How do I Effectively Manage My Classroom?
Teaching English as a second language is an exciting experience! You’ll get to learn a new culture, travel a new area, and possibly even learn a new language! But finding an up-to-par school, living arrangements, and learning how to live in a new environment can be difficult. It’s a lot and can be a bit overwhelming. Your classroom may be the last thing on your mind at this time, but teaching a chaotic and unorganized class is a recipe for having a bad time. This is why classroom management is so important and especially important from the very beginning. This brings up the question, how do I effectively manage my classroom?
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Bradley M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The first and perhaps the most important element of classroom management is to set clear rules and routines. Setting these rules from day one, and following them strictly is crucial. In many classrooms, the class rules will be posted on the wall to reference to when a rule is broken. Keeping a routine in class helps the kids understand what to expect, and can keep your class moving smoothly. An example of an effective classroom routine is to have the students work together at the end of each class to tidy up the classroom and line up at the door to be released. This can be incentivized with a small reward, like a sticker, once they’ve tidied up and are waiting in line.
The next element of effective classroom management is planning your class. Stepping into the classroom without having a solid plan will certainly not be fun for the teacher. Not having a game plan in mind for the class make for long transition times between different activities, and this gives the students time to get bored and start to act up. Classroom lesson plan forms are available online that help you have a clear image of your class. Some things you would put onto your lesson plan would be your learning objective, what activities or games you want to play, and what classroom materials you will need. Having all of this written out and ready before the class will certainly make for a better time.
Attitude and Personality
Something you may not think about before starting teaching is your teaching personality. This is what persona you take on in the classroom. Some people are lucky enough to have a personality that allows them to slip effortlessly into any situation, but if you aren’t one of these people it is wise to take on a teaching personality. This can vary greatly depending on the age or level of your students. With a preschool-age class, you will need to keep their attention. This can be achieved by speaking with greater inflection, singing and dancing, and just being silly. This persona can feel uncomfortable to some people, but anyone can get the hang of it. Finding a teaching persona is especially important when teaching older students that may be closer in age with the teacher. It can feel awkward to be in a position of authority over people close in age with yourself. Having a teaching persona can help you to establish a professional relationship with your class and optimize their learning.
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Classroom management can seem daunting as a new teacher, especially if this is a new career. Setting your rules and routines will keep your class running like a well-oiled machine. Properly planning your lesson and having all of your supplies ready and waiting in the classroom will keep the students entertained and learning. Keeping a consistent teaching personality with your students will help keep a professional relationship. Keeping these things in mind, any other challenges you may have starting your new job will seem trivial.
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