5 Common Classroom Management Mistakes

classroom community classroom management classroom routines elementary classroom elementary teacher

Classroom management plays a pivotal role in fostering a positive and engaging atmosphere for our students. 

I love reflection. I think it is so important in the growing journey to reflect often on what works and what doesn't. 

Recently I went on a journey of reflecting on what really has worked in managing my classroom, and what I feel like has created more chaos.  

I found so much clarity in this and it really helped me get to the bottom of how my classroom can be filled with the most order and joy for both me and my students. . 

In this post, I’ll go through the 5 things I found that do not work in a heart-centered classroom. Hopefully it will help you reflect on if there is anything you need to change to better create a well-managed, positive and nurturing environment for students!


Mistake #1: Inconsistency

Consistency in the classroom is essentially the glue that binds a positive and effective learning environment together. As a teacher, being consistent in your approach to rules, expectations, and consequences establishes a reliable framework that students can understand and rely upon. This reliability, in turn, contributes significantly to several crucial aspects of the educational experience.

Consistency fosters a sense of security and predictability for students. When they know what to expect in terms of rules and routines, they feel more at ease and are better able to focus on their learning.

Moreover, a consistent classroom atmosphere minimizes confusion. When students understand the expectations and know that they will be consistently upheld, there is less room for misunderstandings and disputes. This clarity contributes to a smoother and more focused learning environment, where students can engage with the material without unnecessary distractions.


Mistake #2: Lack of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful and essential tool in a classroom setting, as it plays a powerful role in shaping and promoting desirable behaviors among students. This technique involves acknowledging and rewarding positive actions or accomplishments, creating a supportive and encouraging learning environment. 

When students receive positive support for their behavior, amazing things happen:

  1. Empowerment: Students gain a sense of empowerment as they realize their potential to make better choices and take ownership of their actions.
  2. Respectful Relationships: Positive support fosters respectful and trusting relationships between teachers and students. It creates an environment where open communication and mutual respect thrive.
  3. Behavioral Growth: Through positive support, students are encouraged to reflect on their actions, leading to improved self-awareness and better decision-making.
  4. Conflict Resolution: Students learn effective conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, enabling them to navigate challenges constructively.
  5. Building a Positive Culture: A classroom rooted in positive support cultivates a culture of respect, empathy, and collaboration—a place where students feel safe and inspired to learn.

I have a resource that includes a variety of positive behavior trackers, including a hop-to-it tracker, a bingo board tracker, and a tic-tac-toe tracker. These are perfect for the students in your classroom who need more support when it comes to behavior and emotional needs. Positive Behavior Management Trackers are a great way to encourage your students and build a connected classroom community!


Mistake #3: Lack of Flexibility

Being too authoritative and lacking flexibility can be detrimental to effective classroom management. While structure and discipline are essential, an overly authoritarian approach can stifle creativity, hinder student engagement, and negatively impact the teacher-student relationship.

There are many moments day to day in the classroom where we must be flexible because unforeseen situations pop up all the time- this is also really a great way to model for students how to act in these situations. Remember, you are their role model!

In essence, a healthy dose of flexibility is crucial to effective classroom management, fostering a positive and dynamic learning environment where students feel encouraged, empowered, and motivated to excel.


Mistake #4: Lack of Clear Expectations 

We need to be crystal clear about what our expectations are, what they look like, sound like, feel like. Something I have found helpful is acting them out with students, both the desired behaviors when following expectations and the undesired, as well as the consequences that accompany each. 

Clear expectations serve as a compass, providing students with a sense of direction and purpose in both their academic and behavioral pursuits. When students understand the standards set by the teacher, they are better equipped to navigate the challenges of the classroom. 

This clarity not only fosters a structured and organized learning space but also promotes accountability, encouraging students to take ownership of their actions and responsibilities. 

Ultimately, a classroom with well-defined expectations becomes a place where students feel empowered, engaged, and motivated to contribute positively to their own educational journey.


Mistake #5: Avoiding Addressing Behavior Challenges

Sometimes it can be easy to avoid behavior challenges you may see. Or even just put it on the back burner and say “we don’t have time for this” or “this isn’t my job to address”. 

In reality, ignoring or sidestepping behavioral issues creates a breeding ground for disruptions, hindering the educational experience for all students. 

It's really powerful when we can shift our perspectives on behavior and view it as a learning opportunity not just for the students in need of support, but for the entire class as a community.

If we can figure out how to address behavior challenges promptly and constructively, it will create a healthier and more conducive learning environment for all students.


Creating the Best Environment for You and Your Students

There you have it! The 5 mistakes of classroom management that I have seen in my years of teaching. 

Did this bring clarity on any loopholes that you may have in your classroom? 

Know that you are not alone in these and we all struggle and have to take the time to reflect and then make the changes necessary to have a heart-centered, productive classroom.


What’s next? Download 3 Steps to Revamp your Classroom Management

Want more help with your classroom management? I am so passionate about helping you create the classroom of your dreams and want to give you all the tools necessary to get there. You can download 3 Steps to Revamp your Classroom Management to take your classroom management to the next level! 

Click here to get 3 Steps to Revamp your Classroom Management 

Join the Waitlist: The Heart-Centered Classroom Instructional Toolkit Programs

Are you ready to show up as the teacher you were meant to be each and every day? The Heart-Centered Method gives you all the strategies, language, tools, and support you need to create a calm, joyful classroom environment.