The Three Key Parts of Classroom Management
Proper classroom management is a crucial skill in teaching English as a foreign language. A good teacher will possess the skills and an awareness of how to navigate the classroom setting. Furthermore, a teacher who has good classroom management will produce a positive learning environment where learning is maximized. Three critical skills in classroom management are rapport building, effective lesson planning, and using a diversity of teaching resources.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Brad F.
People perform best in settings where they are comfortable. This truth is, perhaps, best seen in the classroom. Students will learn and develop English skills in environments that are welcoming and positive. A teacher will go far in establishing this environment by building rapport with his/her class. This starts the first second of the first class. Time should be taken during this class to learn student names. Beyond that, a good teacher will try to learn something about his/her students. It is good for the teacher to talk about his/her life as well. Students want to know a bit about who is teaching them. A simple smile and an openness toward the students will go far in building rapport with the class. When students are confident that their teacher is all about their best interests then learning can flourish. Proper rapport building is critical in establishing that confidence.
Effective lesson planning is another key component of managing a classroom well. To state it in the negative, if a teacher has no plans then he/she has no control of the learning process. Effective lesson plans articulate a measurable learning objective. Furthermore, a good lesson plan spells out the process to ensure the learning objective is met. Good lesson planning ensures a proper pacing to the classroom. If there is not good pacing then students may feel bored from downtime or rushed because the teacher is trying to cram in too much information. This can lead to problems and a rowdy classroom, especially with younger students. Good lesson planning gives the teacher confidence to handle whatever might come up. It can't be overstated, when a teacher develops and executes a strong lesson plan, a well managed classroom is part of the positive outcome.
A third key component in managing a classroom well is by using a diversity of teaching resources. We live in the information age, and we should use that to our advantage. There are so many resources that we can use to engage our classes. A simple Google search can yield a wide array of games that can be employed during the Engage phase of a class. Beyond that, crossword puzzles, fill-in the blank exercises and word searches can be easily found and used to test for understanding during the Study phase of a class. Best yet, there are so many ideas that can be found online or in print that can be used in the Activate phase of an English class. Within a few clicks of a mouse a teacher can show his/her students videos on YouTube. These videos can be used to highlight a key learning point or to illustrate a funny way that language was misunderstood. A good teacher will hold the classes' attention by creatively using these different resources. When a teacher is able to hold the classes' attention then that teacher is well on his/her way to managing that classroom well.
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