What Classroom Management Skills Can Teachers Develop to Contribute to the Success of EFL and ESL Learners?
Classroom management skills are an important part of a teacher’s profession. The success of EFL and ESL learners depends on the teacher’s expertise in delivering an effective lesson in a well-managed classroom. Classroom management skills vary from one teacher to another. Classroom management skills are a trial and error process. They take time to build and come with experience. Every teacher has a different style. If the students are learning effectively in a classroom, then the teacher has succeeded in delivering a solid lesson with good classroom management skills. A successful teacher has a positive effect on students’ learning. The teachers’ personality does not determine whether they are a good teacher or not, rather having the skills to create a successful teaching and learning experience will define the success of the teacher, classroom, and the learning process.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rabica Q. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Why are classroom management skills important?
Classroom management skills help to maintain a disciplined class and make both the teaching and learning process organized, fun and effective. At the beginning of an EFL/ ESL course, it is important to build a good rapport with the students. The students may seem intimidating at the beginning of the class but if the teacher breaks the ice from day one, it boosts the students’ motivation and confidence for learning. Good rapport between the teachers and their students will determine how successful the class will be and make the atmosphere relaxed and enjoyable. Additionally, teachers should have a mix of authoritative and flexible styles. There is no book teachers can follow and there is no guide that explains every single thing a teacher will encounter in a classroom. Rather, teachers get the skills through their education and qualifications but get the expertise through training and experience. Competent teachers will make the students understand that the teachers are the ones in control while also giving students flexibility and autonomy to take charge of their learning process and approach the teacher whenever help is needed.
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Furthermore, to keep a classroom disciplined and well managed, teachers have to learn specific traits. For example, effective teachers maintain eye contact with their students, use gestures and project their voice. Appropriate eye contact, gestures, and voice help establish rapport, manage the class, give instructions, convey a message, and engage the students with the lesson. Teachers should know when and how to give students the “positive, rewarding” versus the “negative, punishing” look. A teacher’s voice also defines when the teachers are being authoritative versus being flexible and easy-going, when they are being serious and when they are being playful. Making an effort in knowing students’ names also helps with discipline, classroom management, and building rapport. It gives students a sense of personal acknowledgment and facilitates teachers to call on students to read or answer questions and involve them in the class.
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Another classroom management technique teachers can use are seating arrangements. Depending on the size of the classroom and the number of students, teachers have to arrange a seating chart to maintain a disciplined and organized classroom. Managing a classroom means a teacher is in charge and needs to direct the students what to do. A seating arrangement can help students focus on the instructions and lessons, and it can also avoid chaos in the classroom. Teachers can move around the classroom more easily and it is easier to monitor the students. When teachers set up a seating arrangement, it is not only beneficial for them but the students as well. Students get to know one another, thus increasing interaction and cooperation during activities.
Resources are also important and play a huge role in classroom management. Teachers should use tools and teaching aids to manage a classroom efficiently and keep the students engaged, motivated, and interested throughout the lesson. For example, whiteboards and overhead projectors can be helpful for teachers during instruction and activities. Tools used in class help students stay focused and the learning process more entertaining and allows teachers to make the class more interactive.
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Classroom management skills differ from teacher to teacher. Teachers are not born with these skills and they only come with experience. With each passing year of their teaching career, they learn something new and develop their expertise because every year the group of students and learners are different. Students have different needs, goals, aspirations, strengths, weaknesses, and learning experiences. Teachers teach similarly every year, but they improve with each passing year. Building rapport with students, maintaining discipline through appropriate seating arrangements, eye contact, gestures and utilizing resources efficiently contribute to effective classroom management, thereby providing a positive classroom environment and enriching the teaching and learning process as a result of the teacher’s classroom management skills.
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