4 Tips for Keeping Your Cool in the Classroom

Elementary students raising their hands

Sometimes in the workplace, people go through difficult moments in which emotions can get a little heated. As a new teacher, it is especially important for you to keep calm. You decided to become a teacher because you wanted to help children reach their full potential. Although there can be challenges, you have the ability to turn problems into powerful opportunities for learning and personal growth. Here are a few tips for keeping your cool in the classroom:

Model the Behavior You Want Your Students to Use

Children can sense when the adults around them are tense and stressed, and they sometimes respond with disruptive behavior. Think about getting in the habit of arriving at your room earlier than you need to. You can use the time to sit with your eyes closed and take some deep breaths, and tell yourself that you will try to be composed and calm, no matter what issues arise. Follow through by smiling and greeting your students warmly as they arrive.

Start the School Year on the Right Foot

You can get each new class off to a great start by having a brief group discussion about the behavior you expect to see. You might need to repeat this discussion every quarter to help your students stay on track. Tell your students that while they are in your classroom, you will treat them with respect and kindness and that they will do the same to you and each other.

Redirect a Disruptive Student

Some students might like to test authority more than others. Establish yourself as a firm and direct authority figure, but never raise your voice, use sarcastic language or otherwise allow your frustration to show. Instead, try redirecting the student’s behavior. Say something like, “Sally, how do you think you can rephrase that comment to be more respectful of Jim’s feelings?” You can also try the following strategies:

  • Talk to the disruptive student separately instead of in front of their peers.
  • Listen actively during one-on-one talks. Some students are accustomed to having their opinions ignored and appreciate simply being acknowledged.
  • Pause before responding to a disruptive student.

Cultivate Positive Relationships with Parents

Sometimes, parents will be angry with you if their child receives a bad grade or detention. Try not to take it personally. Instead, document everything. Keep a file for each student, and keep detailed notes for every instance of missed assignment deadlines and disruptive behavior. When speaking with parents, try to follow these steps:

  • Hear the parents out until they are done, without jumping into the conversation.
  • Take responsibility and apologize, even if you did nothing wrong.
  • Explain classroom policies if need be, without being defensive.
  • Put the focus on the child and discuss proactive solutions that get the parents, you and the student working together collaboratively.

Teaching can be a very rewarding career. While all jobs can be stressful, it is important to keep calm and ensure that you are always working hard to give your students the best education possible.

For more than 60 years, Grand Canyon University has given our students the resources and support necessary to achieve their academic and career goals. Our College of Education can guide you along your journey to become an effective and inspiring educator. Use the Request More Information button to find out about our undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.