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Why Classroom Management is an Important Skill for EFL Teachers

Why Classroom Management is an Important Skill for EFL Teachers | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Classroom management is an important element for having a successful classroom, especially for an EFL teacher. It goes beyond having a clean and organized room; it is a skill necessary for creating an effective learning environment. When a teacher possesses proper classroom management skills, they can establish a positive atmosphere that can significantly impact a student's life. An organized classroom and effective classroom control provide a greater chance of building relationships and gaining trust and respect from students. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss two important steps and provide examples of classroom management, highlighting why these steps are crucial for EFL teachers like myself.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, an alumni of ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training). They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of ITTT. The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as official endorsement or representation by ITTT.

Setting the Right Tone for Respect and Engagement

No matter where you are teaching, whether it's in the U.S. or in Hong Kong like myself, fostering respect between students and teachers is of utmost importance. One way to gain respect is by setting the tone right from the start. Instead of sitting at your desk as students enter, stand near the door and greet them. This demonstrates your enthusiasm for having them in your class and your willingness to teach. As mentioned in Unit 5, using eye contact, gestures, and voice is essential for gaining respect. Teachers who avoid eye contact with their students may appear lacking in confidence, potentially leading to disciplinary problems.

To involve non-native English-speaking students in the lesson, eye contact can be used to show that all students are actively participating. Furthermore, using gestures and voice can add visual interest, increase the pace of the lesson, and, most importantly, provide clear instructions. Monotone delivery can lead to boredom, resulting in misbehavior. As a teacher, it is crucial to ensure that students enjoy the lessons, and being clear and enthusiastic gives me a significant advantage in keeping my students engaged and excited.

Proper Classroom Arrangements for Enhanced Engagement

Another crucial aspect of good management skills is ensuring proper classroom arrangements. The way a classroom is set up can have a profound impact on all students. The ideal arrangement depends on factors such as the class atmosphere, suitability for students, and class size. Teachers have various options, including separate small groups or orderly rows. Each arrangement has its benefits and drawbacks. Separate tables are excellent for group work and team activities.

However, this setup may make the groups not actively involved in a particular task feel excluded and disconnected. On the other hand, rows allow the teacher to have a clear view of all students and maintain eye contact. As a kindergarten English teacher in Hong Kong, neither of these arrangements would be ideal for me. I prefer a horseshoe setup for my students. This seating arrangement works well with small groups, makes me appear less intimidating to foreign students, and allows for better eye contact and focus on the lesson.


In conclusion, having effective classroom management skills is essential for creating a successful learning environment. Teachers who lack knowledge of classroom management are more likely to have students who feel unsafe and lack motivation to learn. Therefore, teachers who aspire to succeed in their classrooms must know how to inspire, adapt, and be flexible. They must also learn to strike a balance between firmness and calmness. By developing strong classroom management skills, teachers can help students achieve their goals while minimizing disruptions in the classroom.

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