Why TEFL Teachers Have to Pay Attention to Classroom Management
Classroom management is the skill of organizing and managing a class to ensure that students can learn effectively. There are many different methods teachers can use to create an environment that will help students learn, such as classroom arrangement, conducting yourself correctly, grouping students in a sensible way for each task, and also establishing a good rapport with students. The teacher must apply these techniques to create a learning environment for the classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Christopher J. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Classroom Space Arrangement
Classroom arrangement is how a teacher would like to physically arrange the class's seating and where you would like each student to sit. The collection of tables and chairs will depend on the room's size, the number of students, the type of activity, and the type of tables and chairs is available. Seating can be arranged in orderly rows, separate tables, circles, or horseshoe shapes, with each arrangement bringing its benefits to the class. Orderly rows are very common as it means that the students and teacher can always see each other and help the teacher keep discipline. It is also beneficial for large classes. Having separate tables helps group work as the teacher can help a group on one table without distracting another group. It does, however, have the drawback that eye contact cannot be made with the whole class. Seating arranged in a horseshoe or a circle is good as pair work is readily achievable, and the teacher can see all the students and the students being able to see each other. The teacher's position is also essential as it creates a different atmosphere and makes the teacher respond to various circumstances during a lesson. When the teacher wants the whole class's attention, it is best to be standing as it means the students know to focus on what is being said. In situations such as reading or the class's activation stage, letting the students work on their own is advisable so sitting down and monitoring the course from a distance is advisable.
Creating an enjoyable and relaxed environment in the classroom is essential as students will more likely contribute to the lesson and be better placed at learning the new topics being taught. Creating a good environment can be done by the teacher conducting themselves to give confidence to the students and make the lesson more inviting for everyone to take part. The use of voice, eye contact, and gestures is one way the teacher can create an enjoyable classroom. For example, varying the tone of your voice and having eye contact with your students in different situations will help students stay focused on the lesson and participate at a higher rate than if you were to use a monotone voice throughout the study and only stare at a particular group of students. It is also essential to act in certain situations correctly to make sure that there is a good rapport between the teacher and the students and that discipline can be kept in the class. Things such as being punctual, staying calm, showing respect, and being consistent and fair will all mean that students will be more willing to listen to you and follow instructions given to them. Making sure that the behavior of the class is good is vital. Even a few disruptive students mean that all students are likely to suffer and not learn in the classroom.
Another important thing for a teacher to think about in managing a class is group and pair work for a specific study and activate parts of the lesson and which students are to be grouped or paired together. It is important not always to have students working by themselves as this can create boredom and lead to students not learning the topic successfully. There are pros and cons to using groups, pairs, or individual work. It is good to get a good balance throughout the term to increase student participation and improve the working relationship between the students. Group work is very good for increasing student talking time and cooperation; however, it can lead to very noisy classrooms, making it hard for some students to concentrate on the class. It can also become difficult for the teacher to understand what students are having difficulty understanding the lesson. Pair work is also good at improving student confidence and means that the teacher can also pair strong students with weaker students to help the weaker ones. It is, however, essential to pair students with people that they get on with, as this means they are more likely to focus on the task at hand. However, both group work and pair work reduce the time available for the teacher to focus attention on specific students that are not understanding the topic, which means some students may start to fall behind in the class. The balancing of group work, pair work, and individual work are essential for a teacher to make sure that the lessons become exciting and enjoyable.
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Therefore, all classroom management methods are crucial for the teacher to understand and utilize to ensure that teacher-student relations are good, the lessons are enjoyable and fun, and that students have the best opportunity to finish each class learning the most.
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