Classroom management is one of the most difficult aspects of teaching. Despite the difficulties of behavioral problems, there are several steps teachers can make to mitigate this problem. This post will provide some practical ways to reduce or even eliminate the headache of classroom management.
Deal with the Learning Space
The learning space is another name for the classroom that the teacher has authority over. If a teacher is fortunate enough to have their own classroom (this is not always the case) he or she may need to consider some of the following.
- A clean, neat, visually appealing classroom helps in settling students.
- The temperature should be moderate. Too cold or too hot leads to problems
- The acoustics of the classroom affects performance. If it’s hard to hear each other it makes direct instruction impossible as well as any whole-class discussion. This includes noise coming from outside the classroom
If the teacher does not have their own classroom, he may need to work with the administration or the teachers in whose classroom he teaches to deal with some of these issues.
Dealing with Seating Arrangements
There are essentially four seating arrangements in a classroom
- Full circle
- Half circle
Each of these arrangements has there advantages and disadvantages. Rows are used for a teacher-centered classroom and lecture style. They are for individual work as well. However, rows limit interaction among students. Despite this, at the beginning of the year, it may be better to start with rows until a teacher has a handle on the students.
Full/Half circle or great for whole-class discussion. Students are able to all make eye-contact and this helps with supporting a discussion. However, this also makes it hard to concentrate if there is some sort of assignment that needs to be completed. As such, the full/half circle approach is normally used for special occasions.
Groups are used in high interaction settings. In groups, students, can work together on a project or support each other for regular assignments. Normally, groups lead to the largest amount of management problems. As such, groups are great for teachers who have more experience with classroom management.
Dealing with Presence
Presence has to do with the voice and body language of a teacher. Learning to control the voice is a common problem for new teachers and losing one’s voice happens frequently. The voice of a teacher most project without yelling and this requires practice, which can be accelerated through taking voice lessons. Speaking must also be done at a reasonable rate. Too fast or slow will make it hard to pay attention.
The body language of a teacher should project a sense of calm, confidence, and optimism. This can be done by moving about the room while teaching, feigning confidence even if the teacher doesn’t have it, and always maintaining composure no matter what the students do. A teacher losing control of their temper means the students have control and they will enjoy laughing at the one who is supposed to be in control.
Teachers need to exert the authority that they are the leader of the classroom. This requires being organized and confident while having a sense of direction in where the lesson is going. This is not easy but is often necessary when dealing with students.