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Teach English in Jiepai Zhen - Hengyang Shi
Classroom management refers to how things are generally carried out in the classroom. It deals with ways on how things are supposed to be done. This includes procedures and routines among others. New teachers, however, tend to mistake classroom management and classroom discipline. Whereas classroom management is as stated above, classroom discipline is the specific management of students’ behavior. By definitions alone, we can respectively differentiate the two as being the building blocks of any successful lesson and the reactive actions we take to maintain the rules that had been set through known procedures and routines. Procedure is defined in the dictionary as “an established or official way of doing something.” Meanwhile, routine is defined as “a sequence of actions regularly followed: a fixed program.” These are vital because any effective teacher would manage their classrooms with both procedures and routines, instead of threats and punishments. This is especially true for classrooms of young learners, where procedures and routines could be ingrained stronger within students than any form of written rules that we set, but not limited to them. I have had classes of teenagers both in the past and present where procedures still play key roles in my approach to classroom management. A prime example of this would be students’ reluctance when I tried to pair them up with the opposite gender during discussions in some classes. I, then, set up a procedure where I would set up a wheel of names through a website so all the pairs would be completely random at any given time. A few years later, the same set of students expect said procedure to be taken before any discussion and they have grown accustomed to it. The entirety of this has a correlation with my own personal goal in my classes. I fully expect a well-managed classroom will result in a positive learning environment, both for myself but more importantly for my students. I believe having a supportive, clean and respectful learning environment is vital to create positivity within the classroom. However, talking about procedures and routines means we have only touched on the surface of classroom management because teachers must do a lot more to ensure the achievement of a positive learning environment. One of the most important things for teachers to consider when teaching is how they conduct themselves in the classroom. Each teacher is different from the next as we have our own strengths and weaknesses. As teachers, we ought to amplify the strength that we possess while also continuously work to improve the aspects that we lack professionally. The first thing that students can see is your overall gesture. This also includes eye contact and the use of voice among others. I believe using positive gestures in the classroom will make you manage the classroom easier. Some examples of gestures in the classroom are using your eyes to encourage participation from students, setting the tone of your voice to indicate praises, and use your hands as affirmations for students. These simple gestures will help you manage your classrooms with less verbal explanation and will help you achieve a positive learning environment because students will feel more motivated. The next important aspect to consider is how the classroom is set up. The correct layout of the classroom will affect how well students can learn while also giving you controls over the whole management of the class. For instance, different seating arrangements during different parts of activities will enhance productivity while letting you oversee their activities. Having students sit face to face during discussions promotes high productivity and limits the possibility of them speaking to other students from different pairs. Meanwhile during teacher-to-student activities, having a U-shaped seating arrangement will boost the chance of the students listening to you while you maintain control of the whole class. After managing ourselves and the students, the last important step is to manage the relationships between teachers and students. Any successful class relies upon great relationships between the two. Respect between the two components is vital to ensure maximum positive learning environment, Teachers must never forget that students are also humans that deserve our attention, our respect, and our trust. Those positive relationships between teachers and students are the backbone of any successful teaching environment. In summary, classroom management is an integral element for teachers and students alike. When managed properly, classrooms can have positive qualities such as respect, joy, safe and warm among others. As the leader of the classroom, teachers must strive to find the right balance to be able to create that positive environment, starting with having clear procedures and routines, followed with their positive conducts in the classroom, managing physical and emotional aspects regarding students, and finally having a good rapport with students to complete your classrooms into a positive learning environment.