Classroom Managment In this article I hope to clarify the meaning of ‘Classroom Management’. I will consider various aspects of class management including: a teacher skill of organising and managing the class, having a friendly, relaxed manner and maintaining discipline. I want to show the importance of class management and how it can ensure the success of the teacher and the activities undertaken.
The physical presence in the class
The teacher’s physical presence plays a large part in his or her management of the classroom environment. And it’s not just appearance either. The way the teacher moves, how he or she stands, how sensitively he or she uses gestures, mimes and eye-contact, as each of those is taking its place in different parts of the lesson as well as creates atmosphere, encourage students and also motivate them to participate on the class. We should not omit to say few words about the teacher’s most important instrument – the voice. Literally, how the teacher speaks and what his/hers voice sounds like have a crucial impact on the classes, clearly, teachers need to be audible and make sure that the students at the back of the classroom can hear them just as well as those at the front. Also eye-contact plays very important role in the classroom. Using appropriate eye-contact can show students that they are all involved in the lesson as well as to indicate who is to speak or to signal students to start/stop or get move on and eye-contact can help maintain discipline.
Another factor to be considered in classroom management is when the teacher is about to choose an appropriate seating for the lesson. Probably the most common and mainly used around the world is when students are sitting in orderly rows. A teacher stands at front of such classroom or we can say that the teacher has a clear view of all the students and the students can all see the teacher. Obviously, orderly rows imply teachers to work with the whole class and such seating is appropriate for classes with big number of students. Sometimes an activity in the classroom need to be more controlled. In such situation horseshoes, circles or separate tables may well be more suitable seating arrangement here. All of these are likely applicable in smaller classes where atmosphere is more intimate and the lesson is more student-centred – the teacher is less dominating.
Whatever the seating arrangements in a classroom, students can be organised in different ways: they can work as a whole class, in groups, in pairs, or individually. Basically, whole class grouping is suitable for activities where teacher needs to be in control or have the attention of the class as a whole whereas pair-work or group-work is a cooperative activity. Students tend to participate more equally, and they are also more able to experiment and use the language than they are in a whole-class arrangement. Apart from group-work and pair-work, the other alternative to whole-class teaching is solo-work. Solo-work can have many advantages: it allows students to work at their own pace, allows them their thinking time and allows them, in short, to be individuals. Literally, students can relax their public faces and go back to considering their own individual needs and progress. How much teachers use group-work, pair-work or solo-work depend on teacher style and student preferences. Good teachers use different class groupings for different activities. While doing this they monitor which is more successful and for what.
Rapport and discipline
A good rapport between the teacher and students is very important to ensure successful classes. This can be reached when the teacher uses appropriate seating arrangement, when students are sensitively selected for pair/group-work. The teacher should be aware of which students get on well together and which not, using ice-breaking activity at the beginning of the course and by monitoring throughout the course. Also the teacher’s behaviour is important to make his/hers students feel welcome in the classroom: he/she should have smile on face and look like he/she enjoys the job, he/she is well prepared for the lesson as well as consistent and fair. Perhaps the most important to say is that the teacher should never lose his/hers temper and never shout at the students.
I have mentioned some of the main issues of classroom management. These are to be considered as a most important parts of classroom management. I have demonstrated what is Teacher’s physical presence, Classroom arrangement, how to group students and how to establish rapport with students. Finally, all teachers whether at the start of their careers or after some years of teaching, need to be able to adapt their teaching and follow classroom management patterns as well as to be able to try out new activities and techniques of classroom management. Teachers should make records of their lessons and evaluate them to get results that they will follow by appropriately adapted approach to their students.
How to Teach english
; Jeremy Harmer; pub 1998; Longman
The Practice of english
Language Teaching; Jeremy Harmer; pub 1991; Longman
Unit 5 – Managing classes; ITTT 005; International TEFL Teacher Training