Classroom Control – Unruly Students

A tip that I have learned for classroom control with unfamiliar students, especially when substituting in middle school, is a simple one: learn their names. When I take role in class I try to make a notation about something distinctive about the student: if they wear glasses, what color they are wearing, if they are exceptionally tall, etc. I also try to identify possible “problem children” as they enter the classroom and figure out their name when I take attendance.

This has proven helpful for two reasons:

1. I know who to “yell” at; I can call out a name and give a specific command “Hunter, stop talking.” “Krista, it’s time to stand up and sing with everyone else.” etc.

2. Knowing the name also gives me the ability to write a student up on a referral, detention, or in a report given to the absent teacher, guidance counselor, or regular classroom teacher (when teaching an elementary music class).

The power that the knowledge of knowing their names gives is astounding. They will often be surprised when you know their name, and will sometimes grin sheepishly when you call them out on something. This is a very useful tip, in my opinion, and I hope it will be useful to you as well.

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About Lady Fair

Lady is a musician with a bachelor's degree in music education. She plays multiple instruments and has participated in numerous musical ensembles, giving her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to use in her teaching career. Of her ensemble participation, she has fifteen years of band experience, nine years choral, and four years in orchestra. Éowyn's primary instrument is clarinet, with voice and piano being close secondary instruments. Throughout her musical education career she studied voice and clarinet simultaneously. In addition to clarinet, piano, and voice, she has also studied violin and oboe at the college level, and also plays recorder, tin whistle, and other instruments in the woodwind family. If you ask her, she will say, "I chose to major in music education because I have a desire to use my knowledge and experience in music to share its beauty and foster a love of music in the hearts of my students. I hope to encourage my students to try their hardest, feel like they have accomplished something, and give them a life long passion for music." Lady currently teaches private lessons on clarinet, sax, flute, oboe, piano, and voice, and recently gained a position teaching orchestra and chorus at a local middle school. She is also a member of the Once Upon a Dream woodwind ensembles.
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