The other day I had a mentoring session with a first-year teacher. I asked him how much training in classroom management he’d been provided. What rules and procedures was he planning to implement? What consequences had he come up with for when students break the rules?
[pause for cricket chirp]
Yeah. This was stuff that hadn’t really been covered in his education. In fact, many of us first enter the classroom with a vast knowledge of music performance and pedagogy, while knowing very little about actually running a classroom.
To help, I asked my friend Dale Duncan to join us again, to share some of his favorite classroom management strategies. You may know Dale as “Mr. D” from “In the Middle with Mr. D.” He is also a 2018 Top 25 GRAMMY Music Educator Award finalist, the creator of S-Cubed sight-singing program, a choral director with more than 20 years experience, and one of my favorite people.
Dale recently gave a session on this topic for the International Music Education Summit, so I knew he had some great techniques to share. He answers many questions, including:
- What procedures do we need to have a plan for?
- Do we really need specific rules, or are guidelines enough?
- Should we use incentives like clip up charts or parties?
- Should we turn the discipline over to someone outside of our classroom, like another teacher or the administration?
We cover all of that and more in this episode.
- Have procedures/consequences in place
- Self assess every day. Celebrate the successes, and research how to improve the rest
- The first ten minutes of the year are critical
- S-Cubed! Sight-Singing and -Reading Course for Middle School
- Blog: Music in the Middle with Mr. D
- Mr. D’s Middle School Chorus Syllabus
- “Follow the Hand” video
- “Cup Up” Game video
- “Why Won’t My Middle School Choir Sing?” (scroll to page 16)
- Dale’s IMES Session on Classroom Management
- The Professional Music Educator Blog
- Try SmartMusic for Free