My philosophy when it comes to classroom management and creating a productive environment is that your management strategies always need to be changing to adapt with the circumstances. I am going on my second year of teaching, and I have found that I have a different approach to classroom management for every single class that I teach. Every group of students has a different dynamic, and your approach to them must be flexible. An approach that works perfectly for one class may not work at all for another class. As a teacher, you must always be willing to change, adapt, and modify your strategies, always trying to stay one step ahead of the students.
A key strategy is to keep the class dynamic enjoyable but manageable. You have to let the students like to come to class instead of dreading it every day. However, you have to find the line at which the class becomes too enjoyable and productivity is threatened. Some classes you may be able to let the students joke and chat more because they are easy to bring back; other classes you have to seriously curtail off-task chitchat because it can spiral out of control quickly. You must always be observing and questioning what is working and what isn’t.
This brings me to my most important management strategy for my philosophy — self observation. As a teacher, I believe that you must always question yourself. Ask yourself if a particular strategy works. If it does not, change it. It is ok to have made a decision that didn’t work.
All of these things will make for better classroom management, which leads to a more productive learning environment.