As a CTE health science teacher, you’re an expert in your field.
You have plenty of experience and knowledge from your time in health care, so it’s probably not much of a stretch for you to become a teacher of those topics.
But the health care industry doesn’t prepare you for a key part of professional teaching — classroom management. As a result, new health science teachers always want to know the latest and best classroom management strategies.
In working with thousands of health science teachers, we have been asked questions like: “What strategies can I use for better classroom management?” and “How can I have more structure in the classroom?”
That often refers to keeping unruly students on track, but there is so much more to it than that!
Effective classroom management strategies help you run your classes more smoothly overall, ensuring students have the best learning experience possible.
So what are the best classroom management strategies for CTE health science courses?
These six strategies are the ones we think will have the biggest impact on your classroom (and your sanity).
Keep reading to learn more about each of these strategies!
Setting clear expectations for your health science students is the best way to get you and your students on the same page from the start.
The most common way to do this is setting classroom rules that you and your students follow. One of the keys to these rules is that they apply to you as well.
Plus, if you are upfront about the fact that the rules also apply to you, your students may take them more seriously.
Not sure what your classroom rules should include? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
After giving your students the rundown on the classroom rules, it’s a good idea to explain why you chose your rules.
You want class time to be effective so that everyone can learn the important health care concepts and skills they need in order to reach their career goals! By focusing on how these rules help your students succeed, they will feel more invested in complying.
It’s easy for a health science instructor to feel like an island in their school. After all, many health science instructors are the only members of their department.
This makes it tough to ask other teachers for help -- especially when it comes to classroom management.
Rather than try to go it alone, find a colleague that can give you tips and ideas. They may not even be in your school — they could work in a neighboring school district or even online!
No matter how you spin it, you’re surrounded by teachers who have worked with students for quite a while.
Why not embrace their experience to help yourself succeed?
While you may not have a health science supervisor, plenty of veteran teachers are just outside your classroom door.
Passionate teachers are more than happy to share their strategies with others — all you need to do is ask!
Whether you were an RN, EMT, or CNA, students will want to hear your stories. In fact, many of them may need to hear about your experiences so they can determine if health care is the right choice for them.
The more your students know about you as a health care professional, the more they will trust and respect you as a teacher.
And even better, it’ll make you more than just a teacher —you can become a mentor.
After all, you’ve done what they hope to do one day.
When your students trust you instead of looking at you as just another authority figure, the difference in your classroom can be like night and day.
Just start sharing your experiences — including your victories and mistakes — and go from there!
Interruptions are a common problem in classroom management, although they’re not always bad.
Some interruptions come from students who have questions about the material you’re presenting.
This happens often in health science classes, especially with some of the more detailed medical information.
Students should be encouraged to ask questions, but questions can bring your class to a screeching halt. Instead of risking that interruption, designate a time for those questions after you present the material.
Building in question and discussion times will help your students in three major ways.
First, designating a time for questions minimizes interruptions in the middle of a lesson. This is key when it comes to managing your classroom!
Also, this makes it clear that even though you don’t want interruptions, you do want students to ask questions about the lesson. When students know you want them to speak up, they’ll feel more comfortable doing it.
Finally, the class as a whole can understand a concept better when you go into more detail during these times.
By voicing their thoughts and gaining better understanding, your students will feel supported and encouraged – something that often leads to more focused, manageable classes.
Being a health science teacher means you have a unique challenge when it comes to downtime.
You may have half of your class practicing hands-on skills while you observe, and you need to keep the other half busy.
That’s where blended learning becomes an essential part of your classroom management strategy.
If you plan to use multiple types of instructional materials and resources in your class, you will always have something for your students to do — even if half the class is doing something different.
A digital curriculum can help improve your classroom management by taking some of the work out of your hands.
With features like customizable due dates and student pacing options, a digital curriculum system can help you keep students on task and more aware of expectations.
A digital curriculum also keeps students on track, even if you aren’t available while they’re working.
That’s because they’re busy with pre-designed lesson activities that keep them engaged while you help other students succeed.
This is great for when you’re monitoring part of your class doing hands-on skills work.
Best of all, your students are learning the whole time!
Thousands of health science teachers have struggled with classroom management just like you.
Luckily, they have found a way to overcome this challenge without spending extra time planning and preparing.
HealthCenter21 can save you hours of planning, engage your students, and give you more structure in the classroom.
Want to learn more? Read how HealthCenter21 can improve your classroom management today!