Effective Classroom Management from Day One
Walking into a brand-new class, especially as a new teacher, can be very intimidating. Being prepared with the proper principles, tools, and attitude goes a long way when dealing with the first-class up through to the final exam.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Mark R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Principles of classroom management
Relationships matter. Building a relationship with your students is the basic foundation of teaching. If a teacher does not have a relationship with their students, then having students succeed in learning will be infinitely more difficult. The best way to communicate anything is through the basis of the relationship. If you don’t have a relationship with the students, the message will not have the same impact. Teacher and student relationships must be worked at to build rapport, it does not work to have the relationship demanded because the teacher role is supposed to be the senior.
Tools of classroom management
The tools of classroom management are geared to build a relationship. As these tools are implemented they will not only build a good relationship between the student and the teacher, but they will provide a successful structure to the classroom so the learning process can be maximized. These tools are not a complete list but provide a framework to build upon.
Learning names. Knowing the student’s names will enhance the learning atmosphere. There are numerous apps to use on your smartphone or tablet with help with capturing your class information. Use these apps to organize your class, have a picture of the student, and allow you to take notes about your students that will help you remember and get to know them. These apps will also help you organize grading and attendance. Another way to learn names is to have every student fill out a name card to have at their desk so you remember their name in the beginning, but it also helps to have those cards to pass out and collect at the end of each class to help with attendance. Be sure that students collect name tags for their friends to cover for them.
Rules for the class
It is very important to have thought out list rules for your class. It gives the students some expectations upfront so they are not surprised as the semester unfolds. It is very easy to have detailed rules, but it could be challenging to enforce because they might end up being too constrictive. For example No phones. It sounds like a good rule. It will eliminate the distractions of messaging, calls, games, watching shows, etc. BUT, phones can be very helpful. They can take pictures of worksheets to use later, they take pictures of PowerPoints for later use, they can also have instant dictionaries to help them understand vocabulary or do translations when needed.
Some sample rules that show students respect but also provide an expectation for them:* Don’t be shy, just try* Show respect to your classmates and the teacher by listening when others are talking* Have funOther specific rules would be around expectations for the syllabus with assignments, grading, and attendance, but all of those would be specific to the type of class being taught.
Attitude for classroom management
The attitude of the teacher has a major impact on classroom management. The teacher needs to view themselves as one that is serving the students. It is their job to impart knowledge in a way that is accurate, accessible, and winsome. If a teacher comes in frustrated with the fact that it is so hard to teach English, the students will pick up on that attitude and have the same perspective. The attitude of the teacher should be in check each day to be reminded that they are here to serve and build up the students so they can learn and acquire the language as quickly as possible.
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Have the right principles of teaching, being equipped with the right tools, and having the right attitude while teaching will help the teacher manage the classroom in a way that allows both the student and the teacher to enjoy the learning process.
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