The Secrets of Organizing Any ESL Classroom
Effective teachers not only possess expertise in content knowledge but they are also great classroom managers. If teachers cannot manage their students then they cannot teach their students. Learning will only take place when the classroom is well managed. The first day of school is the most important day for teachers to create 'rules' in the classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nikki D. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The Essence of Classroom Management
Classroom management must happen on the very first day of school can be effective and successful. An effective teacher manages to create a 'task-oriented' environment in the classroom. Teachers should have clear boundaries with students, and students must learn what is expected of them or they will face consequences. Teachers need to be consistent with the set of rules throughout the whole length of the course. It is also crucial that teachers set up routines for the class and stick to them. Teachers should always be a role model in the class and follow their own rules. For example, if teachers said they will not tolerate tardiness then they should never show up late. When students see that teachers do not respect and follow the classroom rules, they will most likely not going to honor the class' rules either.
Also Read: 4 Essential Tools For Teaching ESL Online
On the other hand, if teachers do not establish rules on the first day then it would be difficult to manage the class later. Especially for the English learning classroom. Students will not have enough background knowledge in English to communicate with foreign teachers if there is any miscommunication. Therefore on the first day of class teachers need to be extremely clear to students what are the rules in class and what is expected of them. I learned in teacher training programs that teachers need to make instructions very clear and even more clear than they think it needs to be.
Another very important factor that goes into classroom management is to develop a rapport with students in the first days of class. Students' misbehaviors often stem from the desire to express themselves. In the first few days of class, teachers should get to know students by doing icebreaker activities, surveys, or do activities where students get to express themselves as a class. Teachers need to let students know who they are as a person. Students most likely are more appreciative when they know their teachers are authentic and are there to genuinely help them learn.
Also Read: English as a Tool for Global Communication
Expectations and Directions
In a well-managed classroom, students are doing their tasks and pay attention to the teachers. Students know what is expected of them; teachers know how to manage the classroom time efficiently. The environment of the classroom will be work-oriented, however, students will not feel pressured because there are common respect and understanding between them and their teachers.
Clear instructions are a necessary part of classroom management. Unclear instructions will usually lead to confusion. Too many confusions in the classroom can easily lead to problems in class. Problematic students will most likely have misbehavior issues. Most teachers know that when students are misbehaving they will not learn anything.
Therefore in any classroom, teachers need to provide crystal clear instructions to avoid confusion for students, especially in an English learning classroom. These students possess multiple levels of English proficiency, therefore it is even more important for teachers to speak slowly and give clear instructions. It is also helpful for English teachers to make rules for limiting students from speaking their native language to improve students' speaking skills. Incentives can be given for students who refrain from speaking in their native tongues.
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To sum it up, these are the main factors in having a well-managed classroom. First, teachers should be clear with classroom rules on the very first day of class. Second, teachers should have desks, papers, books, assignments, and materials ready when the class starts. Last but not least, teachers should have a warm and positive attitude for students to feel safe in their learning environment.
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