Teach English in Zhongfang Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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It is your first day of teaching and you walk into a room with thirty students, everywhere! Some have moved the desks into groups to chat, some are throwing paper around the room, and some are even asleep in the chaos. What do you do? This exact scenario has not happened to me before, though I have walked into other classes just like this. When there is a language barrier, classroom management may seem like a daunting task, but it is truly important, in any classroom, if you want your students to make progress throughout the year. Classroom management is more than rules of what to do and what not to do, but the way you run the classroom. Good classroom management is important for making your day run smoothly, for building rapport with your students, and for staying organized throughout the year. Whether your classroom is one student or thirty, you need to have a way to start off the day that is going to engage the students, but also keep them calm. In a big classroom, it can get quite loud, especially during transitions, so you should have a way to settle your students. This could be a clap, a sign, a saying, a timer, or turning on and off the lights, etc. This way all the students turn their attention and focus to you without you having to raise your voice to gain their attention. Students may work in groups or independently but may need to transition back to their seats or for another task, therefore having an attention getter that remains consistent is a great way to transition. Classroom management is also an important way to build relationships, whether that is having a designated time for students to share their stories or having a hug or high-five before they enter the classroom and as they leave. This lets them know that you care about them as a person in and outside the classroom, not just worrying about the academic achievement. The more you focus on building rapport and trust in the relationships you have with your students, the more it grows their motivation to learn. They will then want to tell you about what they did the day before or how their holiday was, etc. That will broaden their English vocabulary and the desire to learn more in your classroom, even though it is difficult, because they know you care! Classroom management is also important in the organization of your classroom. Everything from where papers get turned in, to how the desks are arranged. This will help your students stay organized, help lessons run smoothly, and help foster peer relationships in the classroom. You may have a set routine from the beginning of the class until you dismiss, where there is a warm-up, whole group, teams, independent work, etc. If you are a person that benefits from a set schedule, post it on the board with visuals and introduce it the first day of class so the students know what to expect. If you have a posted visual schedule and want to change things around from day to day, you can manipulate the schedule so the students can tell what they will do in class that day. This is also a great way to keep track of time throughout your lesson. Classroom management does not always come easy to teachers. It may take a lot of work at the beginning of the year. If you find that for some reason things begin to go downhill in the middle of the semester, you have the freedom to change your management style to fit the needs of your students. That may mean introducing a reward system, moving seats, creating a different environment for a certain unit lesson, etc. If you know your students and what they need to learn in your classroom, make it happen! There is no reason you cannot adapt as the year progresses, because your students are progressing too; therefore, they may need something more to motivate them, or a different schedule to keep them on their toes. If something you try, fails, just try something different. There is no one way to manage a classroom well, so each teacher should get creative.