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Classroom Management Classroom management can be described
Classroom management can be described and executed in a number of ways. It is always best to lead by example and to set the tone of the course in the first class. A positive attitude and positive reinforcement are essential tools in a trained teachers arsenal. We would like to explore some common classroom management techniques, some typical problems that teachers may encounter in the class room, and ways to deal with these problems.
Before we explore techniques and problems we would first like to talk about prevention. If a teacher puts energy into prevention the students will benefit. Obviously there will be no need for punishment if there is no bad behavior. Some ways that teachers can prevent misbehavior are to create an atmosphere which is warm, friendly, and inviting. For older students it is important to make the area businesslike. Teachers need to build a rapport with their students and try to find out something about each one. Always use the students names and treat them with the same respect that you expect from them. It is important to point out the good behavior and try to emphasize what it is you are looking for from your students. Do not leave it up to the students to make the rules. Have a set guideline and be clear in your expectations from the students. Be well organized and prepared with plenty of tasks for your students. Distractions need to be kept to a minimum and the students need to recognize the signals for being quiet and taking their seats. The more effort that can be put into preventing bad behavior the better off the whole class will be.
Now we would like to discuss some classroom management techniques. Our main focus on everything we discuss will be to keep things going in a positive direction. We feel that there is never a need to lose ones temper, shout, or represent any type of negative behavior. Control of a classroom is ultimately the teachers responsibility. This can be achieved using rewards for good behavior, body language and eye contact, field trips, and guest speakers just to name a few. Rewarding good behavior is easy to do and can be done in a number of ways. You can simply add points to a students test, give them a letter of recognition, or simply praise them in front of the class for doing the right thing. Any way you wish to reward good behavior is fine and will allow this good behavior to be desired by the other students as they too want to be rewarded. Using body language and eye contact are great ways for a teacher to monitor the entire class. If you look someone in the eyes they will know that you are talking to them and that you expect a response. Taking students on field trips is a wonderful way to break up the dullness of the classroom and bring them a real life learning experience. Guest speakers can add a new perspective to the material and the students can be encouraged to be on their best behavior. The key to good classroom management is to focus on the good things, while maintaining a positive spirit.
Problems that teachers may encounter when trying to manage a class are many. They range from disciplinary problems to problems with students not understanding the material. There are personal problems that students may have at home and also conflicts amongst students. We want to discuss some problems and some ways in which they can be dealt with. For a student which is constantly late and disruptive to the class. You need to first talk to the student one on one and explain that this is unacceptable and again go over what is expected from the student. If this continues to be a problem, don't make a fuss when the student is late and allow the disruption, instead tell the student to see you after class and leave them wondering of the consequence. The waiting is the hardest part and the punishment can be for them to stay after class for as many minutes as they were late.
Another problem a teacher may encounter are students which are unresponsive. The teacher first needs to speak to the student to make sure there are no problems at home which may be weighing on their minds. Try to get some input from the student as to why they are not participating. You can then engage the students by having more full class activities and try to make the students and their surroundings as inviting as possible. In the end it is imperative that the teacher remain fair and consistent when dealing with the students and the problems which arise. Treat all students the same and show empathy for their problems. Focus on what the students do right and ignore bad behavior whenever possible.
In closing we would like to say that managing a classroom is a balance between entertaining the students and being well prepared. Treat people the way that you want to be treated and reward good behavior. Keep it positive!
Resources used for article
TEFL Unit 5, Classroom management
Positive Classroom Management- Terri Breeden & Emalie Egan- Incentive Publications