How to Organize and Manage Your ESL Classroom
As a teacher, it is easy to get caught up in lesson planning and become overwhelmed with the details of the subject at hand. However, the one thing that cannot be planned out is how a class will take in information. In the classroom, teachers can experience âunexpected.â From a dominant student that wants to answer every question to the student that does not want to engage in the lesson. Classroom management plays such an important part in the classroom and aids in the learning process. If teachers have a great lesson but poor classroom management, then the whole learning objective can be lost.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Heather F. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Teachers want to be confident in the material that is being provided to the students. Teachers also need to know how to solve tough situations that come up in the classroom. What if the class begins and the subject exceeds the level that the students are at? Should teachers just proceed with the lesson?
Through good classroom management, teachers can manage the lesson and adjust to the needs of the students. From my experience in the classroom, not all students are comfortable with speaking and answering questions. As part of classroom management, I have learned how to engage with those students so that they feel comfortable enough to participate. I have found that it is important to always maintain control of your classroom but that it can be done in many different ways. I always want to have a plan but be confident enough to make changes when needed to adapt to the class. I have also had students that want to ârunâ the class. While having a student that is knowledgeable and excited to learn is always great, it can sometimes be an overbearing impact on the class.
In classroom management, teachers must learn how to balance out overbearing students so they do not overpower the classroom. If teachers allow a student to overpower a lesson it can impede other students in their learning. Another concept that I try to remember about classroom management is âwho is my audience?â What are the experience range and maturity level of the classroom? Age is sometimes irrelevant when teaching ESL because students can be young but exceptionally good speakers even beyond those that are their seniors. However, the way teachers engage and manage different groups can vary. While teaching children I have learned that a lot of times they open up at the start of class with a silly game and being animated seems to help with getting the students involved.
Another aspect of classroom management is letting the students be aware of the expectations for the class.
Children respect the structure and look for it. That means it is the teacherâs job to enforce expectations and boundaries for the classroom.
Another aspect to consider is how the lesson will be most relatable and what transitions might be best to help with the flow of the class.
Poor transitions can confuse the classroom and have the potential to cause the class to get off course. Managing the classroom and the transitions from what sections might flow better together can help with classroom management.
As I have started to teach I have noticed different things that I do if a problem arises in class. With classroom management teachers also have to keep in mind that problems with students' behavior might arise. I feel like misbehavior has to be managed on a case by case basis. I have found that simply identifying the student that might be causing a disturbance and trying to engage them with a question (without scolding for misbehavior) can quickly help solve the issue.
Additionally, asking why the student might be misbehaving can be helpful. Is the student board? Is the student struggling with the material? Is the studentâs understanding level exceeding the material being taught? I always try to think of the reasons behind poor behavior and I try to adjust without taking away from the lesson and other students' time. Classroom management is tricky because if teachers put too much emphasis on management they can end up being counterproductive. Finally, the goal of good classroom management is to improve the learning environment for all students. Without good classroom management, the whole purpose of helping students learn can be at a loss. Classroom management is essential for successful learning but can often be a balancing act that becomes perfected with time and experience.
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