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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Classroom ManagementClassroom management is one of the hardest things to learn outside of experiencing it in ones own classroom. There is no good way to teach classroom management. Teachers of teachers can only give advice on how to manage a classroom. There are many resources out there that also give tips and advice, but classroom management differs with each individual teacher.
Classroom management takes on a new role when teaching english
to students of other languages. These are a broad range of students that come with a broad range of needs and classroom management challenges.
With adult learners, there will be fewer issues with classroom management. Most adults choose to learn a new language; therefore they will be more motivated to focus on the class. They will also have a higher level of respect for the teacher. However, the teacher has to keep in mind that the adult learners should still be active with the language and not just lectured to. It is likely that adults will have a longer attention span, but they may be more hesitant to jump into things. The teacher may have to lead them through activities more than just letting them roam free. It’s important though, that the adults, and all learners of other languages, take some control of their learning. This would involve having a lose grip on classroom management. To allow the students to take control of their own learning, the class could be a little less structured. Too little structure would lead to different problems with adults.
Not all adult learners choose to learn a new language. Some are required by their jobs. This would put adult learners in a classroom where they may be a little hesitant. An example of this would be a business learner’s class held at the place of business. You don’t know what interruptions you may have to deal with. A teacher who can keep the class consistent and let the students know that if they need to leave for awhile, they will be able to fit right in when they return. The teacher will establish a greater rapport if the students know that they are supported. Using classroom management skills such as pair-work and group-work will allow the students to help each other and is useful with both adult learners and young learners.
When faced with a classroom of young learners, there are different issues that will arise. Younger learners will work well when arranged in groups with their peers. This allows for the students to easily transition into pair or group work without much chaos. The arrangement of the students is conducive to classroom management because the students should be arranged so the teacher can make eye contact with any of them while in front of the classroom. All students should also be able to see the board. Many teachers use the board to emphasize important aspects of the lesson and all students should be able to access this information.
Each teacher will bring their own style, combining the personalities of both the students and the teacher. The teacher must keep in mind that they need to stay flexible and willing to change their ways to what works best for everyone. A teacher needs to expect the unexpected. Being prepared is the best way to control classroom management and create the optimal learning environment.