What is Classroom Management?
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Most classrooms experience disruptive student behavior of some description. The most skilled teaching staff, however, will have the skills to carry out successful classroom management to make this as little of a problem as possible. It's important that the negative actions of a small group do not unfairly impact the academic successes of the majority. Here, we explore what being able to successfully manage a classroom entails, whilst suggesting some useful techniques teachers can use to put such behavior controls into effective practice.
When lessons don't run smoothly, a number of difficult problems can easily - and unexpectedly - arise. Students may lose motivation and concentration, become disinterested in their studies, and even get to the point where they join in with other people's disruptive behavior as they feel there is no viable alternative.
To stop this nightmare becoming a harsh reality, classroom management must be put into place. It's not only children that become disillusioned by a rowdy classroom, but the teaching staff, too. In order to overcome this threat, teachers must take on a role of authority and appreciate one key point: there is always going to be disruptive behavior of some degree - it's how this is controlled to reduce its impact on other students that is of great importance.
Keeping this philosophy in mind, we must look at the elements of a successful classroom: respect, discipline and a desire to succeed. These ideas are the basis of classroom management, as we are about to look at in more depth.
When a student behaves badly, the teacher should use a negative sanction to deter the behavior from being repeated again in the future. This is a form of discipline, and helps students to realize when they are making mistakes. The recipe for successful classroom management demands consistency; if you are to set a sanction or expectation, this must be the same for all pupils. Exceptions cannot be allowed without an entirely valid reason.
However, the ethos of classroom management isn't simply that we should deal with poor behavior as and when it happens, but rather we should act to prevent it from occurring in the first place. To make sure this is the case, the teacher must inform all students of the behavior that is expected from them. If students know what they need to do, they are more likely to actually do it.
Other strategies for managing the classroom environment effectively include using measured praise - only give this out for genuine achievements; delivering clear, easy-to-follow instructions for tasks; using a wide range of resources to prevent boredom and increase motivation when learning; and arranging the room in a way in which disruptive groups are separated.
Classroom management is difficult because you can plan strategies for it, but you must think on your toes; in order to execute it effectively. Many student teachers find out that maintaining order is something dynamic that many colleges and university fail to prepare pre-service teachers for. The best advice we have for you is to work with as many diverse groups as you. At any and all levels. Primary and secondary settings have their own strategies and believe it or not, many tactics can be used across the grade levels. In addition, we would recommend that you see Master Teachers in action at all levels and subject areas.
John a co-author of this article was reminded of his student teaching experience while in the brainstorming process. John is an 18-year veteran Science Teacher. He remembers watching a 7th grade Social Studies class of a Master Teacher and learning simple effective daily processes. How to take attendance and check out homework in 3 minutes. He still uses that technique today.
The above details of a well-managed educational environment hopefully illustrate what exactly classroom management is, and what it requires to work properly. The teacher is in the role of authority, and it is up to him/her to implement management strategies and ensure they are carried out accordingly. As mentioned previously, consistency really is key to a calm, attentive group of pupils who are willing to learn and fulfill their potentials as owners of developing minds.
More Information On Classroom Management
- Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies
- CHADD: School Discipline for Students with ADD
- Dr. Mac's Amazing Behavior Management Advice Site
- Fred Jones Positive Classroom Management
- How to Deal With Disruptive Students
- Right Choices
- Schoolwide and Classroom Discipline
- The Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
- Social Skills
- You Can Handle Them All