Middle school teachers see a wide range of behaviors! It is always better to plan to teach about behaviors you want to see than to let them happen and then try to fix the situation. These are some guideline I follow:
1. Teach procedures and rules during the first weeks of school and revisit them every day thereafter.
I will say something like, "Jenna how do we wait outside the classroom before coming in?" I review like this every day and actually have a test over my rules and procedures the second week of school.
2. Don't yell.
Have you ever seen yourself yelling? Not a pretty sight. However, middle school kids think it's funny and want to see it again!
3. Teach skills.
We use a skill teaching program at our school. The whole school teaches a skill a week. We give steps for the skill so students know exactly what to do. Here is an example of the skill of following instructions:
step 1. Look at the teacher
step 2. Listen to instructions
step 3. Do what is asked right away.
4. Show interest in your students.
Students know when you don't care for them. Show interest in them.
5. Give incentives.
I use Collingwood's Cash in my classroom. I also have punch cards for homework that work really well. Kids still like incentives in junior high!
For more classroom management and a great linky party on the subject go to: