By Aleks Prighozin, Department of English and Teaching Consultant at the Chicago Center for Teaching

The list below it contains the basics of good classroom management, logistics, and built-in daily reflection on the teaching process. It is by no means complete or unalterable, but it covers most of the daily essentials that provide the ground for success in the classroom.

Before Class:

  • Read any assigned materials
  • Read/grade student assignments (Chalk posts, etc.)
  • Review notes from previous day/week—-is there unfinished business?
  • Draft a lesson plan considering all of the above
  • Prepare any teaching aids you might want to use, such as a slideshow, the board, handouts, movie clips, etc. Test-run if possible

During Class:

  • Take attendance if it forms a part of the grade (you can make this more meaningful by asking the students to share one thing they’ve learned from the reading for the day or what puzzled them about it, if the class size allows. If not, use a sign-in sheet)
  • Announce the agenda, writing it on the board (ideally, it will be up throughout the lesson). An agenda is a concise version of the lesson plan that you share with the students, to hold each other accountable for accomplishing the goals of a class
  • Review the previous day/week, relying on the students as much as possible—-see what they think they’ve learned
  • Keep the class on track and manage the time spent on individual tasks or discussion topics. Announcing the agenda at the beginning will make this an easier task
  • Keep track of student participation to maintain a productive and welcoming learning environment, and for the purposes of assigning a participation grade
  • Take time for review and questions on the day’s lesson as a whole near the end of class, again relying on the students, to see what they’ve learned; if necessary, give a concise summary of what the class has accomplished (be honest)

After Class:

  • Return any graded work at the end of class
  • Review your notes on the lesson (if any) and write up (for yourself) a 150\- to 200-word summary of the day: What was accomplished? What issues remain unresolved? Which tool/approach worked well? Which didn’t? Which classroom dynamics would you like to change, and which would you like to encourage?

Further Reading:

Magna Publications. “Effective Classroom Management in Higher Education.” Faculty Focus, 2013.