Many begining teachers have difficulty in managing their classrooms effectively. In order to manage their student in a classroom, they normally start off with a formal / rigid classroom sitting arrangement, a set of classroom rules (the do’s and don’ts) and a reward and punishment system such as detention. But this is only a temporary solution as the disruptive student will keep on disrupting the teaching and learning, and the overall student performance will still be low.
Effective classroom management is more than that. It is more of possessing certain skills; “common sense” and the courage that professional teachers acquire throughout their years of managing classroom teachings. It is more of a combination of classroom management skills, pedagogical skills, psychological development knowledge and knowling your student – all integrated together and put into practice.
Dr. Robert Kizlik, Education Information for New and future Teachers (ADRIMA site) has gathered personal experiences and researches done about what works and what doesn’t work in managing classrooms and the behavior of student to come up with the following principles, known as An Effective Classroom Management Context.
- Know what you want and what you don’t want.
- Show and tell your student what you want.
- When you get what you want, acknowledge (not praise) it.
- When you get something else, act quickly and appropriately.
1. ROOM ARRANGEMENT:
- It is very important to have a good room arrangement as poor planning can lead to behavioral problem.
- Make sure that the room arrangement enable the teacher to observe all student, to monitor student’s work and behavior, and that the student are able to see their teacher without any difficulties.
- A well ventilated, bright room with learning and activities corners situated at strategic places also enhance student good behavior.
2. SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR BEHAVIOR:
- Good discipline is likely to occur if the classroom setting and activities are structured to enhance cooperative behavior.
- Teachers should identify expectations for student behavior and to communicate it through in a few general, enforceable rules and procedures.
- These rules / explicit expectations should be posted at strategic corners of the classroom and should be explained carefully; and constantly monitored for complaince.
3. MANAGING STUDENT ACADEMIC WORK:
- Student should be held accountable for their academic work and their learning.
4. MANAGING INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR:
- Teachers should monitor student behavior very carefully and frequently in order to be able to detect any signs of misbehavior before it involves others or causes serious disruptions.
- Any inappropriate behavior detected must be acted on immediately, so that it may not interrupt the instructional activity of the classroom.
- Unobstructive strategies should be egaged to redirect the misbehaving student to his appropriate behavior by citing the applicable procedure or rule and stating what the student should be doing.
- Assertive discipline should also be applied whereby the teacher recognized and support student who will behave appropriately and letting them know that you like their positive behavior.
5. PROMOTING APPROPRIATE USE OF CONSEQUENCES:
- The most prevalent positive consequences are instrinsic students satisfaction resulting from getting good grades. Thus students must be made aware of the connection between tasks and grades.
- Negative consequences or punishment should generally be avoided; and when used it should be related to the misbehavior.
Dr. Bob Kizlik, (ADRIMA site), listed the following as mistakes new teachers often make. According to him, new teachers often:
- Have not figured out what exactly they want and don’t want.
- Don’t know the difference between praise and acknowledgement and when each is appropriate.
- Fail to do effective long-range and daily planning.
- Spend too much time with one student or one group and not monitoring the entire class.
- Begin a new activity before gaining the students’ attention.
- Talk too fast, and are sometimes shrill.
- Use a voice level that is always either too loud or too soft.
- Are way too serious and not much fun.
- Using the same teaching strategy day after day.
- Are ineffective when they use facial expression and body language.
- Tends to talk and interact with only half the class (usually their favorites).
- Interrupt students while they are on task.
- Overuse verbal efforts to stop inappropriate student behavior.
- Settle for less rather than demand more.
- Use threats to control the class.
- Use color meaninglessly, even to the point of distraction.
- Do not learn and use student names in an effective way.
- Read student papers only for correct answers and not for process and student thinking.
- Fail to do appropriate comprehension checks to see if students understand the content as it is taught.
- Use poorly worded, ambigious questions.
- Try to talk over student noise.
- Introduce too many topics simultaneously.
- Take too much time taken to give verbal directions for an activity.
- Overuse punishment for classroom misbehavior.
Hope the above are some useful guides to help new teachers to reflect on their classroom management techniques.
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