Tips for Improving Your Classroom Management
Teachers' ability to manage their time, relationships, attitudes, material, students' rapport, and the progress happening in their classroom is referred to as the art of classroom management, which undoubtedly is one of the most significant requirements and features of a successful teacher. All of the decisions a teacher makes in terms of lesson planning, seating arrangement, monitoring, reacting to critical moments, working with other people, and all of the actions based on these decisions eventually lead to lessons that can be fruitful or dull based on the quality of these decisions. In order to manage a successful course, a teacher also needs to have management skills and techniques that can provide learners with a productive and dynamic environment in which learning can take place. Consequently, the aim of this article is to discuss a number of common classroom management areas, some of which can help teachers decide what is the best to do specifically in their first lessons.
TTT or teacher talking time
As a language teacher, you are required to present some language input to your students. This can be provided through the instructions, corrections, small talks, comments, and your aimful participation in open-class discussions. Your TTT or teacher talking time needs to be managed and controlled in a way that all the learners in a classroom take advantage of equal speaking opportunities. Echoing students' talk, repeating your instructions, and lengthy explanations may spontaneously reduce the quality of the input ( TTQ or teachers talking quality), and the chances learners require to increase their talking time or the output. On the other hand, having the opportunity to work in pairs and groups in a positive and encouraging environment, where they believe in your support and care, helps students mingle and maximize their useful interactions together.
Additionally, managing the layout and applying various seating arrangements in a way that the learners can see each other and talk together during different activities can help teachers manage their TTT and increase STT by making students ask questions, explain and interact together rather than just to the teacher. The teachers' position in the classroom can also affect the quality of interactions during a lesson. Although in many cultures, the teacher is required to act as a lecturer and it is thoroughly acceptable for him/her to deliver long monologues and be the only speaker all through a lesson,teacher-centered and teacher-fronted classes, when most of the interactions are directed to the teacher as the center of the class, are inevitably boring and distracting. Various seating arrangements may offer the teachers a wider range of positions through which they can keep monitoring without being noticed by students when they are involved in doing some group or pair work activities. However, the aim of these changes is to help the learning take place, so all the learners need to feel comfortable with the changes the teacher makes and his/her presence and monitoring during the tasks.
Confused students who do not exactly comprehend what the teacher wants them to do may misunderstand the tasks and do something different or keep asking for clarification either from the teacher or their classmates. This may lead to lengthy explanations or repeated instructions that eventually result in higher teacher talking time with lower quality and poor time management. Short and clear instructions, specifically in Elementary classes, can help teachers avoid confusion and misunderstanding. This may be more practical if the teacher predicts and plans the essential instructions while he/she is preparing for a lesson. On the other hand, too many instructions for simple tasks or activities may sound humorous or contribute to boredom. Boarding the instructions, asking ICQs (instruction checking questions), attracting students' attention and asking for silence before giving the instructions, demonstrating or modeling what you want them to do, and monitoring the class while the task is in the process are some techniques that can bring about effective classroom management. While the instructions are given, the activity is in process, and learners are engaged, the teacher's role is close and distance monitoring of the process in case there are any unanticipated problems, questions, and errors that need to be corrected on the spot or noted to be dealt with later.
Time and Board management
Although some tasks and activities may be remarkably productive or some discussions can be extremely fruitful, the teacher has to avoid getting carried away and wrap them up properly so as to stick to the time limit and finish the lesson according to the plan. Consequently, finishing activities and reforming the class as a whole group after each task contributes to managing the time and covering all the stages of the lesson. The way a teacher uses the board is also of great importance. A messy board conveys the message that the teacher doesn't know his/her stuff or simply does not care enough to organize the board. Managing the boarding and dividing your board into clear sections for revision, examples, and target grammar or vocabulary points in addition to applying more than one color and using color coding can help you manage the input and make students stay focused and comfortable.
In conclusion, although a teacher requires classroom management skills and techniques, practical teaching involves lots of impulse decisions and prompt actions that might not always be the best thing to do. No lesson is perfect, and there always are some details that can be improved. The thing a teacher needs to do is retrospect these decisions in order to enhance their decision-making skills and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
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