Moving from Chaos to Brilliance: Mastering Classroom Transitions


The chaos of classroom transition can wastes valuable time and destroy the focus of students. Without the development of smooth transitions in the school environment, the atmosphere for learning will always be compromised.
One of the major reasons transitions are filled with such madness is that students are unaware of the importance of transitions and teachers haven’t taken adequate time to train them. Usually teachers give up after the first two months of attempting to establish smooth classroom transitions.

However, the practice of establishing smooth classroom transitions should involve taking students through a step by step training process. This will require constant repetition until the idea of transitional mastery is forged in the minds of every student.

Executing the Plan

The mastery of classroom transitions should be a school wide effort, with administration leading the way and then teachers executing the plan throughout the day. Administrations should make a major effort explaining the significance of transitions during assembly time.

Types of Transitions

There are several types of transitions. The most common ones are these:

Subject to subject transitions
• Station to station transition
• Classroom to class room transition
• Classroom to bathroom transitions
• Classroom to specials transitions
• Classroom to lunch transition

All school transitions should be taught on three levels: verbally, physically and materially. Using these three approaches have a way of instilling the concept of brilliant transitions in the minds, hearts and spirit of each student.


Teachers must emphasize the importance of classroom transition before each major switch from one thing to another. Never feel that students are getting tired of hearing about transitions; some need to be reminded on a constant basis. Sooner or later students will begin to honor your directives, anticipating your reminders and what is expected of them in transition times.


Teachers must find time out of a busy schedule and actually train students on how to perform a smooth transition. This should be step by step implementation. During training students practice over and over again until they get it right. If they do not get it right, the first, second, and third time, they should start back over again.


In the first few months of the school year, students need to get in the practice of writing down the significance of good classroom transitions. Studies show that the act of writing down something impresses the idea upon the psyche. Writing down the guidelines of smooth and brilliant transitions will go a long way of helping hard-to-listen students master their responsibilities when it is time for classroom transitions.

In addition to having students write the rules of transitions, teachers and administration should have poster-reminders located in various points in the hallways as well as the cafeteria. The importance of mastering transitions cannot be overstated. The culture of learning dramatically increase when the idea of perfect transitions are promoted.


The mastery of classroom transitions carries a number of transformative benefits, including,

• Accelerated learning
• Enhanced mental focus
• Better seatwork execution
• Stronger teacher-student connection
• Increased instructional value
• Improved student collaboration

The chaos of classroom transitions must become a priority to teachers and administrators if a dynamic whole-school learning environment is to be established. When students understand the importance of smooth and brilliant classroom transition to their education, the majority will be motivated to fall in line with the expectations of administrators and teachers.

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