Get in, learn, get out – How to create classroom routines in 3 easy steps

Effective classroom management is one of the key challenges in teaching. It can make or break a lesson. It can even determine whether a teacher chooses to stay in the profession. There are lots of books and resources on classroom management. All of them emphasise the importance of routines. However, many early career teachers I speak to often say it is difficult to know how to create routines that work for you as a teacher and your students. Where do you start? How many routines do you need? How detailed should they be? For this, I found the book, ‘Effective Classroom Management: A Teacher’s Guide’. The first chapter outlines the “four rules of classroom management”, which are:

  • Get them in
  • Get them out
  • Get on with it
  • Get on with them

Essentially, a teacher needs to have routines in place to get students into the classroom, get students out of the classroom, have students learn during the lesson and establish and maintain positive relationships. I’ve condensed these further to:

  • Get in
  • Learn
  • Get out

I frame my routines around these three core events. They happen in every lesson, every subject and every learning space. Hence, they act as a great framework to establish classroom routines. Below are examples of my year 7 quick guides to classroom expectations, which then inform my more detailed routines. The quick guides are more appropriate to display in the classroom as posters as they act as a summary to the routines.

I then break up the dot points in the quick guide into more detailed routines, which are explicitly taught through our school’s positive behaviour for learning processes. I like to go through the expectations and routines at the start of each term, even if I’ve had no classroom management issues with the class. My current Year 7 class is beautiful but I still like to re-establish our shared understanding of how our class works before issues arise.

See here for the Canva template I used to create the quick guide. You can make a copy and modify the text, title and Bitmoji to suit you and your students’ needs.

See here for a more detailed blog post on routines, expectations and classroom management, based on the book ‘Running the room‘.