Useful Tips for Better Classroom Management
- Mar 11, 2015
Mrs. Smith, the school principal, suddenly walked into the classroom. She had expected to see a handful of talkative pupils chatting away merrily in the Math class. Instead, she was greeted with a different and unique sight among most fourth graders! All heads were burrowed in their exercise books, absorbed in working out Math problems. A few hands were raised, waiting for their turn to clarify their queries.
Mrs. Smith was impressed. After all, this is the ideal ‘classroom scenario’ all educators crave for - effective classroom discipline. Brilliant grades and application of various student-skills can only be possible if a classroom boasts of smart, disciplined learners. The late American speaker and author, Jim Rohn, had once stated that discipline acts as a bridge that connects aims and their accomplishment!
Having said that, introducing the element called ‘discipline’ inside a classroom is a bit tricky. Students must cooperate with their teachers to turn their classes into the perfect learning hub! And, teachers must deal with students with a great deal of patience, love, care and expertise to manage a classroom. Applying a few basic techniques can ensure that, for sure. With this in mind, let us talk about a few suggestions for better classroom management:
- Develop rules: Do you know the best way you can make your students listen to you? Just develop some specific rules and communicate these to all the students. For instance, you can make timely attendance a must in your classroom. Another rule that might be followed involves a process where students are graded according to their tasks. You can also declare another rule that students who fail to submit their assignments on time would be dealt with severely. Or, they would be marked negatively. This compels pupils to become more obedient.
- Convey your expectations: It is important to convey certain expectations that you may have from your students. You must let them know about what you expect, and how. Your pupils must know how you want them to behave, right from the very first day of their session. If they are aware of your expectations, they would act in a more desirable manner. Calmly, but firmly, speak to students as to how they must complete their homework so that they come prepared to class the next day.
- Review school rules: Every school adheres to some basic guidelines. Are you sure your classroom techniques are based on the rules of your institution? It is always a good idea to check if your regulations are in sync with those that have already been decided upon by the school. Once you are done with it, enforce these regulations among your students. Make them write down the rules in their school diaries, or post your instructions on the common students’ notice board. And don’t forget to tell them about the outcome if they refuse to follow your instructions.
- Inform parents about rules: Effective parent-teacher communication is essential for establishing discipline in schools. Moreover, it also encourages learners to perform well in their academics. So, discuss your rules with parents during parent-teacher meetings. It is a wonderful way to involve parents in the classroom. Another way to go about this is to make students write down the rules in their diaries and get them signed by their parents. Children are really influenced by their parents, and would end up following your instructions.
- Enforce rules firmly: Students respect firmness, and take you for granted if you are too polite with them. I would advise you to be gentle yet firm in your approach as you communicate your rules to pupils. Check for any omissions that might dissuade students from following them. If you emphasize on the importance of following classroom rules, you can motivate students to act according to the set rules and regulations. So, be realistic in your expectations. And, appreciate students whenever they exhibit good behavior.
- Teach like a professional: Your classes must be characterized by a high degree of professionalism. Be an expert in your subject. And, know the syllabus of the subject you are about to teach. Explain a chapter well and ask questions to your students at the end of your lesson. Encourage them to come up with their queries, in case they have any. When pupils perceive you as an authoritative figure, they automatically start obeying all your instructions. It really works!
- Have your rules printed: You don’t wish your substitute teacher to confront an unruly classroom in your absence, do you? Take a printout of all your guidelines about daily classroom activities and so on. Make sure that your substitute teacher has access to this document. This way, your students would have no choice but to follow your rules even when you might not be physically present in the classroom. It also saves another teacher the pain of tolerating unnecessary tantrums of your students and also makes them appear more mature.
- Tackle mischievous students: Troublemakers are present in almost every academic institution. Know how to reprimand them and criticize their errors. Take them aside and speak to them, even as you explain the consequences of their actions. Don’t lose your temper when you address them. However, if they refuse to listen to you, report them immediately to the school principal.
- Use your sense of humor: Andrew Carnegie, the late American industrialist used to believe that wherever there is laughter, there exists success. Have you noticed how students love attending classes when the teacher cracks hilarious jokes? Students, particularly children, love being entertained while they imbibe education. If they can laugh together with their teacher and have fun, they feel motivated enough to follow the set rules. In fact, possessing a good sense of humor is one of the requisite qualities for new-age teachers.
- Make it interesting: As an eleven-year-old, I loved my Geography classes in school. Our teacher shared interesting anecdotes about the places she visited. Once, she had even brought samples of red soil when she was back from a trip to Karnataka as we were studying about soil and its types during that point of time. This triggered an interest in Geography within me and I scored 94 marks out of 100 in the exam. So you see, these methods really do work!
In order to gain success, students must follow a strict code of conduct inside classrooms. Teachers are the best people to guide learners in this context. And as a teacher, you should also safeguard the official rules and regulations of the school by persuading students to observe them. Because, it is only when students practice discipline that they reap its sweetest rewards!
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