Useful Strategies in Classroom Management
According to Wikipedia, Classroom management is a term teachers use to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly without disruptive behaviour from students compromising the delivery of instruction.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Oluchi O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Definition of Classroom Management
Classroom management is the procedures used to establish and maintain an environment where instruction and learning can take place using teacher efforts to oversee classroom activities, social interaction, and student behaviour.
Managing of the classroom involves two major tasks: to facilitate learning among pupils and to establish order within the classroom so that learning can take place. Classroom management skills are of primary importance in determining success in teaching.
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Role of the Teacher
A teacher facilitates learning by ensuring that he/she has the required knowledge and skills to help her engage pupils in learning and controls the students’ behaviour so that the teaching and learning process can happen effectively.
Teacher and student roles and expectations shape the classroom into an environment conducive to learning. Quality schools are defined by teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Teacher and student relationship are essential to ensuring a positive problem can be dealt with either on an individual basis (between teacher and student) or by group problem solving (class meetings). As mutual trust builds up between teacher and students, the latter is gradually released from teacher supervision by becoming individually responsible.
Teachers must “win their student’ hearts while getting inside their students’ head” (Wolk, 2013). This winning of the heart occurs through very personal interactions, one student at a time. Teachers who develop such relationship experience fewer classroom behaviour problems and better academic performance.
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The strategies of empathy, admiring negative attitudes, leaving the ego at the door, and multicultural connections should be used for effective classroom management. Adler (1956) defined empathy as “seeing with the eyes of another and feeling with the heart of another”. The result of having been shown empathy is that the person “feels understood”.
Another strategy for classroom management is admiring negative attitudes and behaviours. This approach looks at negative student behaviour as a skill he or she has been practising and refining for many years. Most of these skills have their beginning in the student’s family life.
Also, leaving the ego at the door is an approach to classroom management. This involves the ability to manage ones’ issues as they arise. Once a professional give into emotions such as anger, exasperation, or displeasure, his or her ability to function becomes impaired to a degree.
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Approaches to Classroom Management
To manage a classroom effectively, teachers need to understand the developmental progress of students. Specifically, understanding child and adolescent growth and development, as well as issues of students’ cognitive and cultural diversity.
Teachers who adopt a relationship-building approach to classroom management by focusing on developing the whole person are more likely to help students develop positive, socially-appropriate behaviours. The Characteristics of effective teacher-student relationship are not related to the teacher’s personality or whether the teacher is well-liked by the students. Instead, the relationship is characterized by specific behaviours, strategies, and fundamental attitudes demonstrated by the teacher.
Good management strategies are necessary to get a classroom of kids engaged in learning. Teachers greatly influence the operation of their classrooms. Effective Teachers expertly manage and organized the classroom and expect their students to contribute positively and productively. They take time at the beginning of the year and especially on the first day of school to establish classroom management, classroom organization, and also use rules, procedures, and routines to ensure that students are actively involved in learning.
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Role of the Environment
Classroom organization focuses on the physical environment. Effective teachers strategically place furniture and learning materials in order, to promote student learning and reduce distraction.
Effective teachers expect students to act in a manner that contributes to a positive classroom environment, rehearse rules and procedures with students, anticipate students’ needs, possess a plan to orient new students, give clear instructions to students, use minimum number of rules to ensure safety and productive interaction in the classroom, and rely on routines to maintain a smooth running classroom.
Furniture arrangements, location of materials, displays and fixed elements are all part of the organization. Effective teachers decorate the classroom with student work, arrange the furniture to promote interaction, create comfortable areas for working, creating walkways so students can access materials, pencil, sharpeners and the trashcan with minimal disturbance to others, and creative ways for a teacher to freely move around the classroom to monitor student progress.
A well-managed classroom is a pre-requisite to learning. Effective managers organize and conduct their classrooms to prevent management problems from happening in the first place. Howard Miller, Stated steps teachers can take at the beginning of the year to promote effective classroom management. These steps are as follows: develop a set of written expectations you can live with and enforce. The teacher should be consistent, patient with yourself and with your students. Also, teachers should keep all students actively involved, discipline individual students quietly and privately.
Again, the teacher should keep all student actively involved. He should talk less by using the first 15 minutes of class for lectures or presentations, then get the kids working.
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Moreover, for dealing with the most challenging of students, teachers can learn and apply strategies used in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, such as building empathy, admiring negative attitudes and behaviours, and leaving one’s ego at the door. Teachers must find ways of building a relationship with all students, from the most motivated to the most difficult.
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