An LA Times article spells out, quite clearly, the importance of classroom management.
This skill is difficult to teach, even more difficult to master and rarely is everpresent. I have seen teachers achieve it through fear, the bait and stick of grades, humor, and sheer force of their own interest in the subject. I’ve also seen it earned through respect for the teacher as an adult, perhaps the most effective means of all.
I knew one teacher who pretty much gave up all attempts at classroom management and still managed excellent success in reaching and teaching students.
As principal, I found classroom management to be one of the most difficult subjects to work with teachers. Those who were successful at it usually just “grocked it,” others tried on the different methods I, or other staff, would offer them, but if the method was not authentic, it rarely worked more than once or twice.
I also had my fair share of teachers who were weak in classroom management come to me and ask when the school was going to do something about these kids’ behaviors – a conversation I always loved.
When I was a first year teacher I asked a student why a character in a book might choose the action she did in the situation depicted. The student replied, “I don’t know, who cares? It’s all BS. Who cares about any of this anyway?”
I let the question hang in the air for a moment or two and then quietly replied, “I do.” And that conviction has been at the center of my classroom management ever since.