Classroom management refers to the strategies teachers use to support and facilitate learning in the classroom. Effective classroom management is important for student achievement because it creates an environment that minimises disruptions, maximises instruction time, and encourages students to engage in learning.

Evidence suggests that classroom management requires both preventative and responsive strategies, with an emphasis on preventative strategies.

Preventative strategies are proactive and encourage students to be on-task, motivated to learn, and prosocial. Effective preventative strategies include:

  • creating and maintaining a positive classroom climate
  • using structured instruction to engage students in learning
  • explicitly teaching students rules and routines
  • offering pre-corrections to remind students of expectations
  • using active supervision in the classroom.

What is the behaviour continuum?

No matter how effectively teachers implement classroom management and behaviour support strategies, there will always be occasions when student behaviour escalates. It is important for teachers to use both proactive and preventative strategies to establish expected behaviour and respond after the behaviour occurs. The behaviour continuum resource (docx) equips teachers with understanding this. It also highlights the strategies they can use at each phase of the continuum immediately following its occurrence.

When planning to address challenging or complex behaviours, it is important to start putting individualised preventative supports and strategies in place based on the knowledge of the student, their strengths, experiences and their interactions with the people around them. If the behaviour continues, targeted strategies and plans should be developed.

Use the behaviour response plan to plan for individual students when their behaviour escalates to crisis point. It guides the actions of others to respond consistently, to reduce the distress of the student and to keep everybody safe.

What is the care continuum?

Students may require different types of intervention delivered in different ways along a continuum of care - from prevention to intensive individual support to best meet their needs.

The care continuum includes interventions for:

  • all students - creating a safe and respectful learning environment
  • some students - providing early intervention and targeted support for students at risk of developing negative behaviours
  • a few students - supporting students with complex and challenging behaviour needs through intense, individual interventions.

Access information on the care continuum.

Planning resources

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