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Saturday, July 20, 2024

The Best 6 Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students


Secret class – Learn more with My Education Compass! One of the biggest challenges many teachers face, especially at the beginning of their careers, is classroom management. Keeping 25 kids interested, engaged, and focused is not easy.

The “Secret Student” system is a classroom management technique that can help improve student behavior. 

The method involves randomly selecting a student’s name and keeping it a secret from the rest of the class. Throughout the day, tell your secret class member that you want them to listen carefully. 

This is useful if they’re getting rowdy or disruptive. It’ll calm down your class because they’ll have to behave if they want a reward.

1. Have a Plan

secret class, The Best 6 Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students

If you are worried about a student being unable to earn it, secretly pick two students performing similarly. That way, you can easily reward the other’s behavior if one doesn’t get it.

These prizes work great in class, but other options could be extra credit, a positive phone call home, a homework pass, an extra bathroom pass, or anything else that individually honors a student. 

Good classroom managers don’t just have a specific plan; they also share it with their students. 

A project can be simple; “Today we’re going to be talking about how our country got involved in the War of 1812,” you could tell your students, or “Here are your ten vocabulary words for the week. Copy them in your notebook, and then we’ll discuss them.” 

Keep teaching tools like video clips cued up and handouts and smartboard pens at the ready.

2. Involve Your Kids

secret class, The Best 6 Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students

Great teachers are passionate about their subjects, but they don’t dominate the classroom. They encourage student participation, ask thought-provoking questions, and value student input. 

This creates a collaborative and engaging learning environment that fosters critical thinking and deeper understanding.

Creating a routine with this is super helpful. Always choose the secret class student member during independent reading time so that you can announce it while they are reading to encourage them to actually read. 

This helps to ensure that they are organized and ready to leave by the end of the class. Towards the end of the class, specifically the last five minutes, we have a special activity called “the secret class learner.” 

This practice has been very helpful in ensuring that everything is remembered and my classroom gets cleaned before the students leave. 

If necessary adjust the time frame for this activity to make it longer or shorter. It’s important, however, that we are prepared and ready to go before announcing the secret class member.

3. Respect Your Kids

If you have been experiencing negativity in this challenging year, and it has made you feel bitter and frustrated with each of your classes. 

If you keep finding only negative things to say about specific students, the secret student will help you to look at good behavior. 

The year might still be challenging, but your mindset is better because you must look for the good. 

Good classroom teachers like and respect kids, and they show it. They smile. They act like they’re happy to be there. 

They expect kids to make mistakes (and understand when they do), and they appreciate when kids work hard (and tell them so). They walk around the room and interact with kids, offering help and individual praise. 

Good classroom managers look to make their classrooms a safe, comfortable, and pleasant place for everyone.

4. Keep It Fair

secret class, The Best 6 Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students

Good classroom managers don’t play favorites; their kids trust them to apply the rules evenly. 

They don’t ignore poor behavior from some youngsters but not from others. They don’t allow students to bully other students. 

And they model the behavior they’d like to see in their students. Choose a different learner every day to be the secret class student.

Effective classroom management goes beyond just maintaining order and minimizing noise. It creates a conducive environment that nurtures learning, encourages participation, and fosters positive relationships. 

Encouraging active student participation and fostering positive teacher-student relationships creates a powerful classroom culture.

5. Forces the Teacher to Look for The Good In Students

It allows rewarding students for being good humans, so we can separate behavior from grades. Sometimes, it takes work to separate students from their academic performance. 

The secret class student in one of your classes is someone who, in the past, has driven you insane because you are always chasing him down to get missing assignments. 

Today, he took everyone’s books and put them away. I never noticed that he did this, but he went out of his way to be kind to his classmates. It was great. 

6. Students are Motivating Themselves

secret class, The Best 6 Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students

The mystery of not knowing if you are the secret student that day is alluring and exciting, and not knowing if the teacher is watching you extra closely is motivating

This will assist you to avoid reminding them over and over and over to do the same thing. Most classes are full of a lot of weird routines and tactics that they already are expecting most of the time. 

I’m unsure if that’s contributing to why this has been so successful in my class. It would be successful in any class if you keep it positive and find something that motivates your students. 

Reasons to Use a Secret Class Member to Manage Your Students…

Throughout the class, announce the secret student’s status occasionally without giving too much away. 

Say things like, “Wow, the secret student seems to be doing a great job on this assignment,” or, “I sure hope that the secret student is one of the people listening closely and working hard right now.” 

The goal is to gently remind them that something is on the line, and they might be the student I am closely watching. 

Classroom management skills usually improve with experience but some teachers seem to have a gift for it right from the get-go. 

They seem to connect with kids, keep them focused on the lessons, and have fewer discipline problems.

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