The Importance of Classroom Management
There are many reasons why classroom management skill sets are really important for the basics of teaching generally. It effectively helps build a great classroom atmosphere for everyone in it as well as create rapport between the teacher and the student.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Amelie R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Few of the most important skills the teacher needs to acquire are the special details towards their eye contact, gesture, and the voice, as it is can determine the outcome of the class. It is essential for the teacher to always have good eye contact technique which will help in a number of ways including, to ensure that students comprehend their instructions and to maintain discipline in the classroom. The use of gesture can add visual interest to the students and also helps increase the pace of the lesson, being only some of its usefulness. When it comes to the voice, the teacher needs to have great clarity, range and projection otherwise it will be difficult for the whole class to understand. In my opinion, this is the most important because it gives the immediate teacher and student interaction.
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Another great importance in classroom management is the grouping of students for different activities and learning purposes. Students can be put into pairs, whole class, group work or students can work on their own, although there are pros and cons to this. When students are either put into pairs or groups of three and above, it dramatically increases student to student interactions by letting the stronger students help support the weaker students, however, this can be rather noisy and might disturb other classes in process. Self-reliant is a massive pro for students working on their own, however, can reduce interaction with other students. The last grouping is a whole-class grouping, this can help students feel a sense of belonging in the classroom but for some shy students, it can be stressful to participate in front of the whole class. It is so valuable to know how to group students correctly I reckon, it keeps the class on a good flow.
Classroom arrangement is a big factor for managing classes as it involves organizing the positioning of the students and the teacher. Arranging a classroom means the teacher becomes the facilitator and can organize the tables and chairs into rows, circles, horseshoes and separate tables formation. Circles and horseshoes formation has great advantages for example for students to interact as they can have eye contact with all individuals in the classroom. Orderly rows are more likely to be used in testing environments and separate tables for group work such as debate. As for the teacher, their position also has to be considered whether they are standing, sitting, walking around the room. All this can either make students feel intimidated or relaxed and teachers to be very aware of what to do. Unpractically, teachers will close to always have their backs turned when writing on a whiteboard (unless the whiteboard has wheels)but there are solutions to this by using a projector or by inviting a student to come to write on the board for example. In conclusion, I think it is really important to know how to use space wisely and to use extra tools or technique to ensure the teacher doesn't have their backs turned to the students.
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A significant skill for classroom management is the skill of giving instructions clearly and successfully. Instructions should revolve around using simple language, being consistent, using visual clues and rechecking the instructions. The use of simple language is to instruct the students in the language level that is lower than that being taught. Consistency in using the same set of words over and over again to familiarize them, but very important to keep in mind that beginners might need to be taught new vocabulary first to be able to understand. Anything visual will help students learning a new language, for example, the use of gestures, picture or demonstrating on the whiteboard. Lastly, after giving all the instructions it is vital to recheck by asking students to explain back what was understood. For me, I find giving instructions effectively can really determine the flow of the lesson, therefore, it is a valuable skill.
Building rapport is very important between teacher and student. The teachers' attitude approach can be off-putting or encouraging for students depending on what the teacher does; therefore, a teacher should always be aware of their attitude when entering a classroom. The teacher also needs to give individual attention and know all their students' name, this will make the students feel like the teacher cares and eases them. It is also an advantage when monitoring and observing students' progress. It is good to learn when is the right time for a teacher to talk as the objective is for the students to use the language more. The tools to build great rapport include all the above and should be put to use as often as possible to create a better overall atmosphere.
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One of the most difficult and important skills to have is; to maintain the discipline to problematic behaviors in the right way. There many reasons for a student to act out, it could be a family problem or low self-esteem or even lack of respect for the teacher. I found that to counter some of these behaviors, first, the teacher has to be the role model, which means arriving to class prepared and punctual and making sure to not lose their temper for example. Then all the teacher will need to focus on is the students' problematic behaviors if they arise.
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In conclusion, classroom management is important for all the different ways it can alter a classroom to be able to use it to its best potential alongside any aspects that could occur in the classroom and how to deal with them first hand.The Importance of Classroom Management.
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