9 Things Teachers Can Do to Improve Classroom Management
This essay discusses the various ways in which teachers can more effectively manage their classroom. Understanding these methods and having them as a toolkit for everyday lessons can help to minimize student distractions, increase motivation and concentration and ultimately allow the students to learn as much as possible. I will briefly discuss the 9 key considerations below.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Phoebe C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Eye contact, gesture, and voice
Looking for your students in the eye has many benefits, such as maintaining discipline, encouraging contributions and illustrating that they are all involved in the lesson. Be careful not go overboard and stare, however. Gestures are equally useful and help to convey the meaning of the language, add visual interest and reduce the need for verbal explanation. Your voice can also impact the classroom, for example, introducing variation into your voice can avoid boredom by the students.
Also Read: Do TEFL teachers need a second language?
2. Grouping students
There are multiple ways in which a teacher can group students and each has its pros and cons. For example, while pairwork can increase the chance for student-student talking time, it can create a rather noisy environment.
3. Classroom arrangement
How students are organized should depend on the space available, the types of tables and chairs, the students’ age, their nationality, and their personalities.
4. Writing on the board
When writing on the board, it’s important to try and reduce the amount of time spent with your back to the class. You could consider having the work already on the board before class starts or try to use an OHP instead.
5. Giving individual attention
Get to know the students’ names and ask questions at random so they are all paying attention. Try to spend an even amount of time with each student but if necessary give additional attention to those who are struggling.
6. Teacher/student talking time
While there are many obvious advantages of TTT, it should be limited to ensure students are actively participating in class and getting the chance to speak English.
7. Giving instructions
When providing instructions to students, rather than asking do they understand, it’s more effective to ask them to explain back what they are being asked to do. Make sure the language you use is simple and consistent across your lessons so they can understand. Use visual clues where needed or write the instructions upon the board.
8. Establishing rapport
The relationship between a teacher and the students plays a vital role in determining how much students enjoy and contribute to the lesson. There are many ways in which rapport can be improved such as smiling, look as if you’re enjoying yourself, make sure the students know each other’s names and encourage them to help each other.
Also Read: Useful Approach to Mixed-Ability Classrooms
9. Maintaining discipline
To start, there are various things you can do to prevent problem behavior, from making sure you are well prepared to making your lessons interesting. But due to several reasons ranging from family problems to peer pressure, students still misbehave. When this happens, act immediately, don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Make sure to remain calm and try to focus on the behavior, not the student.
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It is important to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach in terms of managing a classroom as this will depend on the students, the physical space, your style of teaching, etc. But the above can provide general guidance to help inspire confidence in students and maintain discipline in an organized, relaxed fashion.
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