’t a sign that you’re a bad teacher – it’s actually a sign that you are a good teacher, and that you know how to adjust and adapt when you need to.

Classroom Management With the Environment

Creating a classroom environment that you love can be a very fun part of your classroom managements strategies. And before you get worried, you don’t need to break the bank decking out your classroom with rainbow sparkle themed everything. (But no shame if you want to! I definitely love a good classroom décor theme😉) 

Choices You Can Make With Your Classroom

There are lots of practical ways you can make your physical classroom help work in favor of your classroom management efforts. For example, some things you could consider are:

  • How you lay out your desks/tables. Do you want students in groups or separated? Do you have a special table where you will work with individual or small groups? Where can you put your teacher desk to make it easiest for you. Do you need to access your computer to run slides? 
  • How items are stored. Where will students keep their belongings? In a desk or a crate or a bin? How will they access centers, independent work, writing paper, etc? Will there be student­ cabinets that house these materials? Where will you store your teacher materials? Do you want to group them by subject or by month?
  • Classroom displays. What will you visually feature in your classroom? How can you include diverse representations? Will certain subjects have a bulletin board space? Will there be any student-created displays? Do you want the classroom rules or agreement displayed somewhere?
  • Social emotional areas. Some classrooms have special displays or a special corner for calming down. These might have some visual guides for big emotions, or even have physical items that can help students work through their feelings.

Community and Connection

The biggest reason of why classroom management so important is that it’s the beating heart of your community. It dictates how you treat your students and how you expect them to treat each other. Classroom community is one of my all-time favorite things to talk about (you can read all about classroom community here), and getting your classroom management down is a huge part of the puzzle.

What are you goals with classroom management? Tell me in a comment below!

You may also be interested in reading:

The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now

5 Must-Try Classroom Routine and Procedures Ideas

11 Fantastic Week of Kindness Ideas To Try In Your Classroom

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