Apr 11, 2024 •

How to Keep a Productive Classroom

How to Keep a Productive Classroom

As we celebrated all types of teachers around the world for World Teacher Day on October 5, we asked ourselves, how can we show up and help teachers in a concrete way? We want to serve as a resource for teachers around the globe when they’re looking for solutions on how to maintain productivity and focus in their classroom, for their students, and even for their day-to-day busy lives.

We’ve gathered some of the top tips the internet and experienced educators had to offer when it comes to keeping a productive classroom and setting students up for success.

Setting Expectations 

Setting and managing expectations is a helpful skill to learn and navigate through all walks of life that can start in the classroom and be extremely beneficial when carried over into the workplace. It creates the opportunity for your students to define and visualize their goals for the upcoming semester or school year. It also provides you, as the teacher, with ample opportunity to offer assistance in both big and small ways – like encouraging, resources to find solutions if they run into difficulties, and the ability to measure their progress in demonstrable ways that can boost their self-confidence. When students know their expectations from the very beginning, they are more likely to work towards that goal as there are no lingering questions about what’s – well – expected of them. 

A Little Freedom Goes A Long Way 

When students feel they have the freedom of choice in the classroom, it creates a culture of trust and autonomy. Freedom in the classroom can look like letting students sit wherever they want, next to whomever they choose or choosing how they want to complete an assignment. Maybe instead of submitting a 4-page essay on the research, they’ve done, they’d like to create and present a slideshow for the class, or present it in another medium to showcase what they’ve learned. 

Students – young children and young adults – can at times crave independence and want their actions to be trusted. At the end of the day, if you think the choices they are making are hindering their performance, you always have the authority to adjust the situation and move things around. It can be extremely positive to let your students have the benefit of the doubt and rectify a mistake rather than treat them as irresponsible or unable to make the right choices from the beginning.

Today is a good day to start, try for free

Create A Question-Friendly Space

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the expression “there is no such thing as a dumb question” – yet no matter how much that expression can be repeated, students often still feel intimated to ask questions within the classroom. Maybe they themselves are worried about coming off as “dumb” in front of their peers or being ridiculed for asking a question they feel everyone else already knows the answers to. Maybe they feel their question isn’t worthwhile. Fear is a big driver when it comes to students speaking up in a classroom. As a teacher and educator, you can tackle this fear in a few ways – one way is by showing your own curiosity and asking questions in your classroom. If there’s something you don’t know the answer to, admit that to them, and show them in real-time the ways in which you use critical thinking yourself to find answers. Ask them to share their own opinion, to think about what they think the answer might be, to create a discussion between classmates on the solution, etc.  

Encouraging curiosity will make a huge impact on the level of engagement within your classroom and how comfortable a student feels when it’s time to ask questions and raise discussions.  

Leveraging BlockSite

Sometimes students, like the rest of us, need an extra push to increase their productivity and reach their academic goals. Staying productive and focused can feel like even more of a challenge with today’s constant distractions that provide instant gratification. From texts to social media, to messaging platforms, apps, and more, it is something we all must now navigate through life. Consider using BlockSite’s Chrome Extension or Mobile App when providing a solution to students that want to lock in their focus time. Our site and app list blocking feature remove the distractions of pop-up notifications and the ability to go to or check blocked sites and apps for a time period that you determine ahead of time. Whether it’s just 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. Let’s say you want to have a distraction-free silent study once a week. Creating this session will let students know that once a week, they will have the space and time in your classroom to chip away at their upcoming assignments. You can help them increase their productivity during these sessions by taking ‘silent study’ a step further and utilizing BlockSite to remove the temptation of wanting to respond to a text, check Instagram, or scroll through their apps. BlockSite can be in both your corner and your student’s corner, with the click of a button or the tap of an app.

Implementing these tips and strategies can empower your students to work at their highest, most confident level. When you build up their confidence, encourage curiosity, and provide your support you’re helping your students achieve what they’re capable of and you’re setting them up for continued, future success.