How to Keep Up With Classroom Organization
When working with a large group, it is important to maintain class management to ensure all students can learn the material. A class can easily become off task due to a lack of dominance within a teacher. I had the opportunity to manage a group of six and seven-year-old students in the past and I am aware that it can be rather difficult to keep children on task. Throughout my internship, I was able to see what skills worked and what needed improvement. After reading unit 5, from the online course, I was able to connect concepts and thoughts I had from managing my class. Now that I am aware of new concepts it is easier to see how teachers can manage a classroom in a friendly but orderly manner.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Megan C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The first step to managing a class is to build a rapport with the students. Teachers should know students by their first name and be able to identify their needs. Students can see that the teacher is putting in the effort and they care. Following this, teachers should use eye contact and gestures when needed. Eye contact can be positive or negative depending on the use. When congratulating a student, the teacher should use eye contact for encouragement. If a student or the class is the misbehaving eye, contact can also be used to indicate the student is being watched by the teacher. This can be used as a way to correct a student's or class's behavior. Gestures are similar as they can direct students to do something. When teaching English as a foreign language, this can be extremely helpful as students may not understand what you are saying. If this is the case, students can easily get off-topic as they are confused or even bored. By using gestures, students can follow the teacher and stay interactive to find the correct answer.
Working with disruptive behavior
A problem I had when working with my classroom was that students were constantly talking and being disruptive. Something I found to be helpful was rearranging the classroom. I did not necessarily change student’s seats but I also changed the spaces between students and sat those of the same nationality next to each other. Some of the students I had spoken Spanish and had trouble understanding instructions. The group was too large that I did not have time to individually explain instructions to each student so by pairing them up, they were able to guide each other. If I had not rearranged the classroom, I think the classroom dynamic would not have been how I envisioned it. By rearranging the room, I was able to work with the students’ needs and positively change the setting.
I mentioned previously how unit 5 helped me understand management better. Now that I have reviewed the unit I realized there are other skills I did use and I could have used to manage the classroom. ITTT (2011), explains how grouping students together is an effective way to manage a class. Three different types of grouping could work; whole-class, students working on their own, and pair work. Like I stated before, I paired up students of the same nationality. This is a pair workgroup without me even realizing I used this skill. Although this was unintentional, I think I could have used this skill more properly by allowing other students to pair up to make students feel like there is fairness. Also, the unit talks about maintaining discipline. As much as I would like to say I kept discipline within the classroom, there is always room for improvement. Some tips that were given were to be punctual and prepared. I think these are two important factors that should be carried through. If students see the teacher is meeting these standards, students will try to live up to the standards. When teachers do not follow their own rules, students think it is okay to misbehave and not follow the rules.
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Managing a classroom may seem easy, but when a group of twenty-thirty students enters the room, things change fast. It is important to remember to stay calm and be friendly. Yelling at a student will only make things worse. Teachers should respond to negative behavior immediately. Talk to students with respect but also be approachable. There is a way to show that you are dominant and in control but a child kindly manner.
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